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Selig says he will tighten postseason

November 19, 2009|Bill Shaikin

CHICAGO — Commissioner Bud Selig pledged Wednesday to tighten baseball's lengthy postseason schedule but declined to say how he would do so.

"I'm going to make the postseason schedule this year," he said as baseball's owners concluded a day of meetings in Chicago. "If you're mad, you can blame me."

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia was mad during the playoffs, calling the postseason schedule "ridiculous." The Angels played nine games in 21 days -- though one game was postponed because of rain.

The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, played nine games in 23 days between the end of the regular season and the start of the World Series, while the New York Yankees took advantage of the schedule, using only three starting pitchers en route to the World Series title.

Selig acknowledged that clubs want to end the season on a weekend and Fox wants to start the World Series during the week, leaving it unclear how he would condense the postseason. He said the solution didn't involve asking Fox to return the Series start to Saturday. "We should put the games on when the most people can watch them," he said. "It's a very simple premise."

Scioscia first spoke out during the AL Championship Series, and Selig said they had "a lengthy conversation" after the Angels were eliminated.

"I don't disagree with Mike Scioscia," Selig said. "I think he was right."

Scioscia, who was named American League manager of the year earlier in the day, told reporters in a conference call that the playoff schedule worked against his team and that he had talked to Selig about it. That schedule included three days off after the regular season, a day off between Games 4 and 5 of the ALCS and a World Series that had games in November.

"He wanted some input," Scioscia said of Selig. "I'm very hopeful they're going to tighten up that schedule a little bit so we won't have a lag. . . . No matter how long it takes you to clinch, you can reset your rotation with three days off after the regular season.

"We need to get baseball away from the high risk of playing in terrible weather in November in some places. And for the competitive nature of the game, you need to play it on a regular basis. The first step would be to start the playoffs the Tuesday after the season ends."

As for instant replay, Selig said he remains opposed to its expansion but said he has invited general managers to the next owners meeting in January. The GMs could propose an expansion at that time.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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