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Late last month, Commissioner Bud Selig said playoff expansion for this season was on track.

“Clubs really want it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card this year,” he said. “We’re working on dates right now. That’ll all take place. It looks to me like we’ll have it because I’ve told everybody we have to have it. It’ll be exciting. One-game playoff _ it will start the playoffs in a very exciting manner.”

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he favors an expanded postseason field, although he’s not excited about a one-game playoff at the start.

“It’s possible that somebody could win a division with 84 wins and some other team could get 97 wins and finish behind a team that won 98 _ and play one game,” he said. “So it’s never going to be perfect. But at the end of the day, I’m for whatever the commissioner, and more importantly, whatever the fans want. That’s what I think is the best way to handle our game.”

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla echoed Leyland’s sentiments about a single playoff game, preferring a best-of-three format.

“I’m not a fan of it,” Uggla said. “I don’t think if two teams are good enough to make the playoffs that it should be decided by one game like that.”

According to the memorandum of agreement, the commissioner’s office was to give the players’ association a modified postseason schedule by Feb. 1.

“The association shall have 30 days after receiving the modified 2012 postseason schedule from the office of the commissioner to determine whether it will grant its consent,” the agreement states. “Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.”

As part of the labor deal, the Houston Astros will switch to the American League for 2013, creating two 15-team leagues with three divisions each. Players wanted the change to equalize the chances for making the playoffs for every division.

Eight of 30 baseball teams have made the playoffs under the format that began in 1995, a year later than intended because of a strike that wiped out the end of the `94 season. The postseason included just the league winners from 1903-68, then increased to four teams in 1969 after the leagues split into divisions.

In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs. In both the NBA and NHL, 16 of 30 teams advance to the postseason.

Gonzalez, who considers himself a traditionalist, is willing to give the proposed new format a chance. At first, he wasn’t a fan of the current wild-card system but now believes it has added excitement to the game.

“That turned out to be a positive thing for baseball and kind of kept the hype going for some of those teams that were still in it in September,” Gonzalez said. “We’ll see how it works.”


AP Sports Writers Paul Newberry in Kissimmee, Fla., Noah Trister in Lakeland, Fla., and Jon Krawczynski in Fort Myers, Fla., contributed to this report.