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Northwest League Shifts To Five-Game Championship Series

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For the first time since 2009, when the league added divisional series to its playoff schedule, the Northwest League’s championship series will be a best-of-five affair. Previously, the division and championship series were both best-of-three events.

The change was proposed and agreed to at this year’s Winter Meetings.

“It was at our Directors Meeting,” NWL president Mike Ellis said. “They determined that they’d like to have a series in the final that’s longer than the semifinals. It was proposed, and I think it was unanimous.”

The last NWL best-of-five series was in 2009, when Salem-Keizer defeated Tri-City three games to one. Two three-game divisional series were introduced the next season, followed by a best-of-three championship series. Everett triumphed that year, two games to one, over Spokane.

The division series will stay best-of-three series as well.

Portland Extends PDC Through 2020

The Portland Sea Dogs announced on Friday that they’d extended their Player Development Contract with the Red Sox through the year 2020.

“We are excited to extend our development partnership with the city of Portland and the Sea Dogs organization,” Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett said. “Hadlock Field remains a significant stepping stone for Red Sox prospects en route to Fenway Park. We appreciate the consistent support shown to our players and staff by the Sea Dogs fan base and the organization led by Bill Burke, Sally McNamara, Charlie Eshbach and Geoff Iacuessa.”

Portland has been affiliated with Boston since 2003.

“We are pleased and proud to extend our relationship with the Boston Red Sox, one of the premiere franchises in professional sports,” Sea Dogs chairman Bill Burke said. “We thank the Red Sox for continuing to place their trust in us and look forward to continuing to give our amazing fans a chance to see future big league stars in action, right here in Portland.”

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With the extension, six of the 12 Eastern League teams have PDCs that run at least through 2018, the next time clubs can seek new affiliates. Portland joins Akron, Binghamton, Erie and Richmond as clubs with PDCs through 2020, and Trenton will affiliate with the Yankees through 2022.

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