FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are working on the schedule for 2013, when each league will have 15 teams for the first time.
So far, this much is clear: The unbalanced schedule is here to stay, and interleague play, while expanded throughout most of the season because of the odd-number of teams in each league, will be severely limited in September, when divisions are won and playoff spots are at stake.
"We've been working with the commissioner's office to try to formulate different possible 2013 schedules,'' said Michael Weiner, executive director of the Players Association. "Yes, we do have to have interleague play in every window.''
Weiner said teams within the same division will meet "more than 16 times'' during the season, since the unbalanced schedule "enhances the integrity of winning the division.''
In 2011, the Red Sox complained about having to play three straight road series in N.L. ballparks, where they had to get creative to find playing time for D.H. David Ortiz.
Weiner said the two sides are working on a format to ensure that interleague play is limited to a maximum of two series per team in the final month to avoid such inequities.
"That's very important to us,'' said Weiner. "We want to have as little interleague play as possible, knowing that there has to be some. But also, ideally, we'd like to have it so that, in the last month of the season, no team plays more than one away interleague series.
"Ideally no team would play more than one interleague series, period (in September). But when you're playing away, you're playing under rules that are not your normal rules. We're trying to get to a place where no team would play more than three games in September (under) the opposite league's rules.''