Two wild card teams will be added to Major League Baseball’s playoffs beginning in 2013, the same year the Houston Astros will begin play in the American League.
Commissioner Bud Selig announced Thursday that baseball’s owners unanimously approved Jim Crane as the Houston Astros’ owner. As part of his agreement to buy the club, Crane will shift the Astros to the AL after 2012, creating two 15-team leagues.
“It’s a historical day,” Selig says.
Selig did not offer specifics on the schedule or playoff format, but said his committee for on-field matters favors the one-game playoff among wild-card teams in each league, saying it would be “dramatic.”
Crane’s Astros will move from the NL Central to the AL West after next season, a result he originally was not pleased with due to the bevy of West Coast road games added to the Astros’ TV schedule. Crane is to receive a refund of approximately $80 million of his $660 million purchase price to mitigate the potential crimp on the Astros’ local TV ratings.
“I was in the air freight business,” Crane told reporters at baseball’s general managers’ meetings. “I’ve always flown a lot … we’ll be flying a lot.’’
If the 2013 playoff format had been in place this season, the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox would have met in a one-game playoff, with the winner advancing to the AL Division Series. In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves would have met in a one-game playoff.
Now that the sixth team in the NL Central is set to become the fifth team in the AL West come 2013, there will be 15 teams in each league. Which is bad news for non-fans of interleague play, since it will now last all season long. The rest here.