Mother nature has not been kind to America’s pastime this spring.
Winter might technically be over, but it’s still sinking its cold and snowy claws into baseball parks, including Wrigley Field again on Sunday, postponing the Chicago Cubs–Atlanta Braves rubber match.
Several games were postponed on Sunday due to weather. Sometimes we’re blessed with a warm, cooperative spring, and other times, it’s like it has been this year–snowy and cold.
Obviously, the MLB can’t control the weather. I try to lay the blame for any problems squarely on Rob Manfred whenever possible, but sadly, that won’t work in this instance. Somehow the Chicago Cubs’ slow start is his fault, though. I’m sure of it.
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Let’s play two
This raises the broader question of whether or not Major League Baseball should consider shortening its season. If you lean in the direction of “yes,” the question then becomes “how?”. And that’s the tricky part.
Until 1961, the MLB season was 154 games. Mind you; there were fewer teams in the league back then. The season starts later than it used to, which is probably for the best considering it’s mid-April and we’re still getting games snowed out. But the season also now extends into November. And that seems unnecessary.
Teams want their games
At this point, cutting the number of games down is probably close to out of the question. It would mean somewhat significant revenue losses for teams and possible pay-cuts for the players. Neither party wants that.
The best way to shorten the season while still playing 162 games? Short answer: double-headers. These days, double-headers aren’t played unless it’s to make up for a postponed game. They don’t get scheduled in the preseason. It didn’t use to be that way. Back when none of the players were pampered milksops, they played two games in a day quite frequently. And historically speaking, it’s good for ticket sales.
“But the players need a lot of off days!” No, they need to not be a bunch of feeble little pansies. Double-headers started to disappear when attendance numbers were soaring. And while the numbers aren’t terrible today, they could definitely use a boost. Especially the Marlins and White Sox. They’re getting local tee-ball attendance numbers lately.
Bringing back double-headers would be a win-win. Better attendance and ticket sales for the teams while shortening up the season a bit. Let’s make Ernie Banks proud and start playing two again.