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Michael Weiner Hot Dogs His Bold Hello as Union Chief

Michael Weiner, just installed as the head of the MLBPA, held his first news conference in his new role and among the things mentioned was expanding the division series:

Players would like to see the first round of playoffs expand to best-of-seven when their next labor contract starts in 2012, Michael Weiner said Wednesday in his first news conference since replacing Donald Fehr as the union head.

"There is a lot of sentiment for a seven-game division series," Weiner said. "I think a properly constructed postseason schedule could accommodate three seven-game series but still have it extend over a shorter period of time than what happened this year."

There's no doubt that a seven-game series is, in some ways, more "fair" than a five-game series -- you go down 2-0 in a five-gamer and you're pretty much toast (as the Angels found out in 2004, 2007 and 2008), but down 2-0 in a seven-game series is not insurmountable. The issue, as Weiner said, is "a properly constructed postseason schedule".

The Angels have historically taken it in the backside hard when it comes to playoff series scheduling and format. In 1982, the then-AL Milwaukee Brewers beat the Angels in a best-of-5 ALCS down 0 games to 2. Oddly, the ALCS was expanded to a Best of 7 format before the 1986 playoffs, just in time to see the Angels win that once-critical third game over the Boston Red Sox, but come up short in the following three contests.

In 2005 we won a best of 5 ALDS by a 3 games to 2 margin and were forced to fly to Chicago overnight to begin the ALCS against the White Sox (there had been a rainout in NY causing a delay in the Division Series schedule). Meanwhile in 2009, the ALCS schedule is paced so leisurely that the Yankees can start their Ace at will with ample rest, absolved of their greatest weakness - a starting pitching dropoff.