Looking At Five Ways To Fix Major League Baseball
Things To Work On Changing
With the 2012 MLB season now behind us, I’m ready to make some changes to the game that we all know and love. There are five things in particular I want to fix about the game and after seeing that Marlins-Blue Jays trade, I really want to fix things. These were definitely not the easiest things to fix but for the game itself, it has to happen. While growing up in a city with both an American League and National League team, you get to see both sides of the fence of which way baseball is being played. I assure you now that I am definitely on one side of this argument.
I’m sure by the end of reading this, there will be many fans angry with things I am suggesting. I would only hope that you put serious thought into each of these options and think about it before making a snap judgment. We have all watched baseball from the day we were born or were brought into the game by a family member who now shares the same love of the game. I have always thought that baseball is the best sport out there with three hours of relaxing in the sunshine.
Here are my five suggestions of working on making baseball an even better sport than it is right now. I would love to hear your feedback about it so send it on Twitter @ASchmidtSports and I will work on using some of your reactions in a future article on the subject as this is going to be a very hot topic.
Andy Schmidt is a prep sports columnist who dabbles in NFL, MLB and fantasy sports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports.
Attendance, Schedule, Rules
To start with, we need a truly and fully balanced schedule. For that to happen however, two teams must be contracted. You want to save your team, you had better show up at the ballpark. The two teams with the lowest attendance over the last three seasons are gone. With two teams now gone, we have 28 teams which will be put into one big division and under National League rules. If you can’t play in the field, you shouldn’t be hitting. You still have 162 games with each team playing three home and three away games against all the rest. Each city gets to see every team come through every season.
Now the next thought would be, if you are doing this with all this traveling, the season is going to last until December…..oh no no. The time has come to start scheduling doubleheaders every Sunday and during the week during June, July and August. There would be a limit on doubleheaders per week of two. Also, making sure that teams on road trips are going to places in as close of a difference as possible. Example being if Seattle traveled to the Midwest, they would get in their 12 games in Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago without having to make multiple trips.
Playoffs, Rosters, Game Times
With 28 teams, 8 teams will still make the playoffs, 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7 and so on but each series will be 7 games. Also, rosters would be expanded to 32 strictly due to the extra travel and the doubleheaders. There would be set game times. Every game must start at 1 pm or 7 pm local time and doubleheaders would be played at those times as well. As much as I love the doubleheader going back to back, this will allow teams to get their full 81 game gate for the season. The time has come to tweak the game ever so slightly and gives every team the chance to play equally without having to worry about playing the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies 16-18 times a season.
There is no doubt that no one wants to sit at a game when it is snowing in the beginning of April. I think that the first week of the season should start in all warm weather cities or in a dome for the teams in the north. Yes, the weather doesn’t always warm up right away in cities like Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland but we at least need the fans to be somewhat comfortable along the way. This may in turn bring fans to the ballpark instead of seeing empty seats everywhere, which helps no one. Let’s just start the season in Houston, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
One very large problem in the sport right now is the major difference in payroll between the large markets and the much smaller ones. It’s time for a salary cap and salary floor. I would make the salary cap around $80 million with the floor being $40 million with top players maxed out at $10 million a year. There are going to be people who say that the sport is better when the big market teams are winning because it means more revenue for the sport. I just don’t think that way on it. I want to see some of the smaller market teams like Pittsburgh, Kansas City or Oakland having a chance to make the playoffs as well and maybe winning a World Series.