Hmm...this is awkward. Major League Baseball has been a big part of my life for the last 20 years or so. But, the feelings aren't the same anymore. I feel like baseball has changed, and isn't the sport I fell in love with when I was three years old.
Baseball has changed/evolved into an unrecognizable institution. Today, there are cookie-cutter ballparks, manager challenges and reviewing plays, steroids, etc.
Sorry, Major League Baseball, but its not working. I think we would be better off friends. You deserve better. Its not you, its me. Wait, that's a lie....it is you. And let me tell you why.
1. Uneven Divisions
Of all the things that don't make sense in the world, the National League Central Division having six teams and the American League West Division has only four teams. Every other division in baseball has five teams.
Why doesn't every division have five teams? This is common sense right? On the "Whaaaatt??? Scale" this has to rank a 9, along with why Jude Law cheating on Sienna Miller with their babysitter, or the new Indiana Jones movie.
Answer: Move the Houston Astros to the American League West. They need better teams in the AL West anyways.
2. The Season
162 games...is that really necessary? I get burned out in August. Does it take 15-20 games against divisional opponents to determine who is better? In the NFL, it takes two games.
I would compare the Major League Baseball season to a pregnant woman. I am sure after nine months she is just ready for it end. That is what baseball is like. After watching 162 games, I have no desire to watch the playoffs much more after my team, the Cubs, got eliminated.
Answer: Shorten the season to around 100 games. That would reduce the season by approximately two months. Start the season in June instead of April/May.
3. The Playoffs
Fact: In baseball, 8 of 30 teams make the playoffs.
Fact: In football, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs.
Fact: In basketball, 16 of 32 teams make the playoffs.
Get the picture? Baseball has the longest season and the least amount of teams make the playoffs. That is like suffering through a terrible class for an entire semester only to fail and have to take it again next semester. But only the bad teams continually fail the class and have to retake it year after year.
Answer: As I mentioned in No. 2, shorten the season. Also, allow more teams in the playoffs. Top 2 finishers in each division, with the best two teams getting first round byes. Should look similar to the NFL playoffs.
4. The First Round of Playoffs
Play 162 game season and finish first in your league. Then play the "hot" wild card team in a five game series, in which they only need to win three games. Does this sound like something that you might be interested in?
Watching the Cubs lose in consecutive years has spurred this dislike. The NBA had this problem, but they fixed it. Get with the times MLB, nobody likes being the last person in on a joke. Right now you are the joke.
Answer: Every series in the playoffs should be a seven game series. People will still be entertained because the season will be shorter
5. The All-Star Game
A more appropriate name would be Total Request Live. Home field advantage in the World Series should not be awarded to the victor of the All-Star Game as long as the players are voted onto the roster.
As a Cubs fan, I enjoyed seeing all the Cubbies on the field. But I have to be honest with myself, just like Amy Winehouse was when finally when to rehab, Kosuke Fukudome did not deserve to be a start on the National League team... at least not without the ball being place on a tee.
Answer: Either the best record in baseball gets home field advantage in the World Series or allow the players and managers to select the All-Star teams.
I am sure many of you have problems with Major League Baseball, so feel free to leave a post about what changes you would make.