Oct 5, 2008; Milwaukee, IL, USA; MLB commissioner Bud Selig celebrates after throwing out the first pitch before game four of the NLDS between the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Tom Fluegge-US PRESSWIRE

MLB Playoff Expansion: So What?

According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, MLB’s playoffs will expand from eight teams to 10 teams. According to the report, baseball’s newest game changer will take place this year during the 2012 playoffs.

MLB will be adding two additional wild-card teams to the mix, but that change wasn’t expected to occur until next season. Bud Selig, though, who apparently found time in his busy schedule, wanted the change to occur this year. It’s so great to see Selig taking time out of his busy schedule to get things like this done, isn’t it?

Rosenthal reports that while the playoff expansion is likely to happen this year, the agreement on the changes are not yet final. The final details, as noted by Rosenthal, are expected to get hammered out relatively soon.

According to the new format, the three division winners from each league will be rewarded with a first-round bye. The fourth and fifth teams in each division will help determine the wild-card. For more information on the changes, here’s what Rosenthal said about the new layout:

The final details are not known, but officials discussed changing starting times for the final day of the regular season, the one-game wild-card knockout and possibly Game 1 of the Division Series.

In the new format, each league’s three division winners would earn a first-round bye; the Nos. 4 and 5 teams would play a game to determine the wild-card, which would then play the top-seeded division winner in the first round.

The union, concerned about the integrity of competition, initially opposed expanding the postseason until baseball went to two 15-team leagues, something that will happen in ’13 when the Houston Astros move to the AL West.

What does this mean for your Oakland Athletics? Well, nothing at the moment. The A’s are not considered playoff contenders this year and will likely find continue to suffer near the bottom of the American League West until they’re able to secure a stable future in a place called San Jose. If only Selig found time to take care of that issue next.

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Tags: Bud Selig MLB Expanded Playoffs MLB Playoff Changes MLB Playoffs Oakland A's Oakland Athletics Wild Card Teams

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