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Friday, March 27, 2020

Column: Enough greed, just shorten the baseball season

Major league owners and players seem to be in rare agreement. They want to play as many games as possible, as soon as possible.

Ordinarily that would be something to cheer for. But one look at the line of people in masks stretching outside Costco at 7 a.m. is evidence enough that we’re not in ordinary times.

The coronavirus has upended life as we know it. What would have been opening day on Thursday became instead a time for most to revisit old memories, not make new ones.

The only thing we know for sure is that this will be a season like no other. There is no template for sports any more, with the Masters still TBD and the Indy 500 pushed back to August at the soonest.

So, what responses do all of you have for this commentary?


QLE Posted: March 27, 2020 at 01:14 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: commentary, dollah dollah bills, y'all, shorten the schedule

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 27, 2020 at 02:15 AM (#5933930)
There's not really much in it. In the end, all he objects to are the notions of trying to cram in "9 games a week" via DHs of 7-inning games (has anybody proposed anything that extreme?), Boras's silly idea of Christmas Day WS and ... while he doesn't quite object, doesn't want them to go overboard in moving playoffs to warm/indoor neutral sites in Nov.

So basically ... don't make the reg season run through Oct, don't have the WS end around Thanksgiving, and if you do those things, at least don't try to cram 150 games into 17 weeks. I don't think any of those are too realistic to begin with but, if there are serious proposals out there, I probably agree more than disagree.

Note one reason I don't think they would is that if baseball is back, then football is back. I won't be surprised if, between college and pros, there's a "major" football game nearly every day of the week. Plus hockey and basketball will be back. I'm not sure there's that much TV revenue to be had in Nov/Dec and what kind of crowds are you going to draw to neutral site games anyway.

Anyway, while obviously MLB has to make contingency plans, it's all moot until we have somebody what the return date actually is. But as I pointed out earlier today (not uniquenly I'm sure), the 81 season let teams into the playoffs based on (two) seasons around 55 games. That kinda sets a lower bound for a "unavoidable but legit" shortened season. If they can't get back until mid-Aug then I can see them getting extra creative to squeeze in 60 reg season games and full playoffs. If it's earlier, my best guess is a season that ends on time with a regular Sat day/night DH.
   2. The Duke Posted: March 27, 2020 at 07:54 AM (#5933941)
The virus is attacking all our major cities. Maybe the teams should consider playing games at minor league parks in less devastated areas. I’m sure the players do not want to be forced into NYC or Boston or Seattle or Chicago right now. If you aren’t going to have fans might as well play out in the country.
   3. DL from MN Posted: March 27, 2020 at 08:32 AM (#5933953)
Maybe the teams should consider playing games at minor league parks in less devastated areas.

The people who live in small towns don't want hordes of infected people visiting their towns.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: March 27, 2020 at 08:36 AM (#5933956)
By the time they're ready to play games, the small towns may be no less devastated than the big cities. Could be quite the opposite.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 27, 2020 at 10:11 AM (#5933981)
I hate the imputation of bad faith, the idea that if anyone tries to find a way to have something resembling a normal baseball season, it must be because of "greed."
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 27, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5934104)
I hate the imputation of bad faith, the idea that if anyone tries to find a way to have something resembling a normal baseball season, it must be because of "greed."
FDR thought MLB should continue during WWII, when the stakes were even higher. The logistics are more than a bit different now, but the same approach seems appropriate, although it’s too early to say whether they will be able to pull it off.

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