Is MLB regular season too long?

First, don't get me wrong....the World Series has been amazing.  As exciting as you can ever hope to see.  The games have been entertaining and absolutely crazy as far as competition goes.   That being said, "baseball people" don't typically look at 13-12 games as "great baseball".  And I'm one.  Give me a 3-hitter that ends up 1-0 won on a suicide squeeze any time.  And somewhere around 3 hours instead of 5 hours +

I really think that the 162 game season is to blame.  Both teams are just comp;etely out of gas when it comes to pitching....starters and relievers both. 162 games, plus 20 in the post season is going to do that...there's nothing that can be done about it.

Do you think that the post season/World Series would be better if they cut the regular season back to say 140 games??  That would essentially take 4 starts away from each starter....and give them that much more to have available come late October (or early November)

Thoughts?? 

Original Post

I don't think there's any doubt a lot of things would be better, even financially if they viewed it long term instead of immediate game revenue lost.  But, that won't happen.  They also won't change because so many of the revered records are based on the 162, along with many other traditions that baseball will refuse to let go of.   

Cut it back to 142-144 games like the minors. Give the players an extra day off each month. End the season two weeks earlier. Playing the World Series in cold weather cities in 40 degree, late October weather is insane. 

Somewhat facetiously, it is not long enough.  I wish it overlapped the NFL season because that league has become unwatchable.  Seriously, most NFL games have boiled down to waiting for the officials to either tell us why a flag was called or waiting for the replay officials in New York to tell us when the game can resume.  On top of all that, we now cannot escape to enjoy a game for three hours on Sunday but now we have to endure political statements from ungrateful athletes.  NFL ratings and attendance are down.  I hope people come to realize someday that baseball is still a great game.  I've easily found there are others things to do on Sunday than watch the NFL.  Of course, my team is the Browns....

Buckeye 2015,

I wouldn't lose any sleep to a shorter season.  But what does shorter look like 154 or 144?  How much shorter is the question.  

Today we have interleague play which is fine although it adds a few games that possibly could be reduced by a few games.  I'd like to see MLB decide on the DH (or no DH pick one) for both leagues and continue with interleague play.   If they need to reduce it by a few games then do it, but make it uniform across both leagues and continue with interleague play.

JMO. 

From a fan's perspective, it's just right.  Wouldn't mind seeing a more flexible roster.  The "ten day fake" DL was a step.  Also game length and pace of play needs work.  Never seeing a pitcher hit again would be just fine, but the inconsistencies between the leagues doesn't really bother me.

And if everyone would just move to central standard time, wouldn't be so much complaining about late games, early games, etc.

 

fenwaysouth posted:

Buckeye 2015,

I wouldn't lose any sleep to a shorter season.  But what does shorter look like 154 or 144?  How much shorter is the question.  

Today we have interleague play which is fine although it adds a few games that possibly could be reduced by a few games.  I'd like to see MLB decide on the DH (or no DH pick one) for both leagues and continue with interleague play.   If they need to reduce it by a few games then do it, but make it uniform across both leagues and continue with interleague play.

JMO. 

I don't mind interleague games.  Being in NW Ohio I'm surrounded by a mix of Tigers, Indians and Reds fans, so it's kind of fun when the Reds get a chance to play the two American League teams that are so close.   I don't know...I think even 15 games less would help....that would give all the starting pitchers 3 less starts and maybe not be pulling the starters in the 4th inning when it comes to the World Series

Define length... 4/1 - 11/1 ... 7 months or 162 games?

Took a look at one team ... just to get an idea.

In 1955 there were 154 games...regular season went from 4/13 - 9/25 and there were less playoffs... done by 10/15.

In 1970 there were 162 games ... season was done by 9/30.

2017 season did not end till 10/1.

The issue - I think - is that in 1950 there were 22 double headers.  in 2017 3.  

TV revenue is too great not to have as many games as possible in prime time.

Either way you cut it ... by days or by games ... there will be lost revenue.

The only way a season will get shorter is if the players hold out in collective bargaining and are willing to give up salary.  At 51 I have a better chance of playing for the Yankees than any of that ever happening.

Honestly, I'd rather see them shorten games to 7 innings.

That's 324 innings over a 162 game season, so the equivalent of 36 games.

This would shorten EVERY game played in time, which is a problem facing MLB, wouldn't require any adjustment to ticket prices, revenue to teams, TV revenue, etc.  Yes, there would be fewer commercial opportunities during games, but frankly, with the number of play reviews, mound visits, pitching changes, in-game commercials, much like what was used during the world series, can easily offset that.

I'd much rather see games closer to 2.5 hours on a nightly basis, than the same things fewer times.

A much more radical approach, but with the same benefit with more of a win-win result IMHO.

NewUmpire posted:

Define length... 4/1 - 11/1 ... 7 months or 162 games?

Took a look at one team ... just to get an idea.

In 1955 there were 154 games...regular season went from 4/13 - 9/25 and there were less playoffs... done by 10/15.

In 1970 there were 162 games ... season was done by 9/30.

2017 season did not end till 10/1.

The issue - I think - is that in 1950 there were 22 double headers.  in 2017 3.  

TV revenue is too great not to have as many games as possible in prime time.

Either way you cut it ... by days or by games ... there will be lost revenue.

The only way a season will get shorter is if the players hold out in collective bargaining and are willing to give up salary.  At 51 I have a better chance of playing for the Yankees than any of that ever happening.

Up until 1969 there was approximately 1 week of playoff baseball - the World Series.  Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5 was on October 8th.  This year the same date was the 2nd game of the Division Series.  

If baseball is paying attention October matters more than May.  Shave 10 days off the regular season.  Make the Wildcard series 3 games and the Division Series 7.  Start the playoffs around Sept. 20 and wrap them up by October 20.  No reason for November baseball.

While they are at it - absorb the Japanese League and make it like California in 1950's.  Keep a couple of the teams and get rid of some dog teams in US.  Rays, A's, Marlins, Bucs, Brewers are all candidates for 3/4 cities in Far East.  Maybe add two teams and get to 32.  4 divisions with 8 teams.  Go with 14 division games = 98.  6 interdivision games = 48 and 8 interleague games for 154.  Playoffs are 2 division winners and 4 wild cards.  Division winners get a bye and play the 2 wild card winners seeded by records.

Yes, slightly shorter season would be optimal. There are some interesting thoughts in this thread. I also say do away with that 3 game back-to-back stretch in the middle of the Championship and World Series. That is an awful lot of extra stress at the end of the season for any pitching staff to endure. I say 2 games, 1 day of rest and then then the 3rd game. You're adding 2 potential days to the length, but reducing a lot of pitching fatigue IMO. 

I also cringe every time I hear someone say that 13-12 game was great. Crazy definitely, but not great baseball. There were a lot of over-tired and over-stressed pitchers in that game. 

Cutting back on interleague games would be fine, I'd also be fine with 154 games (again) and more double headers so the season could be shortened by 2 weeks. Then make the wildcard best 2 of 3. I'd prefer to see DH (yes or no) consistent, but I can live with the existing arrangement too.

So the 162 game season starts in 1961/62 somewhere and in 2017 it's deemed too long?  IMO many other aspects of the "game" could change to make each game shorter - many of which have been debated in this forum. Ask yourself what has really changed perhaps in the last 5-10 years that leads to what we have now - I'm sure we all have our "favorites".  Players are bigger, stronger, faster today. Revenue is "at stake" almost all the time and in many decisions. The thought process of going deep in counts, seeing strikes, OBP, SLG, OPS, etc. all factor in just as much as expanding the width of the zone to see what the umpire will allow today from the other side and taking 45 seconds between each pitch "staring" or "conferencing". Force speed up the game... Make players use their in game brain and reactions. I like the idea of more DH's - perhaps make them 2 7's... Maybe make inter-league all DH's... Nothing will happen if it affects revenue stream as both players and owners like their $$$'s. Revenue stream is why we have 2 WC teams, 3 divisions, 2 DCS' before the LCS, and a WS slated for a specific week which spans 2 weekends.  

JohnF posted:

So the 162 game season starts in 1961/62 somewhere and in 2017 it's deemed too long?  IMO many other aspects of the "game" could change to make each game shorter - many of which have been debated in this forum. Ask yourself what has really changed perhaps in the last 5-10 years that leads to what we have now - I'm sure we all have our "favorites".  Players are bigger, stronger, faster today. Revenue is "at stake" almost all the time and in many decisions. The thought process of going deep in counts, seeing strikes, OBP, SLG, OPS, etc. all factor in just as much as expanding the width of the zone to see what the umpire will allow today from the other side and taking 45 seconds between each pitch "staring" or "conferencing". Force speed up the game... Make players use their in game brain and reactions. I like the idea of more DH's - perhaps make them 2 7's... Maybe make inter-league all DH's... Nothing will happen if it affects revenue stream as both players and owners like their $$$'s. Revenue stream is why we have 2 WC teams, 3 divisions, 2 DCS' before the LCS, and a WS slated for a specific week which spans 2 weekends.  

When the 162 game season was created the entire post season was the World Series. From the time divisions were created involving another round in the post season in 1969 there has been talk of the season being too long stretching into mid October. Now the season sometimes stretches into November. Now that the money is so big I can see an agreement being possible that cuts back the season and cuts back revenue. What if the wear and tear of the existing long season is shortening careers and earning power? There’s more than one angle to look at finances.

I don't have a problem with the length of the games.....heck, I'm ok with 5 hours of baseball    My point is that 162 games taxes the pitching staffs too much and they are just out of gas by the time they get to the WS.   Starters going 5 or 6 innings instead of 7 or 8 that used to be the norm is just wearing down bullpens to the point that you end up with 13-12 games like we had in the WS this year.  I don't know the answer....a 6 man rotation wouldn't work....too much time between starts I think.....maybe allow 2 or 3 more relievers on the rosters all season??

Nuke83 posted:

Honestly, I'd rather see them shorten games to 7 innings.

That's 324 innings over a 162 game season, so the equivalent of 36 games.

This would shorten EVERY game played in time, which is a problem facing MLB, wouldn't require any adjustment to ticket prices, revenue to teams, TV revenue, etc.  Yes, there would be fewer commercial opportunities during games, but frankly, with the number of play reviews, mound visits, pitching changes, in-game commercials, much like what was used during the world series, can easily offset that.

I'd much rather see games closer to 2.5 hours on a nightly basis, than the same things fewer times.

A much more radical approach, but with the same benefit with more of a win-win result IMHO.

I can live with 7 inning games.   If it works for HS and college, why not the pro's?

Son's JuCo team typically played 3 game series on a weekend.  First game of a DH was 9 innings.   The 2nd game was 7 innings and the third game (on Sunday) would be 9 innings.  There were a few occasions where it was three 7 inning games - usually non-conference.

When he played for a D2 university, the conference games were 4 game series and by conference rule were 7 inning games while the non-conference games were usually 9 inning games though sometimes they were 7 innings.

Even at the college level it was amazing how much longer a 9 inning game was even though it was just 2 additional innings.

FoxDad posted:
Nuke83 posted:

Honestly, I'd rather see them shorten games to 7 innings.

That's 324 innings over a 162 game season, so the equivalent of 36 games.

This would shorten EVERY game played in time, which is a problem facing MLB, wouldn't require any adjustment to ticket prices, revenue to teams, TV revenue, etc.  Yes, there would be fewer commercial opportunities during games, but frankly, with the number of play reviews, mound visits, pitching changes, in-game commercials, much like what was used during the world series, can easily offset that.

I'd much rather see games closer to 2.5 hours on a nightly basis, than the same things fewer times.

A much more radical approach, but with the same benefit with more of a win-win result IMHO.

I can live with 7 inning games.   If it works for HS and college, why not the pro's?

Son's JuCo team typically played 3 game series on a weekend.  First game of a DH was 9 innings.   The 2nd game was 7 innings and the third game (on Sunday) would be 9 innings.  There were a few occasions where it was three 7 inning games - usually non-conference.

When he played for a D2 university, the conference games were 4 game series and by conference rule were 7 inning games while the non-conference games were usually 9 inning games though sometimes they were 7 innings.

Even at the college level it was amazing how much longer a 9 inning game was even though it was just 2 additional innings.

Interesting idea... keep the same 162 game schedule and just cut the games to 7 innings. I like it, but I highly doubt it will ever happen!

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