Angels manager Mike Scioscia called baseball’s postseason format “ridiculous” because of the extra off days added a couple of years ago to suit the sport’s television partners.
After playing 162 games over 182 days during the regular season, the Angels and Yankees played just eight each over the next 20 days going into Game 6 of the AL championship series, which was postponed to Sunday because of rain.
Los Angeles ended the regular season on a Sunday, then opened the playoffs against Boston on a Thursday.
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“I think you lose a lot of the integrity of what the season means when you have three days off at the end of the season to let other teams maybe reset their starting rotation, which is an advantage of clinching early,” Scioscia said before the Angels were eliminated with a 5-2 loss. “That’s negated when any team can do it just by getting to the playoffs.”
Starting in 2007, MLB added four extra days off: one between the end of the regular season and the postseason openers, one between Games 4 and 5 of the division series, one between Games 4 and 5 of the league championship series and one between the LCS and World Series. Fox wanted the change to avoid having the World Series open on a Saturday, usually the lowest-rated night of the week.
“Some of it could be trimmed up. I think that it’s something that eventually is going to have to be addressed,” Scioscia said.
Because of the extra off days, the World Series is scheduled to end in November for the first time. In 2001, Game 7 wasn’t until Nov. 4, but that was because the 9-11 terrorist attacks delayed the entire postseason for one week beyond its original schedule.
Last year, Game 5 of the World Series between the Phillies and Rays was suspended because of rain after 5 1/2 innings, and the completion was postponed the following day because of rain and possible snow showers.
“We saw what happened last year in Philadelphia,” Scioscia said. “You can’t control the weather to a certain extent, but the earlier you can schedule these to get them in, the better chance you have of finishing this in weather that is, I think, conducive to the outstanding level of play that is going to be on any playoff baseball field. And I think that it does have an impact.
“I don’t know if it has an impact so much of who wins or loses, but it has an impact on the quality of play. And I think that’s very, very important to the integrity of our game,” he said.
JUMPING AHEAD: Even before the Yankees won Game 6, a Web page on MLB.com was headlined: “CONGRATS NEW YORK YANKEES! AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPS.” The page advertised YankeesAL champions caps ($29.99), T-shirts ($29.99, $21.99 and $17.99), commemorative coins ($29.99) and World Series batting practice jerseys ($94.99).
Baseball spokesman Rich Levin said MLB.com prepares those pages early, and that a hacker found the page and began circulating the link on the Internet.
SPECIAL GUEST: Pitcher Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector who has been meeting with major league teams, was invited to attend Game 6 on Sunday night as a guest of the Yankees.
The 21-year-old left-hander was offered a chance to watch on the suite level but instead chose a seat in the 18th row behind home plate.