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The Crushing MLB Schedule Should Be 154 Games



By Mike Silva ~ March 9th, 2012. Filed under: MLB News.

Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin was a guest of Chris Russo on Mad Dog Radio, yesterday. During the interview he pointed out that his team played 203 games 227 days last season.

Think about that.

Spring schedules are now in excess of 30 games. Granted, most of the star players don’t play the entire game or make punitive road trips, but the Brewers played over 200 games in 8 months.

All big league teams play 162 games in 180 days.

Now do you see why the expanded playoff format was hotly debated?

MLB.com has yet to release the postseason schedule for this season. The last day of the regular season is Wednesday, October 3rd. From what I understand, Thursday, October 4th will be a day off. The Wild Card play-in game will be Friday, with the winner opening up in their home ballpark on Saturday (I really hate this, but no reason to get off track).

The schedule is so wacky that it’s unfair to judge it because they shoved the expanded playoffs into this season. Make no mistake about it; although the players were on board with extra playoffs, Bud Selig wanted it in 2012. The players were more than willing to wait a season.

Even with a planned schedule in 2013, does the new tier of playoffs make the 162-game schedule outdated?

Yes, I know the owners will never give up the revenue from 8 games, but it should at least be discussed. Why not increase prices for the 154 games that remain (they are going to do it anyway) to make up for it? Ironically, Melvin said to Russo the Brewers “didn’t make as much money as people think” with their extra playoff dates due to expanded costs (believe what you will). The carryover from last year’s success is when the profits start to come in.

Common sense dictates the league will lose money if the quality of play declines. Most teams that are out of contention in September don’t draw all that well the final 2-3 weeks, anyway. I don’t have the economics or the figures, but a company has to invest in its product in order for it to grow. Major League Baseball owners have traditionally wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They need to re-invest in the product on the field.

Every GM and manager that Russo spoke to liked the expanded playoffs, but was unsure about it being only 1 game. With a 154 game schedule there could be discussion about a best 2 of 3 (more revenue). At the very least it would add flexibility to the playoff scheduling.

Imagine the chaos this year if weather or ties messes with a schedule without flexibility? The season starts on Wednesday, April 4th. We have seen the issues with weather when the season starts in late March. How much earlier will they have to start to add flexibility to the schedule going forward?

Of course, that isn’t Bud Selig’s concern. The players’ health and well-being is always secondary. It’s revenue, networks and dollars. Maybe even a little bit about his legacy, as well.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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2 Responses to The Crushing MLB Schedule Should Be 154 Games

  1. Joseph DelGrippo

    MLB will never reduce the amount of games.

    If the teams are worried about player health over a long season, then they should expand the rosters to include more players. Since most players today are specialists such as one inning pitchers, LOOGY’S and defensive specialists, extra spots on a roster should include more versatile players who can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield, and possbily fill in as catcher in a pinch.

    But this issue with expanded rosters is about money, too.

    While the owners like the longer schedule and expanded playoffs for more paydays, the owners don’t like the idea of expanded rosters because of the extra costs involved with every added player.

  2. Stu B

    This idea gets raised every year, but, for reasons Joe D eloquently stated, it’ll never happen.

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