MILWAUKEE (AP) - On the heels of the record Nielsen ratings for the Super Bowl this year, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced today new post-season rules for baseball. Under the new rules, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will have the opportunity each year to face one another in the World Series.
Following the release of the Super Bowl numbers, Selig went on a rampage. "Just look at the ratings the Super Bowl received this year. Over 111 million viewers. Most watched U.S. broadcast ever. It's no coincidence that this happened with New York against New England. Do you know how many viewers watched the Cardinals play the Rangers in the World Series this year? My people tell me that at its peak there were 15 million viewers, but seriously, do you believe that? I mean, it was St. Louis against Texas for god sake!"
Selig's anger immediately turned to the structure of the baseball playoffs. In football's playoff structure, according to Selig, the behemoth and immensely popular New York team can face the now indominable and also immensely popular New England team every year in football's championship game. However, because the Yankees and the Red Sox are both American League teams, they can never face each other in the baseball championship series.
"We should have an advantage over football. We play between 4 and 7 games to determine who is the champion. They play just 1. But we're lucky if we get half of their viewership total over the entire series," Selig continued.
To facilitate the possibility of the Yankees facing the Red Sox, Selig's new playoff system would pit the two teams against one another in the World Series if they both finish in the top four spots in the American League. "I'm a Brewers fan at heart, but we know the American League is the better league and that the Yankees and Red Sox are the best franchises ever. If the Yankees and Red Sox are among the top teams in that league, it's only fair that all American advertisers, I mean viewers, get what they really want -- seeing the Yankees and Red Sox play each other for the world championship."
The other teams will go through the regular playoff structure with the winner taking home the newly created Small-World Series trophy. Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Yankees would get byes to rest up so they can put their best teams on the field for the World Series.
"Under this new system, our fans all over the country would get what they truly deserve. It's clear our old system was faulty. After all, it could result in a Detroit/San Diego World Series. Or, worse still, a Colorado/Tampa Series. Is there anything else left to be said?" Selig argued.
Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were thrilled and released a joint statement: "There are so many teams in Major League Baseball that have nothing interesting whatsoever in their past. Frankly, we're just making shit up half the time on the air when we have to talk about these teams. If we could just talk about the Yankees and Red Sox every year, we can't imagine anyone would protest."
Selig's announcement was greeted with overwhelming approval from the rest of the major league owners. One owner not willing to be identified stated, "What Bud Selig wants, we want. We haven't challenged him ever before, so why start now?"
The lone dissenter was Fred Wilpon, CEO of the New York Mets. In a short but emotional press conference, Wilpon didn't hold back on details. "Bud came to me with the plan expecting me to agree. He said ,'you're a New Yorker, so you must want the Yankees in the World Series too, right?' I looked at him incredulously. I said, 'Bud, you know I own a New York team, too? One that could also play the Red Sox under the current structure and get that big New York/New England market? It even happened before, including a pretty famous game in baseball history?' His response was silence, pure silence. He then looked me dead in the eye and stated, 'I can count on you, right.'"
When questioned about the meeting, Selig agreed with Wilpon's account but offered his own explanation. "They're from New York. I really thought they, like all New Yorkers, support the Yankees. Fred told me he didn't, but that's just Fred being Fred. I know he does. And what's good for baseball is definitely good for the Mets. It's not like they have anything else going on for them."
The new system takes effect immediately in 2012, with the added bonus that, in this first year under the new system, the Yankees and Red Sox will face each other in the World Series no matter what. "Our ratings will be through the roof. Take that NFL," Selig gloated.