MLB changes World Series home-field format rules

Reuters News
|
Posted: Dec 02, 2016 5:07 PM

(Reuters) - Home field advantage in the World Series will go to the pennant winner with the better record rather than the league that wins the All-Star Game, according to details of Major League Baseball's new labor agreement revealed on Friday.

MLB averted its first labor glitch in two decades on Wednesday when it reached a tentative five-year labor deal with the union representing its players.

Former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig came up with the old rule in 2003 after the prior year's All-Star Game ended in a tie when teams ran out of pitchers.

Selig's rule replaced another equally debatable rule that saw home field in the championship series alternate back and forth between the American League and National League.

Critics of Selig's format pointed to the 2016 season which saw the Chicago Cubs, despite posting a MLB-best 103 wins in the regular season, cap off their remarkable World Series comeback from a 3-1 deficit with two wins on the road.

In a bid to keep the All-Star Game competitive, MLB and the MLBPA said in a joint statement that all players on the active roster of the winning All-Star team shall share equally in a $640,000 bonus.

Among other details of the new deal, the two sides agreed on an international play plan in which clubs will stage games or tours in Mexico, Asia, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and London over the next five years in order to grow the game.

The deal also includes a strengthened domestic violence policy and an increase in the number of random drug tests.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Steve Keating)