Morning Roundup: MLB considering expanding playoffs; Chargers QB Phillip Rivers to enter free agency
Major League Baseball is considering expanding the playoffs to nearly half the 30 teams and allowing higher-seeded wild-card teams to choose opponents.
The playoffs would grow from 10 clubs to 14 under the plan, first reported Monday by the New York Post. There would be four wild cards in each league, up from two.
Any proposal would have to be negotiated with the players' association.
Only the division winner with the best regular-season record would advance directly to the Division Series under the plan. The two other division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round.
The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.
The selections would be made on a televised show.
Diamondbacks: Arizona announced Monday that it has agreed to a $32.5 million, four-year deal with two-time Gold Glove shortstop Nick Ahmed that runs through the 2023 season.
Rivers, Chargers part ways
Philip Rivers' 16-year career with the Chargers has come to an end.
The franchise announced Monday that the 38-year-old Rivers will enter free agency and won't return to Los Angeles for the upcoming season.
Los Angeles made the playoffs in 2018 but was 5-11 this season with nine losses by one score. The seven-win decline was the worst dropoff in the league in 2019 and the second biggest in franchise history. Rivers' 4,615 passing yards were fourth in the league, but his 20 interceptions were third most and just one off tying a career high.
Saints: Owner Gayle Benson, a devout Catholic who has donated millions of dollars to church causes, said Monday that the NFL team played no role in determining which priests would be named in the list of “credibly accused” clergy published by the area's Roman Catholic Church. Benson said in a lengthy statement that she has never “contributed nor will ever make payments” to pay for legal settlements to the victims of clergy abuse.
The statement marked Benson's first remarks since The Associated Press reported last month about hundreds of confidential Saints emails that allegedly show team executives did behind-the-scenes public relations damage control amid the archdiocese's clergy abuse crisis — communications the Saints have gone to court to keep from being made public.
Vikings: Minnesota hired long-time NFL coach Dom Capers on Monday as a senior defensive assistant. The 69-year-old Capers will start his 33rd season as a coach in the league, after serving last year as a senior defensive assistant for Jacksonville. Capers was an NFL head coach for eight seasons, with Carolina (1995-98) and Houston (2002-05).