O's players like postseason as it is


As far as the Orioles are concerned, the current major-league playoff format should remain for a long, long time.

Many Orioles players said they would prefer preserving the four division winners, even though expansion of the playoffs could mean more TV revenue -- and more opportunity for postseason play -- for them.

"It's been this way for 100 years, 90 years," said closer Gregg Olson, who is on the disabled list. "Keep it the same."

Owners have proposed changes in the current format, suggesting four division winners and four second-place teams making the playoffs or switching to three divisions in each league with wild cards to fill out the playoffs.

Players union chief Donald Fehr recently suggested that the union would prefer three division winners and a wild card from each league.

Reliever Mark Williamson said he would be concerned about the mentality of teams in a playoff format that didn't strongly reward first-place finishers.

"Teams start playing for second place," he said. "They might say, 'We're out of it. Let's play for second.' "

Said second baseman Harold Reynolds: "There are pros and cons either way. But, at this level, where you play 162 games, you either have to cut games out of the regular season or out of the playoff games. You'd be talking about playing in November if that was the case."

First-base coach Davey Lopes said change may not be bad for the game.

"The one negative thing about baseball that I always talked about was it's so traditional," he said. "It's reluctant to change, and so are some of the people in the game."

The idea of another round of playoffs was a result of a new TV undertaking with ABC and NBC. Next season's playoffs will be televised by NBC, the World Series by ABC.

But the attraction of additional revenue does not seem to sway most Orioles.

"As a player, playoff money doesn't even compare to being in the playoffs and all of the excitement you feel as a player," Brady Anderson said.

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