Boys of Winter
Time to bitch again.
If the World Series goes to a Game 5 this year—that is: if one team doesn't sweep—it goes into November. If it goes to a Game 7 it lasts until November 4th. Assuming no rainouts. Or snowouts. In which case it'll go longer.
Boys of summer, indeed.
No one wants this but everyone accepts it as a fait accompli. “We have an extra tier of playoffs now.” “Nothing can be done.” “It's baseball.”
But it's not baseball. We're only reaching this point because the post-season is being scheduled in a different way than the regular season.
How many days off did the Yankees have in September? Three: September 9, 16, and 30. All the other days they played. Because that's what baseball is. “Don't worry, kid,” Earl Weaver told a young Tom Boswell. “We do this every day.”
If the Yankees make it to the World Series, how many days off—at minimum—will they have between the end of the regular season (Oct. 3) and the start of the World Series (Oct. 27)? Eleven. That's at minimum. That's assuming the ALDS and the ALCS go to the max. They'll play 12 days and rest 11. That's what's built into the schedule.
What does this mean? It means they can rest older players. It means they can ignore lesser bench players, and relief pitchers, and fourth and fifth starters. It means the game they played for 162 games—the whole reason they're here—is not the game they're playing now.
It also means, every day they don't play, the further we get into October and November. The days grow shorter and the nights grow colder and the game becomes less like the game they played for 162 game—the whole reason they're playing now.
So what can be done?
Easy. Eliminate off days.
Season ends Sunday, Oct. 3rd? Start the post-season on Tuesday, Oct. 5th. For all eight teams. Yes, baseball fanatics, this means there will be a scheduling conflict. Boo hoo. That's what DVR is for.
Then play through—as teams do during the regular season. No off days. In this way all Division Series will end, at the lastest, on Saturday, Oct. 9th. Take Sunday off. Start the Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 11th. Play through. In this way the LCS ends, at the latest, on Sunday, Oct. 17th.
Start the World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 19th. That's eight days before it's scheduled now. Because I'm eliminating eight off days they have scheduled now. Because I'm making the most important baseball games more like baseball.
This is not rocket science, Bud.
If the problem is the networks, then you screwed up by allowing the networks to schedule your games. Your games. Work it during the next negotiations. Work it like a used car salesman.
This is baseball. Make it like fucking baseball.