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Archive for Tuesday, May 15, 2007

November classic? It could happen

World Series bumped back, with Game 7 set for Nov. 1

May 15, 2007

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— Call it the November Classic.

The start of the World Series is being pushed back an extra day to Oct. 24, meaning Game 7 is scheduled for November for the first time. Because of extra off-days during the postseason, a team sweeping the NL championship series would have eight days off before its World Series opener.

"Maybe it will be over by Thanksgiving," Oakland's Mike Piazza said after Monday's announcement.

Major League Baseball announced last summer that the Series would start on a Tuesday beginning in 2007 under the sport's new network television contracts. In recent months, the decision was made to push it back an extra day to Wednesday.

"Starting the World Series in the middle of the week, when television viewership is historically higher, will provide more fans with the opportunity to watch the games," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer. "The additional off-days throughout the postseason will give us greater flexibility to facilitate travel and protect against poor weather."

The only time World Series games have gone into November was in 2001, when terrorist attacks caused the entire postseason to be delayed a week. The World Series has been scheduled to start on a Saturday since 1985, when the league championship series expanded to best-of-seven. It was slated for a Tuesday start from 1977-84.

"What's four or five more days?" Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Lieberthal said. "If it increases revenue, more power to it. It might be nicer for players who are in the playoffs to get an extra day off."

Piazza talked about how long the postseason already was when he played for the New York Mets, whose Subway Series against the Yankees ended Oct. 26.

"I remember when we were in the World Series in 2000 talking to Yogi Berra, and he said that their World Series were usually over Oct. 7 or 6," Piazza said. "Wow. It's like a whole other season."

Because of the schedule changes, there will be an extra day off between the end of the regular season and the postseason openers on Oct. 3, and there will be three additional days off during the postseason.

One will be between Games 4 and 5 of the division series, when teams had complained about playing without a travel day.

In addition, there will be an extra off day between the LCS and the World Series. Detroit had six days of rest following its AL championship series victory last year, then looked flat in losing the World Series to St. Louis in five games.

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