Monday, November 1, 2010

Boys of Summer?

I understand football on Thanksgiving, but baseball on Halloween?  I suppose Fox TV tried to get into the spirit, so to speak, by repeatedly showing the two former Presidents Bush in the stands, which admittedly was pretty spooky.  But couldn't the game have been played earlier in the day so that kids could enjoy the game and still have time to go trick or treating?  (I suppose Fox did not want to disturb its sacred Sunday football schedule). More fundamentally, why is baseball being played this late in the year?  In the glory days there was a 154-game schedule, no playoffs, and the World Series was played in early October.  The season was expanded to 162 games in the early 1960s after new teams were added to each league.  In 1969, after further expansion, the leagues were subdivided into divisions, and playoffs preceded the World Series.  An additional round of playoffs, including a wild card team, began in 1995, when more teams were added and each league was grouped into 3 divisions.  Teams still play 162 games (which include 18 games of inter-league play), but with more playoff games the post-season is prolonged.  In addition, there are no longer scheduled doubleheaders during the regular season.  The legendary Cub player, Ernie Banks, famously used to say, "it's a beautiful day for baseball, let's play two."  But owners were not happy with losing revenue by offering two games for the price of one, and so twin bills are no longer played unless it is to make up for a rainout.  As a result, the regular season is also longer than it used to be.  My humble solution to November baseball:  go back to the 154-game season (by eliminating some of the inter-league games), reinstitute doubleheaders, and take control back from the networks.


Berkeley TWI said...

I just read an article this morning saying Bud Selig wants to go back to 154 games but the owners are uniformly against it

Lovechilde said...

I think that is part of his plan to expand the playoffs with two wild card teams. I like this as a way of making it a little harder for wild card teams to advance.

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