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APNewsBreak: Union would consider bigger playoffs
“That is one of the ideas that they are kicking around. But having said that, we understand that a proposal to reduce the length of the regular season will be viewed one way by the owners as opposed to a proposal to expand or modify the structure of the postseason.”
Not all players are in favor of a longer postseason.
“Personally, I like the system the way it is,” San Francisco Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand said as he prepared for Wednesday night’s World Series opener against the Texas Rangers. “I think just the one wild card team from each league. If you’re in a division where you’ve got a team running away with it, it gives all those other teams hope of something to play for throughout the course of the season.”
Through 1968, there were no divisions and the team with the best regular-season record in each league advanced to the World Series.
Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt is concerned that adding wild-card teams or increasing the length of the division series would make a long season even longer.
“If they’re going to do that, they need to shorten the season then. That’s a lot of games and that’s a long time. Even in the playoffs now we’re going potentially to Nov. 5,” he said. “Sometimes they think we’re just robots, but you’ve got to think of potential injuries. On pitchers, that’s a lot of throwing. Position players, some play every game all year. It just takes a toll on the body. If they’re going to do that, they’ve got to think a lot about the ramifications.”
Texas manager Ron Washington thinks adding playoff teams is a good idea.
“It just gives a team an opportunity to get to the playoffs,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what’s your record once you get to the playoffs. It usually comes down to who’s playing the best baseball at the time.”
However, Rangers outfielder Jeff Francoeur considers himself a traditionalist.
“I don’t like adding another wild card,” he said Tuesday. “I think that’s what’s so cool, so special about baseball, is that you only have eight teams that go.”
On other topics:
_Weiner said the advanced dates for free agency this offseason were a test for future offseasons. “Both sides will have a chance to evaluate them and when we begin bargaining, presumably sometime in the early part of 2011, we’ll have a season of that under our belt.”
_While the union chose not to pursue collusion grievances following the past two offseasons, “Some players obviously continue to be concerned about how the free-agent market has operated. We’re considering additional proposals concerning the free-agent market.”
_Players may propose changes to salary arbitration eligibility, which has been basically unchanged since 1990. “Obviously players have seen the Super 2 cutoff become _ to a certain extent it’s become predictable,” he said. “Other players say independent of that we think it’s time to revisit the question of salary arbitration eligibility in general.”
_Players hope the September decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the federal government illegally seized the 2003 drug survey test records and samples will be the end of the matter. The government has until December to ask the Supreme Court to review the case. “Obviously we are pleased with what the court did, and we hope this puts an end to the litigation and that would allow the union and the commissioner’s office to be able to honor the promise that was made to all the players who were tested in 2003,” he said. “I hope we can look back on 2010 and say that was the year that this litigation ended. Obviously, that remains to be seen.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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