Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Mattingly a fan of proposed new playoff format
By Tony Jackson
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is a fan of the proposed new playoff format, which is expected to be ratified for this season in the next few days. For the uninitiated, it means there now will be two wild cards from each league, and they will play each other in a one-game playoff while everybody else sits back and rests. The winner of that game then must play the division winner with the league's best record in a best-of-five division series. Theoretically, this revives the importance of winning your division as opposed to simply getting into the playoffs.
"I like it because it forces those two teams to use their best pitcher, so they have to use that guy to get in (to the next round),'' Mattingly said Wednesday. "On paper, that gives the advantage to the team that wins the division because they can line up their rotation the way they want it. It seems fair to me that the team who wins the division gets that advantage.''
This also necessarily eliminates two previously existing rules:
-- Two teams from the same division now can be matched up in the Division Series round, whereas previously they couldn't be.
-- Whereas in the past, two teams who already had clinched playoff berths could tie in the standings without the need for a tiebreaker game (head-to-head matchups between the two teams during the season were used to break the tie), those teams will have to play a tiebreaker game now. For instance, the 2006 Dodgers tied for first place in the N.L. West with the Padres, but because both teams had clinched playoff spots, the Padres were simply awarded the division title and the Dodgers the wild card because the Padres had dominated the season series between the two clubs. If that happened under the new format, the Dodgers would have to play the Padres in a one-game playoff to determine the division winner, with the loser than playing another one-game playoff against the second wild card. ...
Meanwhile, the Dodgers had their annual meeting with representatives from the players' union immediately after Wednesday's workout. A lot of former players are now in union leadership, including Bobby Bonilla, Phil Bradley, Stan Javier, Tony Clark and Mike Myers, who was just in camp with the Dodgers a few years ago. Union executive director Michael Weiner conducted the meeting. ...
Juan Uribe is back in camp, having settled out of court the lawsuit that was filed against him by his former landlord who was seeking $145,000 in damages for a kitchen fire she alleged Uribe was responsible for during the 2010 season, when he played for the Giants.