For at least three major league teams, yesterday's revised playoff format provided some very good news.
"It's a new lease on life for the Blue Jays, but it's unfortunate it had to come as a result of a strike," said Toronto President Pete Bavasi after hearing about the adoption of a revised proposal for determining division winners.
Asked if he felt sympathetic for teams such as Cincinnati and St. Louis -- which each finished a close second in the first half of the season -- Bavasi said, "I feel sorry for the teams that felt sorry for us finishing seventh. I think today's solution is the fairest for the greatest number of clubs.
"The purest solution would have been a bye, but a club might have had to sit out for 10 days."
Atlanta General Manager John Mullen was another happy man. A look at the standings reveals that the injury-riddled Braves were 25-29 when play was halted by the 50-day players' walkout and 6-3 in the second half heading into last night's game against the New York Mets.
"It sounds like about the only way it could have been put together," said Mullen of the revised formula. "It's certainly fine with us -- we finished way behind in the first half and this gives clubs like us a lot of incentive to try and win the second half if we can.
The Seattle Mariners, after a dismal 21-36 record in the first half, Seattle took a 7-3 record into last night's game against Cleveland.
"We're delighted to be exactly where we are and we expect to win the second half," said Seattle President Daniel F. O'Brien.