This will be a topic of discussion on tonight’s edition of The Baseball Show by Diamond Hoggers podcast, but we recently read a post by Rob Neyer over on ESPN’s SweetSpot blog in which he comes up with a few ideas to shorten the regular season:
Of course, no one can control Mother Nature, but the decision-makers can take steps to make sure the elements don’t become a factor.
First, start the season a week earlier.
Then, shorten the regular season. This would not require too much heavy lifting. Sure, there’s a better chance of Selig apologizing for the Steroid Era than slicing any games off the 162-game schedule, but adding regularly scheduled doubleheaders to all 30 team calendars could have the same condensing effect.
Major League Baseball has gotten away from playing doubleheaders, but Ernie Banks had the right idea: It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame. Let’s play two!
The only thing better than watching a baseball game at a major league park would be watching two games on the same day for the price of one. That’s how it used to be every Sunday and on holidays in the Show. Now the only time two games are played on the same day is when a prior game between the same teams is postponed due to inclement weather or some other unforeseen circumstances.
But the status quo doesn’t have to stay the status quo. Why not start scheduling a series of day-night doubleheaders on weekends during the season? Owners could still get gate receipts for two games, and if every team played four or five doubleheaders a season, that would cut a week off the season.
Now, this one we actually like. The suggestion doesn’t actually ‘shorten’ the regular season in terms of the 162 regular season games, which we think is a MAJOR no-no.
The 162 game schedule needs to stay, and we’ll talk about the reasons that it should always be that amount on tonight’s show.
This is not the first talk we’ve heard of Baseball needing to do something about the length of the regular season so that postseason games aren’t played in late October and early November.
If you’ve got an opinion on this, weigh in on it in the comments section. Personally, we’re traditionalists. Playing 162 games forces the cream to rise to the top, and it forces players to run the gauntlet of consistency to have a ‘great’ season statistically.
More on this on tonight’s podcast.