Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bud Talks Labor Peace And Playoff Expansion

There isn't a whole lot of news to talk about coming from the White Sox right now other than that the team is about to introduce Robin Ventura to a group of people that already know who he is, and announce that Mark Parent and Joe McEwing are joining his staff.

Given Ventura's personality, I'd put the odds of him saying something outrageous or worthy of your attention tomorrow somewhere between non-existent and not going to happen.

So I figure with the news that the NBA has canceled the first two weeks of its regular season on Monday night, now seems as good a time as any to listen to Bud Selig talk about baseball's labor situation.

You don't hear much about it, but MLB's agreement with the player's union ends on December 11th, and both sides are working on getting a new agreement in place, though it doesn't sound like anyone is all that worried about it.

"The sport, I've often said, was stuck in neutral for 25 years. And [labor battles were] one of the reasons. It was brutal. It was really brutal. Every two or three years we went back to this," Selig said. "The fans got tired of all that, got tired of hearing about it. And I don't blame them. So, 16 years of labor peace has really, really helped us. Just keep working, make progress, continue to make progress, and I think things will work out well."

"Both sides are very constructive and have work to do and understand that trying this in the media is not a good thing. That was the problem in the '90s. Every day you spent the first half of the day either mad at some reporter for something he wrote or who leaked it to who.

"We're past all that now,"

Bud Selig: voice of reason on labor relations. I know, I'm scared too.

Of course, I knew there was no way I could get through an entire article that had Bud Selig talking without being bothered by something. Thankfully, Bud once again brought up the notion of expanding the playoffs.

He said baseball is still toying with the idea of going from eight teams to ten in the postseason, though he's not sure when it would be implemented. This is an idea that I'm firmly against.

Eight is enough, Bud.

Adding more teams to the postseason only cheapens the regular season, as 33% of the league will make the playoffs every season. Things are perfectly fine the way they are now, so I see no reason to tinker with anything, but then again, I'm not making money off of this league, so of course I'd be of that opinion.

I know that MLB wants to do this for a couple of reasons. The first is always money, and the second would be to help ensure that there are more meaningful games being played in September. Which keeps people coming to the parks, and bringing in more, that's right, money.

But, if there were five teams from each league qualifying for the postseason, that amazing night we had on the final day of the regular season this year? None of it would have mattered. St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston and Tampa Bay would have all made the playoffs, and one of the greatest baseball nights in history wouldn't have happened.

Plus, if you do go to five teams, and the two wild cards play some kind of one-game playoff, it seems pretty lame to have that team's effort through a 162-game schedule come down to one single game.

If you want to add more games to the postseason, just expand the ALDS from five to seven games. It's that simple. Not only do you get a series that will better reflect who the better team actually is, but you could add 8 games to the schedule and 8 games worth of revenue.

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