Blog Entry

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

Posted on: December 2, 2009 3:09 pm

On his first day as executive director of the Major League Players' Assn., Michael Weiner agreed that the postseason schedule needs to be tightened and, at the same time, said that there is sentiment among the players' executive board to increase the divisional round to best-of-seven series.

Commissioner Bud Selig said last month that he is personally going to take a swing at tightening the postseason schedule for next fall after complaints this year of too many days off.

The Angels, for example, played only eight games in 20 days going into Game 6 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees. Beginning on Oct. 13, the day after they eliminated St. Louis, the Phillies played only 12 games over 23 days through the end of the World Series.

"I think everyone is in agreement that the postseason schedule is in need of adjusting," Weiner said on a conference call Tuesday formally unveiling him as Don Fehr's replacement. "I'm a hockey fan as well as a baseball fan, and the [postseason] pace is what you would expect in hockey, not baseball."

Weiner said he is happy that Selig said he intends to look into tightening up the postseason schedule.

"We have to be respectful to our television partner, but we have to be concerned with the competitive aspect as well," Weiner said.

That said, Weiner acknowledged that expanding the divisional series from a best-of-five to a best-of-seven format was another issue raised by the executive board of the players' association at its meetings this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"There's a lot of sentiment for a seven-game series," Weiner said. "I think, if properly constructed, we could accommodate a seven-game series [in the first round] and still have it end in a shorter period of time."

Weiner said that his feeling is that if there is to be a change in format, that would not be addressed until the next round of collective bargaining with the owners (the current agreement expires following the 2011 season).

The condensing of the postseason schedule, however, could -- and should -- come as early as 2010.

In other assessments during Tuesday's call with reporters, the 47-year-old Weiner:

 Acknowledged that the union is continuing to monitor the free agent market for signs of collusion among the owners. Some agents thinks there were some questionable maneuvers in 2007 and 2008, and Weiner said he's watching the slow pace of free agency this winter.

"Yeah, I’m concerned a little bit. It's been a little slow," Weiner said. "But it was a little late starting by virtue of when the World Series ended [Nov. 4]. That's something we may want to consider in bargaining, given that there are now three rounds of playoffs."

Weiner said with arbitration offers having been extended to players on Monday, the "landscape is a little more clear" now. "It's too early to draw any conclusions on how this will play out," he said.

 Said he and the union are open to a worldwide draft but continue to oppose a salary slotting system that owners want.

"We're willing to have all players without regard to their country of origin be subject to the same rules entering the game," Weiner said, nothing that it would mean an amateur player "from Texas as well as a player from the Dominican Republic" be governed by the same policy.

But as for a slotting system, he noted "we call it a salary cap" and said that's a different issue.

 Said he believes the current performance-enhancing drug testing system is "working great". And as for the continued concern over human growth hormone, he noted that "if a reliable urine test for HGH is developed, it would automatically go into place. It would require no modification in the agreement."

So far, that test has not been developed.


Since: Oct 7, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2010 11:26 am

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

For another  6 million dollars, the Phils could have had both Lee and Halliday for a year, and kept 2 out of Baseball Americas top 30 prospects. In return they have once again depleated their farm system, of any viable players avove Double A.
In return Amaro got mid line minor league talent thrown in. Any time Billy Bean, jumps at one of your players, beware. the A's were never in this trade picture until the very end when they jumped to pick up one of the minor league studs.
The Phils look they will make a run at it in 2010, but watch out after that. 
The much needed stud catcher, has been traded away, and in another puzzling move, they cut ties with a gold glove third baseman for the pedestrian Polanco. 
These talent evaluations remind me of letting Bourne go to the Astros for Brad Lidge. The Phils still haven't solved the problem at closer, which actually cost them a shot at winning back to back World Series. Biaez is a set up  for a closer, something which Myers or Madson can do just fine.
If Hamels repeats his '09 efforts, the Phils will be two starters short, whichb is another reason why the $6 million for a year of Lee looks even better. If they expect Moyer to continue to perform as he did last year, they are dreaming. Pedro, is gone and they are left with two solid options in Halliday and Happ. Blanton basically has a dead arm, which really revealed itself during the playoffs and World Series. 
With the new park bring in revenue, this was the year to splurge a tad on Lee while working to shore up other holes in theline up.

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 10:45 pm

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

Excellent post. As regards the errror, it's become pretty standard - almost to the point where the likelihood of reading a factually correct article is about the same as reading a factually incorrect article.

And apparently some "internet media groups" are complaining that advertising space isn't selling so well, and that too many articles are available or sourced say via google "for free" - and that the knock on effect this has "risks being to the detriment of the quality of their product!"

Erm, no.

The product would benefit overall if the role of proof reader existed anymore - something many media groups have chosen to dispense with as it was deemed a costly, unneccessary position. Or we were reading an article written by a journalist who takes a pride in his/her work. Or a combination of the two. Only last week I read an article which referred (in all seriousness) to the emergence of Jacksonville WR Mike "Walker-Sims". And I was dumbfounded that I was reading a Jaguar specific article which couldn't even get (arguably) their No.1 wideout's name correct. It seems like the likes of Miller and Prisco (or cbssports) are reliant on posters such as us to do the proof reading ourselves.  

Maybe if this wasn't the case we would be prepared to pay a subscription to read this stuff. Or advertisers would be prepared to pay the rates these outlets desire.

Websites such as Baseball Prospectus may lack somewhat in the slickness department, however you get what you pay for in their case. Intelligently written articles. And while I'm at it... seriously these half page expanding ads are intrusive. They annoy the heck out of me, so I'm hardly likely to "click thru" into an ad which I already object to. If I like what I see on a plain banner I'll investigate.  

Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: December 2, 2009 8:11 pm

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

First of all I would like to correct a glaring error you made in your third paragraph. Mistakes this egregious make us readers question whether you are the right man to be reporting on this stuff. The Phillies not only didn't eliminate St. Louis, they didn't even meet in the playoffs. LA swept STL.

This article touches on a subject that I have been wondering about for a while now - expediting games and schedules. A few years back we started hearing complaints that the games were too long. Most of my friends, like me, are avid sports fans. I have never heard one complain that "the games" last too long. Granted, I live in Peoria which is a 3 hour car ride to St. Louis, Chicago, and Indianapolis so I don't get to attend many games, but when I do, and even when I am just watching on TV, I want the entertainment to last as long as possible. This was especially true when my son was growing up. Heck, we use to get to the ballparks and wait outside of the stadium for the gates to open. He would bring his glove and we would go to the outfield seats in hopes of catching a ball. The first time we did this we ended up with 5, and we never caught another in the years after. I remember taking him and 2 of his friends down. I don't know how old they were, maybe 13ish. Halfway through the game they put the tarps down for what looked like a long rain delay. We were staying right across the street, and I suggested we wait it out in the hotel. None of them wanted to leave. I finally enticed the biggest kid with an offer to drive down the road to the White Castle. The other two wouldn't budge. There is something almost mystical about being at the ballpark. Any avid fan knows what I don't need to describe. Ah, those days I will cherish forever. My take on truncating the games is that it's a push from players (sorry Cole Hamels), sports reporters, and wives; which I can understand, but not embrace.

Shortening the season would entail a similar argument. In paragraph 4 you quote Weiner (what an appropriate name for the Executive Director of Major League's Player's Assn.) as saying "I think everyone is in agreement that the postseason schedule is in need of adjusting." NOT EVERYONE! Don't lose sight of the most important sector Weiner. You too, Selig. True sports fans (remember that's short for fanatics), well let me just put it this way. A good friend and co-worker came into my office a few years back in mid-October. Beaming from ear to ear he said "This is the best time of year, when football overlaps the playoffs." I said "Better than the NCAA's?" He replied "Ya, cuz we got games on all of the time."

When my Redbirds were swept I was disappointed. Disappointed not so much for their showing, but that I couldn't watch them again. Wasn't that the prevalent collective mindset of the World Series even if you weren't a Phil's or Yank's fan? 

Will there be a shortening? Me thinks not, cuz money rules, and for once it will work to the favor of the fans. Pleasing the fans; what a novel concept. Money mouth    


Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 6:48 pm

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

What would happen if it rained on one of those DH days?  Like the creativity but seems a bit of a stretch

Since: Nov 7, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2009 3:38 pm

Weiner: Postseason schedule needs tightening

Well here's a twisty little idea:  have a best of seven series but spread it over five days; with a day-night doubleheader in each team's stadium.  The logistics would need to be tweaked, and the potential effect on teams, especially thier bullpens, might cause traditionalists to balk at this idea.  But so many playoff games are already played in the daytime, when few television viewers are watching, that the effects on the viewing audience would be less than you might expect.  And having a break between games of the doubleheader would allow teams to sell their full allotments of tickets and concessions.  Umpires' and players' unions would have something to say about the timing of games, but I think it could be worth a look if baseball wants to keep an open mind about all possible options.

An example which needs much adjusting:
Game 1, LA @ STL, Tues. 7:05 pm CDT.
Game 2, LA @ STL, Wed. 7:05 pm CDT.
Game 3, STL @ LA, Sat. 12:05 pm PDT.
Game 4, STL @ LA, Sat. 6:35 pm PDT.
Game 5, STL @ LA, Mon. 12:05 pm CDT.
Game 6, LA @ STL, Wed. 12:05 pm CDT.
Game 7, LA @ STL, Wed. 7:05 pm CDT.
...but 7 games in 8 days. 

Just an idea.

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