I believe (and this is as strong as my belief in the law of gravity) that baseball is the perfect game. Major League Baseball (MLB) is the ultimate form of the game, though I’m happy watching any level of baseball that is played with wooden bats.
During the winter baseball is alive and well. This is when roster moves, projections, and hope for the upcoming season are topic of discussion. The offseason is also a good time to think about rule changes and the long-term future of baseball. And that is where I’m at right now, here are a few of my thoughts on changes for MLB:
Play a 154 Game Regular Season
The MLB regular season was extended from 154 to 162 games in 1961 (American League) and 1962 (National League). At the time there were more doubleheaders and a shorter postseason, so the adjustment worked well. Since the sixties baseball has reduced the number of doubleheaders and extended the postseason by adding a wildcard system. Baseball now runs into November.
This is a great time to return to a 154 game season. Many of the records accumulated over 162 game seasons are now in doubt due to the steroid era. It is a good time for a scheduling shake up. This ties in to my next point:
Expand the LDS to Best of 7
As it currently stands, the easiest series to pull an upset is the LDS because it uses a best of 5 format. I’d like to see this expanded to best of 7. Adding the additional one or two games in the postseason would be offset by the 8 game reduction to the regular season.
Attempt to Fix the All-Star Game
I’d like to see the voting take place in a narrow window before the game, so that the actual performance of the players can be gauged. The current voting system starts way too early. A disturbingly high percentage of “baseball fans” are idiots (though I suspect it is merely a reflection of the population), and they choose poorly when it comes to the All Star Game roster.
This is why having the All Star Game determine home field advantage in the World Series is not a good idea. Even if the best players in each league were actually playing in the game the argument for allowing an exhibition game to determine home field in the World Series is weak.
If the All Star Game must determine home field for the World Series, then balance the fan vote with a players/coaches vote. But a better solution is:
Change the Way Home Field is Determined for the World Series
The team with the best regular season record should host. That is the easy solution. In the event of identical records use head-to-head match-ups if possible (which grieves me, for I despise interleague play). In the event this does not break the tie, use a coin toss.
I’d rather see a coin toss decide home field than an exhibition game played months before.
And those are just a few of the things I’ve been thinking about as I wonder why the Phillies are trying to sign Juan Castro.