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Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Winner take all? A's owner suggests making first round of playoffs one game

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Lew Wolff has a way to shorten baseball's postseason: Make the first round best-of-one.

"I'd make it one-game-and-you're-out for the first series," the Oakland Athletics owner said Wednesday. "It would be exciting. It would be great."

Begun in 1995, the division series has been a best-of-five competition. Some people have advocated it be expanded to best-of-seven, matching the league championship series and the World Series. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has repeatedly said he favors the current format.

Wolff said he hasn't brought up his concept with Selig.

"No, I'm afraid to do that," he said.

Under the current format, Game 7 of the World Series wouldn't be until Nov. 5 next year. Selig said during this year's World Series that the postseason has too many off days, but shortening it appears to be impossible if Major League Baseball sticks to having the World Series start on a Wednesday, a schedule that began in 2007.

"I've always thought a one-game wild card [playoff] would be a pretty good idea," said Bob DuPuy, MLB's chief operating officer. "Lew is an imaginative fellow and has a lot of good ideas."

On other matters, Wolff said he's inclined to keep newly acquired outfielder Matt Holliday for the entire season, even if he becomes a free agent next November and leaves the A's.

"I'd rather take the two draft choices than lose him in the middle of the season," Wolff said.

Holliday, obtained from Colorado, is represented by Scott Boras, who advocates that clients not sign contracts before filing for free agency.

Wolff said that in preparing for an amateur draft, he noticed that certain prospective picks were on "one board with different colored cards."

"What is that?" he asked his baseball operations employees.

The answer, he said, was: "Scott Boras clients."