Sun Apr 24 10:50am EDT
I stand corrected on my assumption that no players were going to speak out on Bud Selig's plan to expand the playoff field from eight to 10 teams
One day after the commish told newspaper editors that an oversized October looked like a rubber-stamped inevitability, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum(notes) voiced some strong opposition to watering down the playoff field with a second wild-card berth in each league.
And he wasn't the only one. Across the clubhouse, Giants catcher Buster Posey(notes) said he likes the current playoff setups. Across the country, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira(notes) — a star who usually serves three scoops of vanilla during every interview — said he didn't like the new idea, either.
Here's some of what Lincecum told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group on Friday:
"Personally I think it's kind of funky, just because the game has been this way for so long. Why mess it up, other than for monetary purposes, and that's probably what (Selig) is looking at. That's like, 'OK, don't worry about us as human beings or players.' [...]
"It doesn't seem very fair, and personally I don't know where his head is at. [...] It doesn't seem right to me." [...]
"Nobody wants to have to worry, 'Oh (expletive), now I've got another (expletive) team in the (expletive) mix. Now we have to worry about what that takes and what they're going to do.' What if the (second) wild-card team is not deserving of getting in?
Lincecum has been so many things over his short career — Cy Young winner, World Series champion, marketing maven, fashion trend setter, hero of the counterculture — and now we can hopefully add "voice of the worker" to his resume if he's successful in getting the players to veto the playoff proposal before it becomes a reality.
After all, Tim isn't just any ballplayer. He's one of the league's most recognizable players — an ace pitcher on the defending world champions who play in a city that is known for voicing its opinion. If he can't rally a strong opposition against Bud Selig's plan to torpedo the importance of the regular season in a chase for more playoff profits, I'm not sure that anyone can.