5 Reasons MLB Players Are Right in Hating the Current League Schedule
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The head of the Major League Baseball Player's Association said it will be a big topic during the next collective-bargaining agreement.
But what makes the schedule suck?
Most fans can rattle off at least five things wrong with the schedule in its current makeup.
Here's a look at five problems with the current schedule and solutions for them.
The Problem: 162 games in a season
There's no question that baseball is about history, but the fact remains that 162 games is too many.
The MLB season started on March 31 and runs through Sept. 29. That's 184 days to complete 162 games.
Throw in the three-day break for the All-Star Game, the fact that only two teams play in the season-opening game on March 31 and you basically have 162 games in 180 days.
That's 18 days off over half the year.
Then throw in the fact that there are rainouts, which result in doubleheaders later in the series or the season. Add in some of those rainouts force teams to make up the game on an off day and you have a real problem on your hands.
Baseball has 162 games mainly because of money. Teams make more money the more home games they play, television partners make more with the more games they broadcast.
The dollar runs sports, as evidence by the skyrocketing of player salaries.
However, 162 games is not needed to decide who the best teams are. Cutting it back by eight games (two from each divisional opponent) would give more off days and add that much more excitement to the season.
Imagine if the Oakland Athletics had eight less games to make their comeback in the AL West last year. Would they have still won the division?
With less games, teams press more as it gets closer to the postseason.
Cold-Weather Games in April
Problem: Cold-weather games against non-divisional opponents in April
While you can't totally adjust a schedule to prevent cold-weather teams from playing home games in the first two or three weeks of the season, you can ensure it's divisional opponents on the schedule.
When Colorado had the New York Mets come to town in mid-April, snow fell.
That became a problem as games were postponed twice due to snow and cold.
The problem was, the Mets didn't travel to Colorado the rest of the year and only had one off day out west (travel day to Pittsburgh) on their whole schedule.
Had they not been able to make it up, the Mets would have been extremely pressed to get all four games in.
What MLB can do is make sure the schedule shows divisional games in cold areas to start the season. That way, if there's a snowout in Colorado between the Rockies and Giants, it can be made up more easily later in the season.
All-Star Break Too Late
Problem: The All-Star Game is two weeks too late
Most teams have 93-96 games completed on their schedule.
The problem is, the halfway point is 81 games.
So while everyone is remarking over Chris Davis having 37 home runs at the break, the fact remains, he's not on a pace to break Barry Bonds' season record of 73.
The All-Star Game should be moved back to the first week in July to mark the true halfway point in the season.
It gives players a break at the midway point and allows teams to reassess where they're at.
As for the days off the week before the festivities, MLB should do away with them as well since everyone is getting three days off for the break.
Having every team play a three-game and four-game series that final week should be no trouble.
Let Teams Stay on the Road Longer
The Problem: Very Short Homestands
The obvious problem is the Braves going from Pittsburgh to Colorado to Detroit, but that's another story.
The Braves didn't need to come home for a two-game series with the Royals, especially considering there was a two-game series still to be played in Kansas City later in the year.
The Braves could have just stayed on the road, which would have made things better for all parties.
Not to mention, it would have given the Braves the ability to be home for eight games later in the year, as opposed to six.
Of course, if that were the case, then they would have had a short three-game road trip to Milwaukee as part of that schedule.
Make an Educated Schedule
Problem: Teams crisscrossing the country
This happens more with West Coast teams.
This year, we've seen the Padres go from San Diego to New York to Colorado, the Diamondbacks go from Arizona to New York to Colorado to San Francisco and the Mariners to go from Seattle to Oakland to Chicago.
While most wouldn't say those road trips are too extreme, you have to remember that these games are played in different time zones...not to mention the wear and tear of travel on the body.
MLB has to do a better job at grouping games in like time zones and regions for teams.
As a Braves fan, it was horrible how the team had to go from Pittsburgh to Colorado to Detroit this year. One series out west was pointless and likely contributed to the struggles in the series with the Tigers.
Most fans will agree MLB has to group series together.
Teams on the East Coast don't need to be making more than two trips out west.
While it's much harder to do this for teams out west, MLB can still group games together to help them as well.