The new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has had a lot of new ideas, between tightening the strike zone and speeding up the pace of games, I've been intrigued. He has a clear intention of making the game more compelling -- or better yet -- better.
"Injuries and fatigue take their toll after 150 games into any baseball season. The 2011 Red Sox and the 2014 Brewers are the latest examples of teams who seemed primed for greatness but couldn't survive September. Baseball is a grind, an everyday sport designed to tax teams and players until October.
Changing the length of the season will fundamentally change the personnel requirement for teams to make the playoffs, possibly requiring less depth for any roster. Should baseball be a sport where you have to outlast as much as you outplay? That's its current DNA, and you have to wonder how much eight games taken off the schedule would change that."
Sure there's an injury spin to it, when there are simply fewer games to play you get more rested players, but what if there were the same number of games on the season? Who says those games need completely taken off the schedule?
Eight games might be removed from the regular season, sure, but what if we replace those with expanded playoffs?
Imagine a world in which the Wild Card doesn't take two-play in games; contrariwise, imagine a world in which the Wild Card is actually an elimination tournament the week before playoffs begin.
In a sport driven by TV money, imagine how much more valuable those eight games suddenly become for television revenue as well. You want to make the game more exciting? You like the single game elimination Wild Card madness? Let's make it a full week.
If shortening the season gets me even better playoffs, i'd be for it, but don't you take baseball away from me.