Angels manager Mike Scioscia did not hide his strong opinions about baseball's scheduling during his team's postseason run in 2009. That led to his inclusion on commissioner Bud Selig's special committee for on-field matters.
The postseason schedule has been tightened up, as Scioscia called for, but he remains a vocal proponent of further schedule reform, putting a greater emphasis on divisional play during the regular season and more efficient travel.
That would "absolutely" require divisional realignment with the AL West adding a fifth team, Scioscia said, even if that means making interleague play a constant on the regular-season schedule.
There has been speculation that the Houston Astros or Arizona Diamondbacks could be asked to move from the National League to the American League as part of an attempt to balance out the current uneven situation (16 teams in the NL, 14 in the AL, with the NL Central carrying six teams and the AL West only four).
"It has to happen," Scioscia said Wednesday. "We need schedule reform which coincides with realignment and a more balanced test for each team within its division. That's really the way this whole championship schedule is set up, based on divisional rivalries.
"We have, what, 13 games left (beginning Friday in Baltimore) and more than half of them (seven) are at Baltimore and Toronto against teams that are not in the divisional component (with the Angels).
"Scheduling is very complicated. But it should not be this patch-work."
Major League Baseball released its 2012 schedule this week. Divisional realignment (and the discussed addition of a second wild-card playoff spot in each league) remains on hold.
But the Angels' schedule does reflect a greater emphasis on divisional play in the critical final weeks of the season. Twelve of their final 15 games are against AL West teams.
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