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.
Friday, March 20, 2015
With five playoff spots in each league, there is a good chance that a race or two extends to the last game of the season. In an effort to amplify the drama, Major League Baseball has scheduled every game on the final day of the regular season to start at the same time.
No longer will players squirm anxiously in the clubhouse, waiting to see whether their playoff fate will be decided before they can take the field. Instead, MLB has set up what could be the ultimate day of scoreboard watching.
Posted: March 20, 2015 at 02:00 AM | 44 comment(s)
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Baseball is more popular than ever. Let’s have less of it.
In his first days as Major League Baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred has been open to considering making changes to help make the sport more marketable.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’d be willing to consider a shorter, 154-game season if there was enough interest for it.
Proving that nothing is off the table, Manfred said Monday that he would entertain shortening the regular season if there was interest in doing so.
“I don’t think length of season is a topic that can’t ever be discussed,” Manfred told ESPN.com. “I don’t think it would be impossible to go back to 154 [games].”
Manfred said discussion of season length is not at the top of his mind, adding that insiders he talks to don’t think having a season of 162 games is something that needs to be dealt with anytime soon. Manfred said concerns over the pace of the game are taking the priority. Last week, MLB implemented new rules for the upcoming season that seek to reduce the average time of a game, which clocked in at 3 hours, 2 minutes in 2014.
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