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Mike Scioscia says expanded playoffs will require tighter travel schedule

Mike-scioscia_300 Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said he believes baseball can expand the playoffs and avoid November World Series games without reducing the 162-game regular season.

To do so, said Scioscia, who has considerable input on such issues as a member of the game’s special committee for on-field matters, baseball needs to condense the regular season by streamlining travel.

As an example, Scioscia cited the Angels' next road trip, dubbed the “Four Corners Trip,” in which the Angels go to Seattle, New York, Florida and back to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. The Angels will travel 6,822 miles and have two off days during the trip.

“I don’t know what kindergartner figured that one out, but I think maybe we can move to first grade and get that a little better organized,” said Scioscia (pictured at right). “The bottom line is we need to be more efficient with travel.”

Scioscia said the schedule should keep teams in their division for most of April, July and September and that teams can absorb an occasional scheduled doubleheader, like the Angels have in Oakland on July 16.

He also said many off days during the postseason can be eliminated, though that would require the cooperation of television, “and sometimes that’s a tough gap to bridge,” Scioscia admitted.

If baseball can shorten the regular season and postseason by four or five days each, it could expand the playoffs and finish the World Series by around Oct. 24, he said.

“We can’t have baseball played in November,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think the Pilgrims set it up that way.”

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo credit: Paul Buck / EPA

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