Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

MLB officially adds teams to playoffs

Dashing debut: The Rangers’ Yu Darvish pitches to Adrian Beltre during an intrasquad game. Beltre grounds out as part of the Japanese import’s hitless inning of work.

Associated Press

Dashing debut: The Rangers’ Yu Darvish pitches to Adrian Beltre during an intrasquad game. Beltre grounds out as part of the Japanese import’s hitless inning of work.

NEW YORK — With less than a month to go before opening day, Major League Baseball made it official Friday, expanding the playoffs to 10 teams by adding a wild-card to each league.

This is the first change in the postseason format since 1995, when wild cards were added. It creates a one-game wild-card round between the teams with the best records who are not division winners. In addition, there will be no restriction on teams from the same division meeting in the division series.

"This change increases the rewards of a division championship and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year," commissioner Bud Selig said.

Because of the delay in implementing the change and with the 2012 schedule already drawn up, the format of the division series will change for this year only. The best-of-five series will begin with two games at the lower seeds followed by three home games for the higher seed. The change will reduce travel days.

Darvish impresses in Rangers debut

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Yu Darvish, the Rangers' Japanese import, struck out one during a hitless inning in an intrasquad game. He threw 21 pitches, 11 for strikes, and his fastball was clocked between 93-96 mph.

"My fastball life and the quality are not even close at all to season form," Darvish, set to face the Padres on Wednesday, said through an interpreter.

"I'm glad we don't have to face him in our division or in our league," second baseman Ian Kinsler said.

CUBS back collector: Several Cubs players supported the man who collected Ryan Braun's urine sample, despite the fact his handling of the sample led to Braun's 50-game suspension being overturned.

The legal team for the Brewers outfielder argued the collector, Dino Laurenzi Jr., did not follow procedures specified in baseball's drug agreement, which led to an arbitrator overturning Braun's positive test last week. Laurenzi also is assigned by MLB to collect samples from the Cubs.

"The drug tester that we worked with … we all know him, and he handles his business pretty professionally. I think that everyone in this clubhouse would agree with me," Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson told ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago. Infielder Jeff Baker also vouched for Laurenzi.

A's: DH Manny Ramirez grounded into a double play and bounced out in an 8-5 loss to the Mariners in the spring opener. Ramirez, who hasn't played since April and faces a 50-game drug suspension, drew a loud mix of boos and cheers before his first at-bat.

Indians: Justin Masterson will start on opening day. The right-hander was the team's most consistent starter last season, going 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA.

Nationals: First baseman Adam LaRoche (sprained ankle and sore left shoulder) and rightfielder Jayson Werth (muscle spasms in his back) likely won't play this weekend.

Pirates: Right-hander A.J. Burnett had surgery for a broken orbital bone near his right eye and will miss 2-3 months.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, a DH for most of his career, will start at first base tonight against Boston College. New manager Bobby Valentine said he wants to see how Ortiz looks there in case he's needed.

Rockies: Left-hander Jamie Moyer, 49, trying to come back after missing last season for Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, gave up one earned run and three hits in two innings of an intrasquad game. He said he felt uncomfortable at first but after a couple of pitches, "It was like getting back on the bike again."

MLB officially adds teams to playoffs 03/02/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 3, 2012 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals in 2009. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also …

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, holds the AFC Championship trophy? as he celebrates with head coach Bill Belichick after the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots defeated the the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) FBO247
  2. Sputtering Rays keep falling one run short

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Even going into play against the Angels on Tuesday just a game under .500 at 23-24, the Rays have some issues they have to resolve.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb waits for Mike Trout to finish his trot after homering to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    The University of South Florida Bulls take a moment on the field just prior to their game against Tulane in the American Athletic Conference Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in Clearwater.