Selig: MLB will enact rules to ban weather-shortened postseason games

NEW YORK -- There has never been a rain-shortened game in the postseason, and now there never will be.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced the sport will enact a rules change stating that postseason games cannot be shortened because of bad weather.

"All postseason games, All-Star games and that, will be full-length affairs, and the rule will be so written," Selig said Thursday following an owners' meeting.

Selig said the change also will apply to tiebreaker games that decide division titles and wild-card berths.

"Any game that has significance for the postseason," he said. "It will be very clear now. Everybody will know exactly."

Under baseball's rules, games are official as soon as the trailing team has made 15 outs.

During World Series Game 5 between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia last month, Selig decided that it wouldn't be cut short because of pouring rain. Just after the Rays tied it in the top of the sixth, umpires halted play and the game was suspended for 46 hours.

Selig said that if the Phillies still led 2-1 when play was stopped, the game would have gone into a rain delay until it could resume -- even if that took several days.

"We'll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here," he said.

Selig had former Federal Reserve board chairman Paul Volcker address owners. Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve board from August 1979-August 1987 and an adviser to President-elect Barack Obama, served on Selig's economic study committees from 1990-92 in 1999-2000.

Selig saw no need to substantiate what Volcker said.

"Me substantiating Volcker would be like you substantiating Grantland Rice," he told a reporter.

Selig wouldn't speculate on whether the economy would slow the potential purchase of the Chicago Cubs, who were put up for sale when Tribune Co. agreed in April 2007 to be acquired by Sam Zell. The next round of bids is due Dec. 1, and representatives of four groups have met with MLB officials in recent weeks.

"The process is in Sam Zell's hands," Selig said. "Time will tell. The bids will come in and then we will be able to make a judgment -- he'll be able to make the judgment."

There has been widespread speculation that the bidders will have trouble financing any deal given the lack of liquidity in the credit markets.

"I don't know what economic problems the bidders have or haven't had," Selig said. "And I don't know that the Tribune knows it, either, frankly."

At the meeting, owners unanimously approved 39-year-old Hal Steinbrenner as controlling owner of the New York Yankees, ending the 35-year reign of George Steinbrenner, who is 78 and in declining health.