Hildebrandt: ABC-TV once suggested that MLB reduce its schedule to 60 games

From SABR member Chuck Hildebrandt at SABRMedia.org on May 27, 2015:

Rob Manfred, the rookie Commissioner of Baseball, stoked increased discussion about MLB reducing its regular season this past February. You yourself have probably had discussions with other fans about this many times over the years, so you likely know that a lot of people who consider themselves big fans of the game nevertheless wouldn’t mind seeing less of it. Proponents of shortening the schedule usually maintain that 162 games is just way too many to play in a season and argue that the season goes too late in the year, topping it off with the horrific vision of a November World Series game getting snowed out.


The difference between 162 and 154 is not all that great, less than 5% of games, so would a season of 154 games provide all that much more relief to an everyday player than one of 162?  That seems a somewhat dubious proposition. So why is 154 always the magic number in these debates? Why not 144, or 140, or 134? Might it be that nostalgia plays a significant role in the advocacy of the 154 solution? I might place a bet on that, if one were available.

Nothing nostalgic about a solution that ABC television came up with over a half century ago to reduce the season, though. They didn’t suggest 154, or 144, or anything as incremental as that. Their suggestion: play a 60-game season, on weekends only, and promote it the way that football is promoted, as a major television event.


Read the full article here: http://sabrmedia.org/2015/05/27/abc-tv-once-suggested-that-major-league-baseball-reduce-their-regular-season-schedule-to-60-games/

Originally published: May 29, 2015. Last Updated: May 29, 2015.