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What's New This Season

New divisions

Each league will now contain three divisions instead of two. A Central Division has been added to the East and West groupings. This has led to new geographical assignments in several cases. The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds will now be in the National League Central along with the St. Louis Cardinals, who had been in the East. New playoff format

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The playoffs have expanded to include eight teams, twice as many as before. In addition to three divisions in each league, there will also be a wild card club that possesses the best record among non-division-winners. This will require an extra tier of games before the World Series. The first-round will be best-of-five, with a best-of-four format thereafter. The changes are aimed at creating more fan interest and additional revenue. New leadership

The National League elected Leonard Coleman to succeed president Bill White, thereby making Coleman, like his predecessor, the game's highest-ranking black official. A Princeton University graduate who once batted .179 for the Tigers, Coleman moved up from executive director of market development for Major League Baseball.

Meanwhile, the major leagues still haven't replaced commissioner Fay Vincent. Among those mentioned as possible successors are retiring Sen. George Mitchell (D) of Maine and Harvey Schiller, executive director of the US Olympic Committee. New stadiums

The paint may barely be dry when the first games are played in Cleveland's Indians Park and The Ballpark, in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers. Both facilities reflect the new trends in stadium design, which incorporate an old-time feel with modern amenities. New insignia

Call the Detroit Tigers these days, and the receptionist answers, ``There's a new tiger on the prowl.'' The reference is to a new logo, which has a tiger leaping through the club's famous letter ``D.'' New collector cards

Premium cards, with foil wrappers, are expected to be popular with adult collectors and youngsters on hefty allowances - a pack can cost $5. Parents who say ``baloney to that'' might in fact find themselves buying bologna. For a limited time, Oscar Mayer bologna packages (and Kraft Singles) include a ``Pop-up'' baseball card.

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