Eastern League Announces Change To Split Season FormatPosted: Updated:
Portland, Maine - The Eastern League of Professional Baseball has announced the league will be changing their playoff format from a full season format to a split season format. Under the new format the first place team from each division (Eastern and Western) during both the first and second halves of the season will qualify for the postseason.
In simpler terms, the entire regular season is divided into two.
"I think it's terrific" said Rumble Ponies manager Kevin Boles. " It gives guys a new life. I think for Double-A and lower it's great because it keeps guys interested and keeps them motivated.
"It gives guys a chance to fight for a playoff spot not just one time throughout the season, but two" said Boles. "There's nothing worse than being on a club that's out of it in June. I've been through that before and you have to find different ways to motivate guys."
The first half of the season will end on the 76th day of the regular season, Tuesday June 18. Therefore, the Rumble Ponies first half of the season will be from Thursday, April 4 - Tuesday, June 18.
The team with the best record on June 18 will automatically be awarded a postseason berth. In the event the same team finishes in first place in their division in both halves of the season, the second playoff sport for that division will be awarded to the team from that division that had the best full season record.
"Sometimes being able to hit the reset button, I think it's a good thing" said Boles.
The second half of the season will start on Wednesday June 19 and end on Monday, September 2, the final day of the regular season. The same rules apply. Whoever has the best record by Monday, September 2 clinches a playoff berth.
The first round of the postseason will feature the first half winner from each division facing the second half winner from their respective division. The team that finishes in first place in the first half will host games three through five of the best-of-five opening round series.
"It gives the new players a chance to help you win and something to play for in the second half of the season" said Rumble Ponies owner John Hughes. "It's great for everybody. It's great for the fans, it adds more excitement."
"It's great for the staff too because we get to continue to work on development and discipline. So, there's really not a downside to this." said Hughes.