Major League Baseball Playoff Expansion Likely for 2012

By Michael Preston
|  Friday, Nov 19, 2010  |  Updated 1:32 AM PDT
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ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01: The San Francisco Giants celebrate their 3-1 victory to win the World Series over the Texas Rangers in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The NFL isn't the only professional sports league looking to expand its viewing audience by tacking on a few more games in coming seasons.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's plan to deepen the playoff pool by two teams has met little resistance from owners and seems likely to pass, reports ESPN.

A 14-man special committee plans to discuss expanding MLB's playoffs to 10 by adding two wild-card teams during the sport's winter meetings next month in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

"We will move ahead and move ahead pretty quickly," Selig said after a three-day series of meetings concluded in Orlando November 18.

For the plan to take effect, owners for the teams would have to ratify the proposal when they next meet January 12-13 in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The Major League Baseball Players Association would also have to approve the proposal, which would add an extra round to the playoffs.

MLB's current contract extends until the end of the 2011 season, meaning that the additional rounds would most likely be added for the 2012 season.

"I'm not going to rule out anything," Selig said. "We'll just proceed and whatever we decide, then we'll just see how fast we can get it done. Once we pass something, I'm always anxious to get it done."

How the new round would be implemented is still up for debate. Some clubs favor a best-of-three series and others would prefer a winner-take-all, one-game playoff.

If the plan is adopted, there would be three division winners plus two wild-card teams. The wild-card teams would meet to determine which clubs advance to play the first-place teams in each league.

Under the new plan, the regular season would remain at 162 games.

Selected Reading: ESPN, CNNSI, Sporting News

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