Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The world should be ready, 18 years after Bud Selig put the idea forward, for baseball to have geographic realignment. Interleague play demystified the concept of every team playing against every other team, the game would benefit from adding intensity to the rivalries it has generated and, as a bonus, it would allow MLB to once and for all settle the designated hitter debate — if the majors are split into regions, there would be no more hand-wringing about ruining the sanctity of National League baseball. Further, if baseball stuck with an unbalanced schedule, geographic realignment could further reduce the travel burden for teams, helping players stay healthier and the on-field product to be stronger than ever.
Imagine this year’s races with the Astros-Rangers race joined by Mets-Yankees and Cardinals-Royals races, or last year with Angels-Dodgers and Orioles-Nationals. Last year, Baltimore and Washington both went 96-66 – they could have had the Beltway’s answer to the 1951 Dodgers-Giants playoff, which is only one of the hallmark moments in baseball history.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark, director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, each said Tuesday that the topic would be heavily discussed in negotiations for their next collective bargaining agreement, which expires in December 2016.
“In looking back from the time I played to now that I’m watching what these guys are doing, I don’t know how they do it,” Clark said. “What these guys are being asked to do with respect to games’ start times, with respect to the travel distances themselves, with respect to performing at an elite level with three days off a month, is a challenge.
“I think that’s why as we continue to move forward here, and guys continue to be asked to do more and more, it’s something that we have to look at significantly.
“We’re at a point in time where perhaps there are any number of things that guys are being asked to do that’s directly affecting the way they play. And that’s not beneficial for anybody.”
The schedule has never been more demanding on players. Teams are playing more night games than at any other time in history. Teams, even on getaway days, usually don’t get to their hotel until 2 or 3 in the morning, and after a few hours of sleep they are back on the field.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Baseball is great! Let’s have less of it!
“Players have asked about 154,” Manfred said, via MLB.com. “I think 154 is a topic that is complicated. It has big competitive and economic ramifications. Having said that, I think in the 20-something years I’ve worked in the game, there’s more conversation about it than there has been in a long time.”
It has been more than 50 years since baseball switched to a 162-game schedule, and one of the points of debate back in the 1960s likely would resurface quickly if there was a serious move to turn back the clock: statistical integrity. Baseball loves its records, and just as many were upset about the impact adding eight games to the schedule would have on Babe Ruth’s home run records, many (now armed with social media) probably would be similarly affronted by going the other way.
The most important roadblock, though, would figure to come from those who pay Manfred’s salary — the owners. Dropping eight games overall means dropping four home dates for each team, and that’s a decent chunk of change. Not that any owner can claim poverty, particularly given the state of television rights deals these days, but owners aren’t generally in the business of finding ways to give away revenue.
for his generous support.
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