Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baseball Season – T-o-o L-o-n-n-n-n-g

So, here it is, just a few days from the 11th month of the year and the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and we’re all ready to start the Fall Classic. The weather in Kansas City will be in the low 50s, with a chance of rain. It's marginally better in NYC. Who knows, though, what it’ll be like 8 days from now, when the series wraps up. Maybe it’ll snow!

I mean, what says baseball more than mittens, parkas, ski masks, and thermal blankets, right? Seriously, though, I guess we should be thankful we’re not in Minnesota or Boston. 

So, if that doesn’t sound crazy enough for you, how about the fact that baseball goes for over 7 months, from April to November.  And if you add in spring training, that’s March through November – 8 months! Three-fourths of the year! Every season but winter!

Games? We all know there are 162 in the regular season. Add the postseason in, though, and that could be up to 181. Add in spring training, and we’re talking about maybe 215 games. I work fewer days that that!

A Modest Proposal

Geez, how did all this come about? I mean, wasn’t there a time when the season was only 154 games, and the postseason was only the World Series? That’s 161 tops, less than the whole regular season today.

So, how might we slim things down a little? Here are my humble suggestions …

Regular Season

How about if we just go back to that old schedule? Heck, it was good enough for Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, right? Should be good enough for Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. 

It also might make it easier to compare regular-season records as well. I mean, look what happened the first year they instituted the 162-game schedule. Ever heard of this guy named Roger Maris?

It might also make it easier to compare career records too. How many homers would Babe Ruth hit if he had played in 162 games a year? How many would Barry Bonds have hit if he played in 154? 

Suggestion:  revert to 154-game season
Savings:  3 days (and that’s saving a bunch of games at the beginning of the season too – no more Rockies in the snow)

Play-In Game

Next, we gotta eliminate that stupid play-in game. I mean, that thing is just so unfair. This year, for example, the team with the 2nd best record in baseball (Pittsburgh) was out on the first day.  I can’t wait ‘til the team with the worst record in the post-season wins it all. You know it’s going to happen. 

Mind you, I have absolutely no beef with the wild card. I think it was a brilliant idea, allowing teams that might have the 2nd best record in the league a chance to compete when they might otherwise be left out.

And I also have no beef against the one-game playoff … when the two teams are tied at the end of the regular season, that is. There is after all a long – and dramatic history – of these things. 

Further, what happens if the two wild-card teams just so happen to be tied at the end of the season? We’re then adding 2 more days. Sheesh!

Suggestion:  eliminate the play-in game
Savings:  2 days

League Championship Series

Next, we could make the LCS 5 games, instead of 7. There is precedent for that as well. In fact, best-of-5 was the format between 1969, when playoffs were instituted, and 1984. 

For some reason, the LCS went to best of 7 in 1985. That was okay, though, as there was only one playoff before the Series. 

In 1995, though, the League Division Series was also added. So, that’s an extra 5 games, plus all the travel. And now we’re playing in November!

It also means we’re getting pretty inconsistent as well. I mean, why is the LDS 5 and the LCS 7? Further, why is the old LCS 5 and the new LCS 7?

Finally, I think 7-game series also take something away from the World Series itself. Why not reserve 7-game series just for it? Let’s keep the Series special and unique.

Suggestion:  make the LCS a 5-game series
Savings:  2 days

In Sum

Overall savings:  7 days

What would the schedule look like? How’s this work for you:

  • LDS:  10/1 - 10/7
  • LCS:  10/9 - 10/15
  • WS:  10/17 - 10/25

Hey, we’d be done by now! And much warmer to boot.

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