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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Update: Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo calls his shorter-season, pay-cut comments ‘my opinion’

No thank you.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2018 at 11:07 AM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: anthony rizzo, cubs

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   1. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5655910)
The obvious solution for the expanded playoffs eating deeply into the fall calendar, and thus having to start the season in mid-March to get the full slate in, is to go back to the 154 game regular season schedule.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5655917)
The obvious solution for the expanded playoffs eating deeply into the fall calendar, and thus having to start the season in mid-March to get the full slate in, is to go back to the 154 game regular season schedule.

Double-headers are a more obvious solution. They just need to fix the pace of play first.
   3. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5655919)
If he and the fellas don't get their asses in gear, they're gonna be line for a shorter season than they've had since 2014.
   4. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5655922)
Double-headers are a more obvious solution.

From the interview:

“In a perfect world, we’d start the season later and play a few scheduled doubleheaders going into an off day,” he said. “As a fan you’re going to a baseball game in April, and it’s raining, snowing and [with] freezing rain. Is it really that much fun? That’s my question.”
   5. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5655932)
Teams would never get behind the doubleheaders solution because of the reduced gate... or at least, the only way they'd go for it would be day/night doubleheaders so they can get paid for both games, which I imagine wouldn't be what the players have in mind.

Even then, though - you're probably looking at reduced revenue... unless you schedule them all for weekends, I guess.
   6. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5655933)
I dislike the WC and the expanded playoffs and prefer the two league, two division model. I would say that I prefer the two league, no division model with just the World Series, but there are way too many teams for that now.
   7. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5655935)
Dude is totally correct. Baseball schedule origins date from when people needed a cheap form of entertainment outside the house and while you watched others kind of behaved. Now the world gives people all kinds of entertainment easily accessible and a good amount free if watching YouTube vids is your thing which for kids works just fine. I will give the old timers here a bone and say 120 games played mid May to mid September. But really should be half of what is now. Yes, make it go faster, sexy cheerleaders dancing between innings is stupid so stop that but cheerleaders mixing with the crowd doing crazy #### is good so try that. Basically all the between inning #### is dumb. People want to check their phones. But during the game get people excited and get them going and not by playing some dumb music and telling them to stomp their feet. Maybe that worked in 1980 when scoreboards first showed up but we should be way past that now. More interactive. Vote on who has the best walk up music. Vote which player has the best beard. Get kids engaged. They want a voice. You are welcome and Rizzo for commish!
   8. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5655937)
This vision of baseball that you have created is what I imagine baseball will be like in 20 years. In my nightmares.
   9. BDC Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5655939)
The obvious solution for the expanded playoffs eating deeply into the fall calendar, and thus having to start the season in mid-March to get the full slate in, is to go back to the 154 game regular season schedule

I agree, though of course as long as they're not actually losing more revenue via March snowouts etc. than they're gaining via the expanded playoffs, there's unlikely to be much pressure to curtail the regular season. Opening Days will sell out no matter when you hold them, and opening series often do well across the board, what with Magnetic Schedule Nights and other fun promotions. And then by the time that excitement has worn off, it's early April and the season would be starting anyway.
   10. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5655940)
Basically all the between inning #### is dumb. People want to check their phones. But during the game get people excited and get them going and not by playing some dumb music and telling them to stomp their feet.


You're hurting DJ Vertigo's feelings...
   11. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:45 PM (#5655941)
Panik (love the name--Giant power!) Baseball can go there on its own or get forced there because of some Interstellar future where people walk away because baseball is a chore instead of fun. Teetering now. Teetering. Baseball can push itself into a future it makes or get pushed into the abyss.
   12. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:48 PM (#5655943)
I dislike the WC and the expanded playoffs and prefer the two league, two division model. I would say that I prefer the two league, no division model with just the World Series, but there are way too many teams for that now.


Has any professional sports league ever actually shrunk its playoff tournament?
   13. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5655951)

Has any professional sports league ever actually shrunk its playoff tournament?
MLB in 1994?
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5655952)
Vote on who has the best walk up music. Vote which player has the best beard.

Wow. Super exciting.
   15. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5655953)
BLB Like kids give a #### about some trivia on who hit what 30 years ago. Current MLB fan base is ####### old and dying. And the only fan base whiter is golf which is the rich dude's alt sport. I love baseball but I am the serious minority of my demo. You got ideas please volunteer.
   16. Howie Menckel Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5655954)
Fans will be legally betting on the outcome of single ABs within 5 years
   17. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5655960)
Double-headers are a more obvious solution. They just need to fix the pace of play first.


These are things that you hand wave away as if they're simple, but seem to be more complicated than that. Doubleheaders either create 20 hour work days for the players and managers (split day/night DHs) or they eliminate a gate receipt from ownership (single ticket DHs.) They also stress rosters. The simpler solution is to roll back to the 154 schedule that MLB played for decades prior to 1961.

The problem is that MLB has been expanding it's schedule be inches year over year, and now they've basically taken the "game of summer" and made it into a three and a half season haul. Going back to only 1993, the league played a 162 game regular season. There were then two 7 game LCS, then a 7 game WS. A full season, Opening Day to Game 7 of the WS, with 7 game LCS's, gave you a potential 176 game calendar.

In 1994, they added the LDS as a 5 game series. You're now up to a 181 game calendar. In 2011 they added a WC play-in, pushing the game slate up 182 per calendar year. This doesn't even account for the recent trend of putting off-days in playoff series even when the teams aren't traveling (in order to keep the number of games on a given day in the expanded playoffs era to a manageable amount.)

If they rolled back to a 154 game regular season they'd be dropping 8 games. That would reduce the calendar back to 174, just two less than the total calendar from 1994-2011. Of course, those games wouldn't be spread out evenly across all gates and ownerships. Only teams that made and advanced to the playoffs would potentially play through for the full 174. But that's a feature, not a bug.

If you reduced to 154, eliminated the useless off days during the playoffs, and had like, one single "throwback to single ticket doubleheaders!" day across the league, you could eliminate the insanity of starting baseball in mid-March, and playing it through November.
   18. McCoy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5655961)
144 games. There, I said it.
   19. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5655966)
BLB Like kids give a #### about some trivia on who hit what 30 years ago. Current MLB fan base is ####### old and dying. And the only fan base whiter is golf which is the rich dude's alt sport. I love baseball but I am the serious minority of my demo. You got ideas please volunteer.


It's less about MLB than it is live sporting events generally. MLB isn't seeing attendance declines any worse than the NFL, NBA, or even NASCAR.

By all means, toss whatever one wants onto smartphones... it's just not going to change the fundamental fact that we live in a different media world than we did even 10, much less 20+, years ago. In a world where one can view virtually any game they want on their phones, people are simply going to be less likely to bother spending the time and bucks to see it live.

Any pro sports league approaching this "problem" from the perspective of "How can we get fans to act like they did when media/access/etc was different and more rudimentary?" is already asking the wrong question. Strictly from the bottom line, the question ought to be "How can we better monetize these evolving technologies?"

   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5655970)
Nobody wants doubleheaders. The players don't want a 14-hour workday, the owners don't want the loss of a date, and the fans don't want to sit in the stands for eight hours.

Doubleheaders made sense when games were two hours long, and teams were drawing 8600 fans per date. They make no sense now, other than the fact that you somehow have to cram 162 games into the weather-appropriate dates that happen to fall between March and October.
   21. Batman Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5655971)
More interactive. Vote on who has the best walk up music. Vote which player has the best beard. Get kids engaged.
At first I read that last sentence as a kind of Bachelor-Junior-Cam, where the crowd reaction decides which two children make the best couple. I'm now about 70% sure that's not what you meant.
   22. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5655976)
More is happening here in terms of throwing out suggestions than what looks to be happening in MLB since MLBTV cannot even show last night's highlights from 2018 when it goes to commercial. How can you have a digital platform and not be able to show the awesomeness from the most recent games? WTF people?
   23. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5655977)
Rizzo somehow managed to have the hottest take possible here for both fans and his player peers. I don't think many of his peers appreciate "pay cut" talk and I don't think many fans appreciate "we're overworked" talk.

That said I think he has a point. The White Sox are looking at possibly playing 56 games in 55 days later this summer as a result of the PPD. There is no easy solution given the reality of 162 games, teams loathe to give up home dates in summer, and an increasingly volatile climate.

The solution might be to just play less games. But, that seems like a non-starter as well.
   24. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5655979)
Basically all the between inning #### is dumb. ... [D]uring the game get people excited and ... not by playing some dumb music and telling them to stomp their feet.

...

More interactive. Vote on who has the best walk up music. Vote which player has the best beard.


You had me, and then you lost me.
   25. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5655984)
Current MLB fan base is ####### old and dying.


Old people have money. And everyone's dying.
   26. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5655987)
More is happening here in terms of throwing out suggestions than what looks to be happening in MLB since MLBTV cannot even show last night's highlights from 2018 when it goes to commercial. How can you have a digital platform and not be able to show the awesomeness from the most recent games? WTF people?


Now this I agree with. I think what baseball does, and has done since TV was a thing, is the worst possible job of marketing the game to its fans. I don't know what the solution to this is, but I do know that the solution is not restricting access to games due to archaic blackout laws, or restricting access to highlights as you mentioned.

PS Thank you for the compliment on the name. :)
   27. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5655992)
tina wrote better than Dreadful Foie Gras.
   28. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:47 PM (#5655993)
Has any professional sports league ever actually shrunk its playoff tournament?


I know that it won't ever happen. I just don't like wildcards or interleague play much. I know they're not going anywhere and I love the game anyway.
   29. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5655994)
Logistically, I think 154 is ideal, with maybe a 6 Saturday or Sunday doubleheaders in the summer. If they were single admission, I think you could make them event-like and build around the idea of a full day at the park in the sun. Most stadiums now have so much extra kid stuff (climbing walls, wiffle ball) and adult stuff (breweries) that I think you could get a stronger gate than just a single admission Sat night game. Not as effective for full, baseball-only, places like Fenway and Wrigley, but even there you could maybe allow patrons to come and go into the neighborhood...
   30. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5656003)
Slivers And yet all companies looking to grow target youth who have no money today but will tomorrow and are still choosing their brand mates for life. If you are saying that baseball should go premium brand then baseball should absolutely cut the schedule, take ticket prices up by multiple of five, reduce arena seating to 25000, install all kinds of convenience, service, luxury items then hear that and sure try it. Like behind home plate at Yankee Stadium only that's the experience for everyone who can pay. everyone else watch it on their device wherever.
   31. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5656006)
I agree with #29 that part of the solution for maximizing interest is to see baseball as the central part of a wider experience. Part of why my family has enjoyed minor-league baseball more than major-league baseball is that the price point is sufficiently low that we see actually sitting in the seats as a part of the family experience. So, we get up and miss an inning to go to the kids' activities, or to get lunch or ice cream at some other part of the ballpark - or even just outside of the ballpark. With the bigs, the price of a ticket is such that you 1) feel compelled to try to keep your family's focus on the game, and 2) you've spent most of your disposable income for the day just to get into the park.
   32. Skloot Insurance Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5656007)
Put me down for a shorter regular season, with a later Opening Day, and a best-of-seven LDS round. I like the regular season, but I love the postseason product. October is just the absolute best time of the year.

154 games is probably the right number to begin the conversation, because it aligns best with "Original 16 Era" schedule and costs the owners fewer gates. But I certainly would entertain 144.

I'm not interested in doubleheaders with the current time of game stretching past three hours.
   33. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5656009)
As much as I would hate less baseball, I could live with 154 games.
   34. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5656010)
Reading some of these posts makes me think of the passage in a book where the guy thought he had it all because he had bought all the land where the railroad was coming only the railroad changed plans and never came. Change happens. You either make the change or the change happens to you. I am throwing out ideas of change that might work. Maybe they suck. Maybe they mostly suck but there is one part that is genius. Learn and adapt.
   35. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5656012)
Has baseball even done a root cause analysis on baseball pace of play or is it just five old dudes guessing? I bet it's the latter and 2 of them were worried about missing the next episode of Blue Bloods so didn't say anything.
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5656013)
Dreadful Foie Gras Posted: April 18, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5655953)
BLB Like kids give a #### about some trivia on who hit what 30 years ago. Current MLB fan base is ####### old and dying. And the only fan base whiter is golf which is the rich dude's alt sport. I love baseball but I am the serious minority of my demo.

So what demo would that be? The Bordeaux chapter of PETA?
   37. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5656016)
Now this I agree with. I think what baseball does, and has done since TV was a thing, is the worst possible job of marketing the game to its fans. I don't know what the solution to this is, but I do know that the solution is not restricting access to games due to archaic blackout laws, or restricting access to highlights as you mentioned.


20 years ago, the music industry had the same problem.

10 years ago, TV networks and film studios had a similar problem.

The owners of the licensed material that can be digitized and go virtually anywhere have not yet figured out to crack that nut, I don't expect MLB owners will be any more successful in figuring it out than those who failed before.

If it were me, my suggestion would be to just let the basic "view" go - construct whatever feed deals you can get while you can get them for a bog standard sky view of the game and look at premium models where every nook and cranny of a stadium has a digital video feed you control and upsell.

It's still a toy - and still a rich man's toy at that - but at some point in the not-too-distant future, stuff like VR, 3D video, etc are going to go mass... MLB would be wise to focus on getting a jump on owning capabilities like this early (imagine being able to construct your own personal "view" of the action.. 'watch' the game as if you sitting right behind the umpire.. or sitting on 2B... whatever).
   38. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5656018)
MLB boycotting YouTube is so ####### stupid.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5656019)
More is happening here in terms of throwing out suggestions than what looks to be happening in MLB since MLBTV cannot even show last night's highlights from 2018 when it goes to commercial. How can you have a digital platform and not be able to show the awesomeness from the most recent games? WTF people?

You must not be acquainted with Baseball Theater, with same-day highlights of all games that update at least every inning, with no commercials and all games available going back well over a decade. There's a Rockies-Pirates game right now in the top of the 5th, and there are already highlights up through the bottom of the 4th.
   40. Tim M Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5656020)
Take a chainsaw and carve off April entirely (make April all spring training), and chop off the 2nd half of Sept. Start the playoffs about Sept 15, and end the WS by Oct 15.

Yes, fewer gates, but each game would be more "precious". NFL has 16 games, and they do OK, because each game is such a big event.

And get the time between pitches down, like WAY down. I've posted it before, but look at the biggest slice of pie in the time breakdown chart on this page.

The people (namely me) have spoken. Do it now.
   41. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5656022)
TIMMY! He gets it
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5656023)
NFL has 16 games, and they do OK, because each game is such a big event.
This is a big one among the many, many reasons that football is dumb. Each game gets so exaggerated.
   43. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5656025)
This is a big one among the many, many reasons that football is dumb. Each game gets so exaggerated.


People who don't like baseball that much should just not watch as much baseball. I'm sorry but this is my main issue with people who want to lop off months of the season. I (and many baseball fans that I know) like to watch baseball. I don't care about other sports. Go watch football and basketball and ESPN if you don't like baseball that much.
   44. mathesond Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5656029)
Just convert each stadium to a dome w/retractable roof. Keep the natural grass fields as the roofs should be open the vast majority of the time. Ensure no tall building nearby that could drop ice onto the domes and damages the roofs. Heck, you could even extend the schedules to 175+ games by cutting back on spring training.
   45. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5656034)
And get the time between pitches down, like WAY down. I've posted it before, but look at the biggest slice of pie in the time breakdown chart on this page.


I agree that there is a pace problem. That has nothing to do with how many games are played though and/or how long the season is. The long season is beautiful. Cut it to 154 and everyone is on board? Fine I'm ok with that but I'd prefer 162. Once you start getting into NFL territory and turning MLB into a watered down version of the sports that I don't like though, maybe you just don't like baseball that much.
   46. Master of the Horse Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5656035)
math brings up a different approach. Target the hard core. The audience that thinks of baseball as porn and cannot get enough. Again, slash the arena size and now the marketing is all about the numbers around the game and those discussions and yes the season is 200 games long. Baseball needs to decide who is the audience. Because everyone is a shitty approach. Target the luxury crowd? Target the baseball is my sweet love crowd? Target families? Target latinos, koreans and japanese who love baseball like nobody else? Once MLB answers that then there is clarity.
   47. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5656038)
I think that in the future all sports will be niche sports. As mentioned up thread, people have too many options so they do whatever they want to do. Cater to the people who love baseball and the people who love baseball won't stop watching. Fix the pace problem and you have a chance to pick up new younger fans. Don't start putting runners on 2nd base in extra innings and making a bunch of esoteric rules that nobody understands to try to make baseball into something it isn't.
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5656061)
BLB Like kids give a #### about some trivia on who hit what 30 years ago. Current MLB fan base is ####### old and dying.

I don't think kids give a #### about walk up music and beards, either. You're just replacing boring crap with different boring crap.

Speed the game up. Make in-stadium wifi ubiquitous. Otherwise, the game is doing just fine.

As long as baseball is played in the Summer, outside in the sunshine, with beer, it will succeed.

The current fan base is old because old people have the time and boredom for 162 games a year. New old people are created every day. My social media feed is filled with old people who were never baseball fans (at least outwardly) in the past who are now big fans. Because they got old and bored and 162 fills them up.


   49. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5656065)
Make in-stadium wifi ubiquitous.
"Hey, let's go to the ballpark and spend the whole time watching other stuff on our phones! It'll be almost as awesome as that time we went to the Springsteen concert and spent the whole time on Facebook! We might even get clocked on the head with a foul ball!"
   50. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: April 18, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5656067)
Baseball was meant to be played in warm weather. I can tolerate the cold early in the season but it bothers me that the most important games of the year are played on days when it could potentially snow.

Not only should the season end by mid-October, the entire post season should be played during the day. The way they have it set up now is short sighted. They're making tons of money but as soon as my generation dies off they won't have many fans left.


edit..Just saw 48...I don't see old folks jumping on the baseball bandwagon.
   51. bunyon Posted: April 18, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5656078)
42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5656023)
NFL has 16 games, and they do OK, because each game is such a big event.
This is a big one among the many, many reasons that football is dumb. Each game gets so exaggerated.
43. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5656025)
This is a big one among the many, many reasons that football is dumb. Each game gets so exaggerated.


People who don't like baseball that much should just not watch as much baseball. I'm sorry but this is my main issue with people who want to lop off months of the season. I (and many baseball fans that I know) like to watch baseball. I don't care about other sports. Go watch football and basketball and ESPN if you don't like baseball that much.


Exactly. The only problem with small crowds and the long season is that we have developed an assumption that EVERY game must be a major event. That isn't - or hasn't been - baseball. You can miss games. You can miss weeks and pick it up later. It's a marathon. As great as October is, if we just threw everyone in a tournament, it would suck. October is great because the tension has built over many months.

It's easy to make individual games more valuable: fewer games. But you can't replicate the meaning of the season.

Baseball has many problems it should address. But there aren't too many games.
   52. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5656087)
I love these people:

"Let's eliminate 1/4 of the baseball games from the season."

"Yeah!! There are way too many. Great idea!!"

"Let's eliminate the dicking around between pitches, mound visits, endless pitching changes..."

"YOU MUST JUST HATE BASEBALL! SHUT UP!!"
   53. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5656094)
Hey, let's go to the ballpark and spend the whole time watching other stuff on our phones!

You may not realize it, but there is a ton of downtime in a baseball game. And I like to look up stats and stuff while I'm at a baseball game. People in the stadium now have the least amount of information about the game, the exact opposite of the history of the game up until about 20 years ago.

It may be the oldest-old-man-being-old thing to think that the mention of wifi means you want to ignore everything but your phone.

Maybe we should eliminate beer and concessions because GOD DAMN CN"AT OU JUST WATCH THE FRICKING GAME:!!/?>!oibne
   54. bfan Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5656095)
This may be addressed earlier in the thread; my apologies if it is.

Expand the roster by 5 players (the union says "yes"), and give your stars more rest. That way, Rizzo doesn't have to play more than say, 150 games a year. Let some other guy have the time on the field. For those that says GMs and managers will continue to pencil in their stars because of the competition and the need to win; okay. Pay a player an extra $50,000.00 for every game above 154 that he appears in, with the "bonus" increasing by $50,000.00 more, for each game over ($50,000.00 for 155th game; $100,000 for the 156th game; $150,000.00 for the 157th game, and so on, until you get an extra $400,000.00 for playing in your 162nd regular season game). Even in a high tax state like Illinois, an extra $1.4 million for the year for Rizzo's 162 game effort would be meaningful.

Fans angry or feeling cheated because they come to see the stars and they do not see them? Somehow the NBA, which is way more star-driven than MLB, has survived this. Look how many regular season games Tim Duncan played, his last year in the league.
   55. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5656096)
And I like to look up stats and stuff while I'm at a baseball game. People in the stadium now have the least amount of information about the game,


I'm surprised by this (I mean people in general looking at their phones during games). When I go to the game I like to watch the game while I talk to the person I'm at the game with. At home, by myself, I'll have a window or two open of stats and/or chats, but I don't really need anything other than the game at the park.
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5656100)
You may not realize it, but there is a ton of downtime in a baseball game. And I like to look up stats and stuff while I'm at a baseball game.
My apologies - I wasn't aiming that at you or your post specifically, I was just mocking and expressing frustration at the tons of people who really do invest the time and money to go to a live event and then do nothing but take selfies and check Facebook.
   57. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5656101)
When I go to the game I like to watch the game while I talk to the person I'm at the game with.


Don't go to Miami then.
   58. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5656103)
My apologies - I wasn't aiming that at you or your post specifically, I was just mocking and expressing frustration at the tons of people who really do invest the time and money to go to a live event and then do nothing but take selfies and check Facebook.

I have observed plenty of people taking in a concert through the 2-inch screen on their phone.
   59. Baldrick Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5656106)
People who don't like baseball that much should just not watch as much baseball. I'm sorry but this is my main issue with people who want to lop off months of the season. I (and many baseball fans that I know) like to watch baseball. I don't care about other sports. Go watch football and basketball and ESPN if you don't like baseball that much.

This is pretty much where I'm at. I'm always thrilled when Opening Day finally comes, and I'm always sad when the World Series concludes. Do I follow the season extremely closely every single day in between? No. But I'm always glad that there are games available.
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5656108)
I have observed plenty of people taking in a concert through the 2-inch screen on their phone.
Which is just about as bad. And baffling.
   61. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5656109)
"Let's eliminate the dicking around between pitches, mound visits, endless pitching changes..."

"YOU MUST JUST HATE BASEBALL! SHUT UP!!"


That is not how I arrived at the conclusion that people who want to lop 40 games off the schedule hate baseball. I am in agreement with you that we need to stop the dicking around between pitches etc. I think pace of play is a big problem. What I don't understand is why people who like baseball a lot would argue in favor of less of it. I could live without 3 rounds of playoffs, but not because I don't like to watch the extra round of games. I actually love that part of it. I only prefer a shorter postseason because it would place a greater premium on winning one's division, and make the long regular season more meaningful. But I'm not beating that drum because the extra round of playoffs are exciting and they keep more teams involved in the hunt for longer.

Also, I'm sorry if I sounded disrespectful to those of you who advocate for a shorter regular season. I just hate the threat of having even LESS baseball in comparison with the year long coverage that basketball and football get.
   62. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5656111)
Do I follow the season extremely closely every single day in between? No. But I'm always glad that there are games available.
ExACTly. One of the best things, if not the best thing about baseball, is that there is virtually always something going on somewhere during the season.
   63. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 18, 2018 at 04:55 PM (#5656130)
Take a chainsaw and carve off April entirely (make April all spring training), and chop off the 2nd half of Sept. Start the playoffs about Sept 15, and end the WS by Oct 15.

Yes, fewer gates, but each game would be more "precious". NFL has 16 games, and they do OK, because each game is such a big event.

And you think your 120-game schedule makes each a big event? It's still the same "I can miss Tuesday's game because there are five other ones this week" saturation model; nobody's gonna go, "Oh, ####, but it's 20 weeks instead of 26, so I really need to get in my Tuesday watching while I can."
   64. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5656136)
1. Some good points against double-headers but lost revenue isn't one of them, at least not in comparison to cutting back to 154 games. Eight gates lost either way. Who knows if it would still be true (or ever was true) but I recall DHs being quite popular with fans -- not drawing as many as two separate games but drawing better than one. The plus for the 154-game schedule is that presumably it would be low-attended weekday games that get dropped, especially those where they play a day game so teams can catch planes so it's the loss of 8 small gates. Probably all works out about the same. (I suppose it's 4 gates lost per team but also just 4 home DHs, same diff).

2. The demographics of everything is "old." Baby boomers y'know. The US age distribution is basically flat meaning there are roughly the same number of people aged 0-29 as 30-59 and guess which group has more money. The number 60+ is roughly the same size as 0-14. Your market is either aging or you're going bankrupt.

2a. Now if you can show a smaller percentage of young kids become fans as adults then you at least have an argument for a very long-range decline.

3. The late March start is not a function of expanded playoffs or a 162-game schedule, it's because the players wanted more days off and got them. The last game is still Sept 30, per usual.

4. Folks are over-reacting to freakishly bad weather. Freakishly bad (and good) weather will likely be more common but that freakishly bad weather is as likely to show up in mid-May or an extended hurricane season as late March. And late March wasn't that big of a problem this year -- the Cubs had just one cancellation in their first 10 scheduled games (over 11 days). Now we're in mid-April when seasons have always already started and they've had 3 cancellations in 4 days (and it should have been 4 for 5 at least). That's got nothing to do with an early start, it's got to do with what must be nearly historically terrible mid-April weather.

4a. But sure, starting late March makes this sort of start to a season more likely. This year certainly the players are losing those days off they want ... or they've essentially traded an extra day off in June for a cancelled game in March/April. So they'd probably be amenable to starting early April again.

5. But I have no major objection to going back to 154 games if that's how owners, players and broadcasters want to "solve" the "problem."

The 1955 Cubs started on April 11. Looks like they had a cancellation on the 15th (no game on a Friday) and possibly on the 13th. This year they've lost them on the 15th, 16th and 18th and should have lost one on the 14th. If that had happened in 1955, they'd have had 4 cancellations in at least their first 7 games.

A bizarre start to the schedule. Cubs in Cincy for the traditional opener on the 11th, hosted the Cards at Wrigley on the 12th, back to Cincy on the 14th, on to StL for the 16th (see no game on Fri 15th). Then up to Milw for two games, back home against Milw for 1 game (another cancellation?).

Then a home weekend series against the Red, then two days with no games before one at Pitt (another cancellation?) then onto Brooklyn playing Thurs, not Friday (another cancellation?), then Sat, then onto Philly for a Sunday DH. That Cubs team also started with 20 of their first 25 on the road, oh joy!

Chicago, April 1 2017 -- about 60 degrees no rain
April 8, 2017 -- high near 70, no rain
April 15, 2017 -- high over 80, about an inch of rain (they got the game in and the wind was blowing out so probably later in the day)

The 2017 Cubs were actually in St L to start the season on Apr 2 so probably warmer weather. They were in Milw on Apr 8 so probably the same weather. Anyway, just a year ago, it would have been an incredible week to hang out at Wrigley. This year it sucked. Baseball has pretty much always been played the week of April 11-17. Shitty random weather luck that has nothing to do with 162-game schedules, expanded playoffs, the lack of DHs, gay marriage or Donald Trump.
   65. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:06 PM (#5656140)
I don't think kids give a #### about walk up music and beards, either.


Kids give a crap about the home team stars. Young adults who still go to baseball games give a crap about baseball. Tweens and teens don't give a #### about anything.
   66. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5656144)
Tweens and teens don't give a #### about anything.


Without anything other than anecdotal evidence, this seems pretty spot on.
   67. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5656147)

Slivers And yet all companies looking to grow target youth who have no money today but will tomorrow and are still choosing their brand mates for life.


Polident doesn't. Hoverround doesn't. Viagra doesn't. The adult diaper industry is growing 7.5% per year while toy companies are filing for bankruptcy.

The country is getting grayer.
   68. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5656158)
That is not how I arrived at the conclusion that people who want to lop 40 games off the schedule hate baseball.
Oh, I know. I totally agree with you that there should not be less baseball. I just think it's ridiculous that some people (not you) who will jump all over those of us who want to get rid of the dicking around for "hating baseball" are perfectly fine with eliminating tons of, you know, actual baseball.
   69. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:41 PM (#5656161)
Oh, I know. I totally agree with you that there should not be less baseball. I just think it's ridiculous that some people (not you) who will jump all over those of us who want to get rid of the dicking around for "hating baseball" are perfectly fine with eliminating tons of, you know, actual baseball.


Yes agreed. I see what you mean now.
   70. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5656164)
The country is getting grayer.


Barring a breakthrough in cryo or life extension technologies, this is a problem with a predictable end.
   71. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5656165)
Just convert each stadium to a dome w/retractable roof. Keep the natural grass fields as the roofs should be open the vast majority of the time. Ensure no tall building nearby that could drop ice onto the domes and damages the roofs. Heck, you could even extend the schedules to 175+ games by cutting back on spring training.


Now we are talking. I am not actually against a 154 game schedule, but it just seems a bit arbitrary, simply because that is the number it was in the past. Instead of coming up with number of games first and try to create a schedule to fit it, it makes more sense to every year create a schedule and see how many games you wind up with.

I.E. Looking at it right now there are 30 teams, 3 divisions, 5 teams per division... you probably want equal number of home and road games against all same league opponents, and probably want an unbalanced schedule to help ensure the odds that the division winner has a winning record. So you are probably looking at a minimum of 14 divisional games (7 home/road--3 game series, 4 game series) or 18( 9 home/road 3 3 game series) so out of the gate just with a division rival you will have 56-72 games.... then you probably want a minimum of a home/road 3 games series against every other team in the league that is another 60 games. Interleague is going to happen no matter what, so get over your objections... and to be fair every team in the division should face every team in the interleague division...since we are no longer stuck with train travel, it makes perfect sense to go with 2 2 game series home/away giving you another 20 games minimum...and we all know that the interleague rivalry isn't going away, so that is going to be another 6 game series added to every team....

So you are looking at a schedule length of a minimum of 142 games. If you increase the division rivals to 18 games you will end up with 158 games... Decreasing division to 16 games will reduce it by another 8 to 150.... I'm sure there is a way to get to 154, but I think you are trying to hard to shoe-horn a schedule into a magic number that you arbitrarily decided upon. (making division 17 games means odd home/road numbers.)


Personally I'm not even sold on the need for an unbalanced schedule so I could see 10 games against all teams in the same league(meaning 140 games) 4 per interleague(making it 150) and 4 more for an interleague rival getting it to 154. But as many people like to argue, that means that there is a very good chance we'll see a division with a below .500 record winning the division. (although I wouldn't even object to the argument that nobody is allowed to win the division with below .500 record, in the event that happens, the first wild card gets the equivalent of the division title, and the next two best teams are the wild cards....but that will never fly)
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5656169)

I'm surprised by this (I mean people in general looking at their phones during games). When I go to the game I like to watch the game while I talk to the person I'm at the game with. At home, by myself, I'll have a window or two open of stats and/or chats, but I don't really need anything other than the game at the park.


I rarely talk during the game...I'm keeping score, watching the game, scanning the scoreboard for whatever data I can find... I talk with my girl during the game, but it doesn't take any effort away from what I'm doing. I LOVE baseball, but part of it's appeal is how many things beyond the actual play on the field is going on with the game. It's why I get upset with TV that rarely shows a full field view on a replay, as the placement of the fielders is important (and now the only reason they concern themselves with it, is because of the shift debate. For decades they never even noticed the positions of the fielders on the field because they were too busy showing closeup of the nosehair of the pitcher)

But when there is no action, and if the cap dance isn't on, I'm more interested in gathering data on the game, I'll look up boards and see reactions to plays on the field, etc.... Heck it wouldn't be a horrible idea to have a stadium specific chatboard, where people can see comments and reactions from people only in the stands. (and there is logistics on that, but it's not that tough) MLB is both ahead and behind the technology curve. You have old folks like sb who seem to think that if someone actually pays 1 second away from watching the game, they are in some myhthical "mallpark"(which doesn't exist except in really old peoples deluded minds.... Nobody is going to the game to buy concessions and shop, regardless of what fossils like SB think)
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5656173)
dangit, ran out of time to make the edit on 71.... that final paragraph should have read.

Personally I'm not even sold on the need for an unbalanced schedule so I could see 10 games against all teams in the same league(meaning 140 games) 4 per interleague(making it 160) and 4 more for an interleague rival getting it to 164. But as many people like to argue, that means that there is a very good chance we'll see a division with a below .500 record winning the division. (although I wouldn't even object to the argument that nobody is allowed to win the division with below .500 record, in the event that happens, the first wild card gets the equivalent of the division title, and the next two best teams are the wild cards....but that will never fly)


   74. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: April 18, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5656176)
NFL has 16 games, and they do OK, because each game is such a big event.

This is a big one among the many, many reasons that football is dumb. Each game gets so exaggerated.
I'll meet you both halfway: the NFL's OK. However, I don't want baseball to ape the NFL. When I want to watch football, I do. When I watch baseball, which is much more often, I don't want it to resemble football. Keep each sport distinct.
   75. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: April 18, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5656180)
Exactly. The only problem with small crowds and the long season is that we have developed an assumption that EVERY game must be a major event. That isn't - or hasn't been - baseball. You can miss games. You can miss weeks and pick it up later. It's a marathon. As great as October is, if we just threw everyone in a tournament, it would suck. October is great because the tension has built over many months.

It's easy to make individual games more valuable: fewer games. But you can't replicate the meaning of the season.

Baseball has many problems it should address. But there aren't too many games.
I agree with all of this. Every day from April to September, if you have a few hours of free time, baseball is there for you. And if you don't have the time, it's there the next day too. It's not about watching every game, or making every game do or die, NFL-style. It's about knowing that on 9 out of 10 days, time and life circumstances permitting, you can watch your favorite team play, and on the 10th day you can watch a number of other teams.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5656183)
and on the 10th day you can watch a number of other teams.


Which is why I've been upset with the schedule makers the past two years, they have done a terrible job of guaranteeing at least 7 games a day. I would think that would be a minimum standard to shoot for throughout the season.
   77. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: April 18, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5656191)
The first thing they should do is expand or shift teams so that there is an even number of teams in each league then promptly shitcan Interleague Play!

I know this is a dream and will never happen, but the novelty of interleague wore off a long, long time ago.
   78. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 18, 2018 at 07:39 PM (#5656228)
The thing is that the group "People Who Don't Like Baseball" is growing, because its numbers are being continually bolstered by immigrants formerly of the group "People Who Like Baseball".

Baseball has not been changing in a good way. The meandering drunken snail's pace is a problem. Late innings almost always being pitched by anonymous, generic relievers is a problem. So is far too much Three True Outcomes, not nearly enough athletes moving.
   79. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 08:28 PM (#5656254)
I know this is a dream and will never happen, but the novelty of interleague wore off a long, long time ago.


I still love it, wish that my team wasn't kept from the premiere interleague teams though because of the fact that we will draw well no matter what.

I would rather see a Cardinal vs Angels game over a Cardinals versus another Reds game. I just got random tickets from somebody....and I'm obviously going, but it's probably going to be my 10th time seeing the Pirates against the Cardinals (and I only go to about 6 games a year on average the past 15 years) I like the variety of interleague. I still wish that they would change the rules for the second game in the series to represent the visitors, that is, to me, such an obvious way to celebrate interleague play, that the fact it hasn't happened yet is annoying as ####.


   80. dejarouehg Posted: April 18, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5656255)
I don't understand anyone that wants less baseball, though starting the season in March is stupid.

The mantra that the best thing about baseball is that it has no clock, is a distant second to the fact that the best thing about baseball is that there is so much of it. I love the fact that the White Sox A's game is still going and I could care less who wins.

The continual bashing of aging white America is getting older than the people they are complaining about. This is where the money is and the growing Asian and Hispanic communities are enjoying continued economic growth and are fans of the game, and are increasingly important sources of future potential revenue. The fact that the African American community doesn't take to the game, if that was the point upthread, is just an unfortunate fact of life but not one that has a real impact on the economic viability of the sport.

Eliminate Interleague Play and if there must be, it's confined to July where the chances of a rain-out are limited.

Eliminate Off days in the post season except a minimum of two days between series.

First round after the play-in game(s) is best of 3 (I'd love to go back to pre-WC days but it will never happen) with better record hosting all 3.

Cold Weather, domeless teams have no home games until 4/15.

Each team must schedule at least 6 Saturday, day-night double headers with the right to expand their roster by 3 players who have less than 3 years of MLB experience, and declaring 3 players ineligible for each game, with all players getting credit for full service time, even if inactive.

Any team building a new ball park in a questionable area should be required to have a dome. (WTF was Minnesota thinking???) Any existing team in difficult-weather areas that add a dome gets a $25 million annual credit towards any salary restrictions for 10 years (OK, I just jumped the shark. Just trying to figure some financial incentive to do what should have been obvious to the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Twins, Tigers, etc. from the start.)

And my real dream would be to eliminate the two FLorida teams. Should never have expanded there to start. Can use the Miami ball park to host bad weather teams through the first month of the year.
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5656256)
Baseball has not been changing in a good way. The meandering drunken snail's pace is a problem. Late innings almost always being pitched by anonymous, generic relievers is a problem. So is far too much Three True Outcomes, not nearly enough athletes moving.


Agree to an extent, and sadly baseball just doesn't seem to get what is causing the particular problem. As we have pointed out over and over, the single biggest step is the timeclock option, and that alone could shave up to 10-20 minutes off of a game, once the players get used to it(and more importantly allow spectators to maintain interest)

I've argued for many other changes, just like pretty much everyone here, and yet somehow, something that not many people cared about....catcher visits to the mounds, ended up being the one that they went after. Ultimately it boils down to convincing MLB that they need to encourage less three true outcomes.

I think it's weird that MLB has considered outlawing shifts, yet very little talk has been mentioned on glove sizes. I've argued, and will continue to argue, that if you limit the size of all but catchers/first baseman gloves, to the size of the typical second baseman glove that it will slowly encourage more balls in play, simply because the fielders aren't going to get to as many balls. This raises obp(by average) at less of a cost than trying to work a walk with the increase in strikeouts. It would probably take 3-5 years before the batters change any approach, but it will happen, considering how fast the hitters have gotten on board with spin and exit velocity type of talk.


And there are probably dozens of other options out there, which doesn't create arbitrary moronic rules to tie the managers hands (must face three batters before being pulled type of idiocy) which would increase the aesthetics of the game. Heck just a roster limit of X number of pitchers would do a much better job than creating an arbitrary minimum batters faced concept.
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 08:44 PM (#5656258)
Any team building a new ball park in a questionable area should be required to have a dome. (WTF was Minnesota thinking???) Any existing team in difficult-weather areas that add a dome gets a $25 million annual credit towards any salary restrictions for 10 years (OK, I just jumped the shark. Just trying to figure some financial incentive to do what should have been obvious to the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Twins, Tigers, etc. from the start.)


Not a fan of most of the stuff you proposed above this quoted part, but I fully support MLB using their discretionary funding to help fund parks or encourage better park design. The worst thing about the trend towards 'retro' parks is that these stadiums then refused to put a roof on it. There is absolutely zero reason for ANY stadium built ANYWHERE in this country after 1990 or so, to not have at least a retractable roof. (and yes that includes my beloved Cardinals) The financial incentive to have a dome is that, and I'm sure the data supports me on this, even though I don't have it, is that postponed games get significantly less actual attendance, and reduced actual attendance means less revenue from concessions/parking etc that isn't money that is part of revenue sharing. Yes I'm sure bad weather games also get less actual attendance, but I doubt it's anywhere close to the level of a postponed game.

Heck, instead of giving them money for a domed stadium, fine them for every postponed game if they built a stadium and didn't put a dome on.
   83. BDC Posted: April 18, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5656261)
Interleague play has been around so long that now it would seem odd not to have it – and I say this as a Grandpa-Simpson type who can remember single-division leagues. I am used to it, and it's given me a chance finally to have seen all 30 clubs.

I am a little the opposite of cfb, though. I like imbalanced schedules and seeing the same teams come through frequently. It is really hard to keep track of a lot of players on all thirty teams; for most of them I know only a few stars. At least with the AL West, I have a fighting chance to know the lineups, and I do not get tired of seeing the Angels and Astros these days. (Though as to that, I am going to see the Athletics next week and I couldn't have told you most of their lineup before looking it up … in my defense, they're the Oakland Athletics and their motto is "Roster Churn.")

Though the current system has a team play 47% of its games intradivision. That's more than the NFL (37.5%), though of course the divisions are one team larger. NFL teams play 1/8 of their games against each division rival, and MLB teams play 19/162, which is slightly less than 1/8. It works for me in both sports.

With more balanced schedules, I would barely know anybody on the typical visiting club. Just a matter of taste, I guess.

absolutely zero reason for ANY stadium built ANYWHERE in this country after 1990 or so, to not have at least a retractable roof

At last someone who sees it my way :-D
   84. Greg K Posted: April 18, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5656262)
The country is getting grayer.


Barring a breakthrough in cryo or life extension technologies, this is a problem with a predictable end.

Maybe the demographic crisis in Japan is all just an experiment engineered by Major League Baseball to use the NPB to test out strategies for use in the US.
   85. BDC Posted: April 18, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5656263)
Thinking a little more about frequency of playing rivals: in single-division days teams of course played each division rival 1/7 of their schedule, then briefly 1/9. In early two-division days it was 1/9, still OK. In the balanced two-division setup in the 14-team AL, the frequency of each intradivision rival dropped to between 1/11 and 1/12: I don't think that was ideal. It was still lower in early three-division days: between 1/12 and 1/13. I think that had gotten out of hand in terms of maintaining interest in division races. It's between 1/8 and 1/9 again now, oddly enough a more traditional figure.
   86. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2018 at 09:41 PM (#5656270)
I'm not pro- or anti- unbalanced schedules, I'm just in the camp that it doesn't really matter to me if a team has a sub .500 record and wins the division. They did their job. I do somewhat like the rivalry aspect of an unbalanced schedule though, which adds appeal and excitement to one of those games... but again, I'm a fan of a team that is going to draw well no matter what, so the league decides to screw us by not scheduling our biggest rival ANY home series on the weekend, simply because the league knows it's going to draw well. That is the curse of being the Cardinals/Red Sox/Yankees/Dodgers, you will draw well no matter what, so the schedule makers go out of their way to screw your schedule over. ---sorry I digress....

I get the appeal of an unbalanced schedule, that is fine, I don't get the desire by the league to lock it into a 162 game schedule no matter what, so some teams get 18 games against a division opponent while others get 19 etc. Screw that. Start from a plan on how you want the schedule to look like, and end up with the number of games you end up with. As a fan, I'm perfectly fine with anywhere between 154-175 games.... actually I'll support 250 personally, but I get the impracticability of that. The thing is to design the schedule before you decide on the number of games.
   87. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 18, 2018 at 10:28 PM (#5656285)
#### it, let it all out, with Bill Veeck as our mentor:

Start the season in mid-April

154 game schedule

Keep the ratio of intradivision, interdivision and interleague games. Balanced schedules with this many teams will diminish the best rivalries.

All night games start at 6:30 before Memorial Day and after Labor Day

Bring back Knothole Gangs and let unaccompanied kids 12 and under into the bleachers for free on selected Saturday afternoon games. Short range revenue loss, long range memories that will create new baseball fans. Having to bring along a parent or chaperone spoils the occasion. Teaches kids a bit of independence, though they're allowed to be dropped off at the park entrance by their Old Farts.

Every team has to have one day game a year with free admission for all, first come, first served, no reserved seating. Rewards physical effort, not the fastest bots, creates huge buzz and favorable media coverage, and helps expand the fan base. Beer sales cut off after the 5th inning for obvious reasons.

Fans who hand in a coherently completed scorecard after the game is over get to enter a lottery with a prize big enough to make the effort worthwhile. Helps fight the Dodger Stadium Syndrome.

Bring back general admission seating for at least one game a month per team, no advance sales

At least one World Series game has to be a day game, probably a Saturday game 3

Let kids run around the bases for 15 minutes after every game

Mandatory autograph sessions for 20 minutes after the gates open, with 5 players per game on a rotating basis, and no autographs for obvious adults

   88. The Duke Posted: April 18, 2018 at 11:48 PM (#5656312)
Why don’t they just play The first two weeks of live games in Arizona and florida. Weather is nice and the crowds would be packed. An added benefit would be a huge number of beautiful new taxpayor funded stadiums
   89. dejarouehg Posted: April 18, 2018 at 11:59 PM (#5656315)
Why don’t they just play The first two weeks of live games in Arizona and florida. Weather is nice and the crowds would be packed.
I assume, with respect to Florida, you mean if the Florida teams aren't involved.

If the Cubs play the Mets in Miami, and they're both competitive, there's a good chance they'll draw 40k. I know I would fly down for that. But in general, regular season MLB in Florida is a dead-end. Chance of long-term success as currently constituted = nil.

Rotating two cold weather teams that have snowbirds in FLA, will be a draw for a couple of weeks.

(WTF was Jeter thinking? I love when players say he'll be successful there b/c he's had a midas touch his entire life, as if anything he did in the past is analogous to this fiasco...)
   90. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 19, 2018 at 08:22 AM (#5656349)
the crowd reaction decides which two children make the best couple. I'm now about 70% sure that's not what you meant.


But this is the best idea in the whole thread!! Go to the ballpark, get your kid married off! It's like winning the lottery!!
   91. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 19, 2018 at 01:26 PM (#5656541)
And there are probably dozens of other options out there, which doesn't create arbitrary moronic rules to tie the managers hands (must face three batters before being pulled type of idiocy)

To the contrary, I don't think "must face three batters" is arbitrary, moronic, or idiotic. It's simply a small extension of the limit which has already existed for decades (forever?), that limit being "one."
   92. BDC Posted: April 19, 2018 at 03:39 PM (#5656651)
it doesn't really matter to me if a team has a sub .500 record and wins the division. They did their job.

In a sense; though: take an extreme example. In the 1944 National League, balanced schedule of course, the four western clubs all finished ahead of the four eastern clubs. If there'd been an LCS in 1944, the Cardinals (105 wins) would have played the Giants (67 wins). I'm not sure what job the Giants would have done :)

But I am with you in that if some club nowadays wins a division with a slightly worse record than a wild-card club, the situation (especially given unbalanced schedules) is arguably so different that it's not very bothersome (and even less so with the two-wild-card setup, which makes it hard (though not impossible) to go home after 162 with a better record than teams that get to keep playing.
   93. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 19, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5656675)
In a sense; though: take an extreme example. In the 1944 National League, balanced schedule of course, the four western clubs all finished ahead of the four eastern clubs. If there'd been an LCS in 1944, the Cardinals (105 wins) would have played the Giants (67 wins). I'm not sure what job the Giants would have done

That was a flip-flop from 1916, when the four eastern NL clubs finished ahead of the four western clubs. The fourth place Giants wound up 19 games ahead of the 5th place Cubs, which was a much bigger gap than there was between the 4th place Cubs and the 5th place Giants in 1944.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: April 19, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5656687)
let unaccompanied kids 12 and under into the bleachers for free on selected Saturday afternoon games

You must be unfamiliar with modern parenting.
   95. Howie Menckel Posted: April 19, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5656705)
if some club nowadays wins a division with a slightly worse record than a wild-card club, the situation (especially given unbalanced schedules) is arguably so different that it's not very bothersome

in 2010, the Seahawks won the NFC West at 7-9, while their playoff opponents, the Saints, were 11-5. winning the division was so important that the Seahawks got a home game that they won, 41-36.

bothersome?
   96. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 19, 2018 at 05:22 PM (#5656737)
let unaccompanied kids 12 and under into the bleachers for free on selected Saturday afternoon games

You must be unfamiliar with modern parenting.


Hardly. It's more like I'd like to overturn it. I know the sacred fathers/sons and now fathers/daughters bonding tales surrounding baseball and all that, but I had much more fun at the 90% of games I went to either with friends or by myself. Once you're past about the age of 8 or 9, parents just get in the way at the ballpark.
   97. PreservedFish Posted: April 19, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5656762)
I'm a fan of the idea, Andy, but realistically it's all but impossible nowadays. Best you could hope for are kids "let loose" in a strictly defined area, monitored by official team chaperones, with buddy system checkoffs every 2 innings. Eventually it would cost more than a regular ticket - and while MLB day camp might be a fun idea, it's the opposite of what you've imagined here.
   98. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 19, 2018 at 06:38 PM (#5656764)
To the contrary, I don't think "must face three batters" is arbitrary, moronic, or idiotic. It's simply a small extension of the limit which has already existed for decades (forever?), that limit being "one."
CFB's passion on that issue makes me think he is actually Tony LaRussa.
   99. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 19, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5656765)
let unaccompanied kids 12 and under into the bleachers for free on selected Saturday afternoon games
You'd need a specially designated parking lot nearby for Middle-Aged Guys in Windowless White Vans, otherwise they'd block traffic, and that would be a problem.
   100. PreservedFish Posted: April 19, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5656768)
You'd need a specially designated parking lot nearby for Guys in Windowless White Vans


This discussion always interests me, as a parent. Parents are SO MUCH more careful with their kids these days. And every statistic says that kids are safer than ever. But is that just because of all the helicopter parenting? If the kids were all let loose tomorrow, would the world appear to remain as safe? And how important is survivorship bias here? My aunt tells me that in the early 60s she would just park the stroller outside the grocery store in Brooklyn, totally unattended on the street. Her kids were fine. But the kids that got stolen aren't here to tell us their cautionary tale.

I rode the NYC subway by myself when I was 11. I get the impression that now, just a generation later, that would be seen as reckless behavior. But the generation before mine had 8 years olds on the subway, I'm sure.
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