Owners likely to decide on expanded playoff timing this week

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The owners are meeting in Arizona this week. It’s the last scheduled owners meeting between now and March 1. That’s significant because March 1 is the date by which it is to be decided whether the new expanded playoff system — an extra wild card in each league — will go into effect in 2012 or 2013. Sports Business Journal thinks that decision will be made this week, even if it’s not announced for a bit.

It’ll be interesting to see what they do, because there’s a clear tradeoff of money vs. convenience here. Obviously everyone wants the new playoff game sooner because it will mean dollars and excitement and a means of capitalizing on last year’s crazy last night. The problem, though, is the schedule is already made and it’s really hard to see how they’ll squeeze it in. As it is, Game 7 of the World Series would be on November 1.

My guess, based on nothing but gut: the owners will ask themselves why they should put off until next year what can be done this year and they’ll just fine a way to shoehorn the wild card games in.

Report: Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as new manager

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The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.

According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.

The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.