Owners adjust playoff format

March 20, 1998|By Peter Schmuck

Baseball owners made one other important decision during the final day of their quarterly meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla., approving changes in the format of the divisional playoffs and League Championship Series:

The Division Series will be played under a 2-2-1 format, meaning that the teams with the home-field advantage will open the series with two games at home and would come back home if a decisive fifth game is necessary.

In all league playoff series, the team with the best record -- provided it is not the wild-card team -- will have the home-field advantage. The old system forced the division champions with the best records to open with two games on the road, which in some cases worked to the advantage of the lower-seeded team.

In the LCS, the home-field advantage was predetermined, so there was no benefit afforded to the teams that finished with the best record in each league.

The format for the World Series -- in which the home-field advantage alternates between leagues each year -- will remain unchanged.

Pub Date: 3/20/98

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