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How long should the MLB season be? How should the games be divided?


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Given that we don't have Spring Training to talk about, how about some other pointless discussion.  With the fact that we're almost certainly gonna lose some regular season games, there's some rumblings in the lockout thread that the regular season is too long anyway... so, let's say that MLB comes to you and gives you the power to not only set the number of games but also divide up how many games teams play against opponents in other divisions/leagues... and yes this means you can eliminate IL if you want.

So, what's your plan?

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Here's my radical idea:

Each team in the same division 14 times (2 home series, 3 & 4 games, 2 road series, 3 & 4 games) = 56
Each other team in the league 8 times (one home, one away series, 4 games) = 80
Each team in one division in the other league 4 times (one home, one away series, 2 games) = 20

Total of 156 games.

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I want to be able to compare statistics throughout history, one of my favorite things to do, so there should be a similar number of games.  They could cut off a few games if they think it's necessary, but cutting a whole month of games would be bad. As for who plays who how many times,  I'd like to see fewer divisions and no interleague play and no wildcards.  I am assuming there will be a million teams in the post-season tournament Let's make it 16.  16 teams is no worse than 14 and it gives us a nicer number.  Take the top four teams in each division.  Play 16 games against each divisional opponent and 6 games versus each opponent in the other division.  

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I'm going to stick with my original prediction: 162 games, starting on or around April 14; season gets compressed by scheduling a few games on off days or day-night doubleheaders to lop off a week; season ends October 9; playoffs get scheduled for a week later.

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It will never happen but:

16 games between the 4 teams in the division                = 64 games

8 games between the remaining 10 teams in the league = 80 games

Total 144 games, no inter league play.

This would give time for the expanded playoffs to be played in better weather, and the MLB could cut some of the cold weather dates. If you want inter-league play, play 2 games each against 5 teams of the other three league's divisions would yield 154 games.

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On 3/1/2022 at 2:52 PM, HeyAbbott said:

It will never happen but:

16 games between the 4 teams in the division                = 64 games

8 games between the remaining 10 teams in the league = 80 games

Total 144 games, no inter league play.

This would give time for the expanded playoffs to be played in better weather, and the MLB could cut some of the cold weather dates. If you want inter-league play, play 2 games each against 5 teams of the other three league's divisions would yield 154 games.

I like this idea.  I could care less if they play interleague games.  I would also like to see a few double headers scheduled throughout the year on Saturdays.  Real nine inning games, none of this seven inning stuff.

Edited by Archie
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On 3/4/2022 at 6:27 PM, Archie said:

I like this idea.  I could care less if they play interleague games.  I would also like to see a few double headers scheduled throughout the year on Saturdays.  Real nine inning games, none of this seven inning stuff.

Yeah, when did this 7-inning crap start??

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I think that anything that reduces the significance of the regular season, is inherently bad. I also have little value for inter league play, but understand how teams located in 2 team cities are anxious to exploit that rivalry.

And with the game 163 tie buster now a relic, I guess having an odd number of games between potential contenders is now more important. 

17 games against each in-division rival

9 games against each of the remainder of the teams in your respective league

4 games interleague, with emphasis upon natural rivalry.... chicago-chicago  NY-NY, LA-LA,  etc with teams such as Detroit making "mop-up" appearances with other teams having no binary twin.

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3 hours ago, Useful Idiot said:

I think that anything that reduces the significance of the regular season, is inherently bad. I also have little value for inter league play, but understand how teams located in 2 team cities are anxious to exploit that rivalry.

And with the game 163 tie buster now a relic, I guess having an odd number of games between potential contenders is now more important. 

17 games against each in-division rival

9 games against each of the remainder of the teams in your respective league

4 games interleague, with emphasis upon natural rivalry.... chicago-chicago  NY-NY, LA-LA,  etc with teams such as Detroit making "mop-up" appearances with other teams having no binary twin.

The odd number of games vs all other leaguemates makes good sense to create natural tiebreakers.

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I would also be content with 11 games versus all other league mates, and 6 inter-league, for a total of 160 games. But I am absolutely against shortening the season any beyond that. 

I'd rather see them move the world series to neutral warm-weather stadiums, than shorten the regular season any further.

Edited by Useful Idiot
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Briefly setting aside what we would like to see, how do we think the games going to fall, now that they have announced 162 games against all 29 other teams?

Feels to me like this:

Other league:

  • “Natural” rival (i.e, Pirates): 4 (home-and-home)
  • Other 14 teams: 3 (switch off home field every other year) = 42
  • Total other leagues: 46

Remaining: (162-46=) 116

Same league:

  • Other divisions, 10 teams: 6 (hone-and-home)
  • Subtotal other divisions: 60

Remaining (162-116=) 56

Same division, 4 teams: 14 (two home, two away)

The math works, so I think this looks fairly workable—at least until Vegas and Nashville enter the league in 2026.

 

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7 hours ago, chasfh said:

Briefly setting aside what we would like to see, how do we think the games going to fall, now that they have announced 162 games against all 29 other teams?

Feels to me like this:

Other league:

  • “Natural” rival (i.e, Pirates): 4 (home-and-home)
  • Other 14 teams: 3 (switch off home field every other year) = 42
  • Total other leagues: 46

Remaining: (162-46=) 116

Same league:

  • Other divisions, 10 teams: 6 (hone-and-home)
  • Subtotal other divisions: 60

Remaining (162-116=) 56

Same division, 4 teams: 14 (two home, two away)

The math works, so I think this looks fairly workable—at least until Vegas and Nashville enter the league in 2026.

 

Vegas has already entered the league.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, here is what the new schedule is gonna look like.

  • 56 games within division: That's 14 games against each of the other four teams, down from 19 games now. Teams will play four series (one three-game and and one four-game, each at home and on the road) against the other teams in the division.
  • 60 games against rest of league: Clubs will play six games (three at home and three on the road) against the 10 teams in the other two divisions in their league. That's more or less what we have now, though there are a few four-game series each year.
  • 4 games against "rivals": Some rivalries are obvious (Yankees vs. Mets, Giants vs. Athletics, etc.), others not so much (Padres vs. Mariners?). Going forward, rivals will play four times each year, two at home and two on the road. Right now it varies by year.
  • 42 other interleague games: Against the other 14 teams in the other league, teams will play one three-game series each season. They will alternate home and road each year. So it'll be Red Sox vs. Mets at Fenway one year, Citi Field the next.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-lockout-10-important-under-the-radar-changes-in-cba-including-new-schedule-format-and-loss-of-game-163/

 

Only 116 games against your own league?  This is not "progress"

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As far as the new schedule layout is concerned, I'm fine with it. Baseball went all in on interleague play a couple of decades ago, so they were never going to de-emphasize or get rid of it, and that goes double for expanding to 32 teams, which would be the perfect opportunity to leave interleague in the rear mirror. IOW, they ain't gonna. So I guess it's way past time for me to stop whinging about it already.

So, as long as interleague is going to rule the day in any event, then I actually like that every team is going to play every other team outside their division the same amount. It removes any advantage a team might have had loading up on the weak division in the other league in any given year. And now every team has the same six-game home-and-home schedule against non-division teams in their own league, so that evens things out some.

If that costs me the chance to see an extra five games against the Guardians or Royals or Twins, I can accept that.

The only thing I dislike about it is that the Tigers come only twice to my city and not three times, but that's my personal problem, so oh well.

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Looking ahead to a 32-team league in 2028, or whenever, I can envision:

  • Other league: four against "natural rival", three against everyone else, 49 subtotal.
  • Same league/other divisions: six against each, 72 subtotal.
  • Same division: 13 against each team, 39 subtotal.

That would make for a total of 160 games, which would provide a couple of extra off days for Players and one less April home games for teams, so I think both sides could agree on that.

They could go whole hog retro, cut down in-division games to 11 per opponent, and make the 154-game schedule the ultra-traditionalists continually pine for, but I don't think either side wants that many fewer games, necessarily ... unless they can make it up in expanded playoff revenue that accrues to both all teams and to Players, which feels unlikely to me.

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