Can the MLB Postseason Schedule Problems Be Fixed?

Baseball appears to be in a predicament: what to do with scheduling the World Series?

The beauty of summer baseball is that is has a monopoly on all popular sports. The postseason doesn’t have such dominance on the American sports consciousness. Game 1 of the World Series happened to coincide with the start of the NBA season, which wasn’t good. Baseball is struggling enough to gain the attention of sports fans; why must they be on the same night?

To make matters even worse, Wednesday’s Game 2 fell on the same night as the third Republican presidential primary debate, which, in case you haven’t been paying attention politically, have been breaking records for ratings.

And even when we are watching baseball on TV, Fox Sports couldn’t even do the most important thing: actually keep baseball on TV. Is it really that hard?

It isn’t hard to see that baseball has a viewership problem, but why does MLB insist on making it worse? I’m not saying that merely fixing these small blips will act as a panacea, but surely some alleviation of scheduling issues can help. There was a time when baseball inhabited the nation’s consciousness; those times, though, have unfortunately passed.

What can be done about this? The World Series has to start earlier. Baseball should not be played in November. MLB could either start the season earlier, but temperatures in Denver and other Major League cities could be below freezing still. They could shorten the season by a few games, but less of the best sport in the world isn’t very appealing to me.

There are no easy answers, and that is why we’re here. Competing with basketball and presidential debates.  How lovely.

6 Responses

  1. Chasseur1814

    Keep the same number of games, but play more in the summer including more double headers. Allow a game to be called after only three innings, instead of having long rain delays or rescheduling games. Reduce the number of teams in the playoffs (really a one game playoff between wildcard teams is a waste of a day). Compress playoff series and day offs between games. We are in the 21st century, teams travel by planes not trains, and pitchers seldom pitch full games. While the need for rest is important, but with the size of MLB rosters is that the real issue for the number days between games? Also bring back at least one weekday afternoon game in the World Series for the greatest generation and baby boomers that remember those glory days. In short, ensure no MLB games are played after Columbus Day.

    • Jake Brick Lighter

      I do like the idea of more double headers. Some of your other suggestions though may not be as doable.

  2. GaryGuillermo

    Why not just cut the count down to 3 balls, two strikes and 6 innings? How about 8 men?

  3. jdrch

    The bigger problem, IMO, is that Game 1 dragged on for so long people were begging for it to end regardless of who wins. When your sport forces fans into apathy, that’s a major issue.

    • guest

      A possible solution for overlong games that go into extra innings would be for the team that scores first to win. Purists would hate it, though.

  4. guest

    A shorter season is the only real solution. 154 games is plenty.


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