David Lennon of Newsday reported in July that Major League Baseball and the players’ union were discussing shortening the regular season, perhaps from 162 games to 154. Those talks are ongoing, according to commissioner Rob Manfred, who told reporters Saturday that the league and the union are “in the midst of conversations” about the schedule. Manfred didn’t offer further details, saying that the topic “belongs at the collective bargaining table, which is where it is right now.” Manfred revealed last week that the two sides should reach a new collective bargaining agreement by the end of the postseason, so a resolution on the length of the season could come soon. The current CBA is set to expire in December.
More from the commissioner:
- There are only three minority managers in baseball, but Manfred contends that its hiring process “is as strong as possible in terms of making sure that when we have field manager openings … diverse candidates have an opportunity to get those jobs.” Since the regular season ended, the White Sox have promoted former bench Rick Renteria, who’s of Latin American descent, while Ron Washington, an African American, is a finalist for the Braves’ job. Atlanta also interviewed three other minority candidates – Bo Porter, Eddie Perez and Terry Pendleton. Perez is now on the radar of the manager-less Rockies.
- While Manfred expressed confidence in July that the league would ultimately decide the long-running dispute between the Nationals and Orioles centering on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, that’s no longer the case. “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that that situation is going to play out in the courts, and there’s not a lot that I can do to move that process along,” said Manfred. The Orioles own 90 percent of MASN compared to the Nationals’ 10 percent, and the teams are fighting over how much in broadcast fees the Nats should receive.
Said this before.. League allows another team to invade a team’s zone and then split it’s share of tv revenue? Too far.
Shove the NL Washington franchise out of town, or keep getting shafted on revenue.
Bad enough the league takes the opposite stance (and has for many years) with regards to San fran and Oakland when the A’s desperately need to get out of town than for sticking a brand new expansion team into DC when it didn’t need one to begin with.
I thought D.C. was a relocation of the Expos, not expansion.
Yes, D.C. was technically a relocation team of the Expos. Not an expansion team.
The Senators let the Baltimore Orioles move into Baltimore, no problem. On the surface it seems Angelos had reason to fear a team in DC. Actually his efforts to stop and then postpone it cost the O’s a lot of DC area supporters who initially wanted to support both teams. The cost of his short sidedness was readily apparent when the O’s had pathetically small crowds at the end of the season in their critical series against the Red Sox.
The Nats should take the opportunity of the O’s not even living up to the terms of the extortionate MASN contract to abrogate it and start their own network. On top of stealing Nats revenue, MASN, like everything else Angelos runs, is a shabby shoe-string outfit that fails to showcase the Nats properly.
In the 1950s when the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore local TV revenue was insignificant. When Angelos bought the Orioles Washington DC was part of the Orioles exclusive broadcast territory so he demanded compensation for the devaluation of his asset. Just like if their is a franchise for a restaurant a second franchise cannot be sold in the exclusive territory without compensation.
The other owners have a vested interest in a larger share being part of the broadcast rights rather than network profits since only the broadcast rights are subject to revenue sharing.
If the Nationals current owner didn’t like the agreed upon formula for TV rights he shouldn’t have bought the team. And MLB and the Nationals as the courts have determined so far are not allowed to change the formula.
How do the Mets and Yankees deal with sharing media territory? Maybe MLB should just let Nats have their own media outlet and let the chips fall where they may.
Well, they do share New York. It’s one of the biggest media markets in the world.
A better comparable is the A’s and Giants and you will see how much litigation there is with the A’s trying to relocate to San Jose.
There’s no problem in Chicago, L.A. and N.Y. Frisco is trying to control all of Northern Calif. The A’s are trying to move farther south to San Jose and they should be allowed to.
colorado has no stakes in Northern california TV rights
neither does texas
not sure who yo are saying is trying to control the rights….
I will say that the A’s and Giants share CSNBA and that the A’s were trying to move to santa clara not san jose and that is probably not going to ever happen now that the 49ers play there.
Commisioner of baseball will ruin baseball with cutting the season! Also just let the Nationals have there own network it works with all the other cities with 2 teams!
Excellent point! You are right. Why can’t Washington DC have their own dedicated Sports Network.
How exactly would returning MLB to a 154-game schedule “ruin baseball?”
Some of the greatest records and achievements would be even further out of reach. A long history of the sport has provided for well fought benchmarks. A 9.5% reduction in the season would make several single season and career marks unattainable (I do realize that several already are unattainable due to changes in roster structure such as 5-man rotations). That aside, before reducing the schedule, MLB should attempt to at least first make the schedule more efficient. A Saturday scheduled day-night double header, or having an off-day before a road trip and not in the middle of a homestand, things like that. Why punish fans for their ineptitude?
personally I don’t see an issue with it as long as they then lengthen the post season – make the WC a best of 3 and the DS a best of 7 and end the season earlier
Wild card best of 3. SMH. Let’s make MLB like hockey. Let’s let everyone in the playoffs.
Wholeheartedly agree. A few more off days sprinkled through the season would help the players, and making the WC a best of three makes too much sense for everyone involved. Sounds like the union and the owners aren’t far apart which can only be good news.
you already have 2 teams playing in the WC, why not make the WC team play a real series and let their starter go in game 1 of the DS, they already have to play the team with the best record. I heard an announcer the other day saying that the DS should be a 7 game with 2-2-3 for homefield – that I think is stupid- why should homefield team get 5 games and the visiting get 2?
if i pay $30.00 to watch the game in person in outfield bleachers, i want the game to be 3 hours or longer. this shortening game and season blows!
What games are you going to? 30 bucks doesn’t cover parking at Fenway lol
In comerica you can get nosebleed seats for like 7 bucks on some occasions, and were a playoff hopeful
The pace of play stuff is kind of joke… trying to shave 8 minutes off of a game to cater to people who don’t know what the value of getting a curveball over for a strike on a 2-1 count… that isn’t going to make “baseball is boring” people like it more.
How about nobody plays baseball anymore because youth baseball turned from a recreational activity to a pay-to-play industry. There’s the impending problem. Wait 15 years and see if these kids who never played or watched baseball suddenly become avid MLB fans.
I have a sure-fire method of shortening the games for Mr. Manfred. When a play is disputed and the teams would like a replay of it from New York, the manager should not be allowed to stand on the dugout steps and delay the game while his bench coach is on the phone with someone upstairs to see if it’s worth risking losing the replay on the call.
Umpires need to make snap judgements on calls. They don’t have the aid of a slow motion or stop-motion camera. If a manager wants to dispute a call, so be it, but he must make that call based on what he, his coaches or his payers see with their own eyes instead of wasting the fans’ time. The challenge of a play on the field should be immediate. If you need to waste time just standing on a dugout step for 2+ minutes before challenging, the play wasn’t close enough for yo to challenge..
Why don’t they shorten spring training instead of the regular season?
I think you have a good point here. With players basically working out all year long these days, spring training is basically used to look at prospects.
I don’t think the problem is with the length of the season, and if you do shorten the length of the season every year you’ll have a player approaching a record and it’ll be controversy.
If MLB wants to have more engaged fans they have to market their players more. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are in a couple commercials but they have zero personality in them, which at least in Harper’s case, is laughable, the guy has a ton of personality on the field.
Another thing they can try is making the playoffs 5 game series. Shorter rounds means each game counts more, and that means more intense games. The wild card games are phenomenal now.
But the most important thing is pace of play. Replay is awful, it went from being just homeruns to having the manager at the top step telling the ump to hold on while they watch the play in the dugout, and then the umps taking 5 min to watch it. Tie that in with pitchers taking 30 to 40 seconds between pitches, it’s just too long. There’s zero reason a pitcher can’t grab the ball and throw it within 20 sec
Not enough warm weather teams to shorten spring training and start the season earlier
The WC system is currently flawed. Similar to the argument of disallowing the September 1st 40-man roster, 1 game do-or-die playoff series change the general strategy of the game.
In regards to the instant replay, as they have it right now, I agree with you that it completely disrupts pace of play. When first pitched (no pun intended), they were saying that there would be a team of people in New York watching each play as they unfolded with the correct call ready when the umpire puts on the helmet. Not only do they often not have the correct call, umpires are often times huddle around for multiple minutes at a time. If they can get this right, baseball will be in a good spot for pace of play. Pitch-clocks on the other hand are a horrendous idea. The most suspenseful, hair-pulling, dramatic instances of a game are during long drawn out pitches. If you need something more fast paced, I suggest you turn the channel to hoopball.
Don’t allow the manager to stand on the top step of the dugout while his bench coach talks it over with a guy upstairs either. This is a big delay in the game. As a manager, if you think you got screwed on a play, come out and say so. Throw a flag like in football. Don’t sit there and wait to review it before deciding it’s not worth losing your replay. This will help the speed of the game immensely.
Do you think the powers-that-be in baseball pay attention to the fans on comments sections like this?
Sorry, DL, I’d have to disagree with your point on Spring Training. As a Minnesotan who suffers through long, cold winters, my saving grace is knowing that, come March, I get to go to Ft Myers and see baseball. Even if it is my Twins, it’s still baseball in warm sunshine!
Spring Training is for pitchers, cutting down Spring Training impacts a pitcher’s ability to get ‘stretched out’ for the regular season. You are correct, though, Spring Training is far longer than batters require.
The length of games can be corrected by the umpires using the old AL positioning of being behind the catcher and aligned with the plate not off to one side where the outside pitch is just guess work. Also calling the rule book strike zone and not the customized one that varies from one umpire to the next would force hitters to swing more.. The main reason is the commercial breaks between innings. In the 50’s a commercial break consisted of 60 second ads not the current 2 to 3 minutes or more come the playoffs. These are real changes that will shorten games, but will never happen because revenue from tv ads and overblown egos of umpires will not allow it to happen.
Referencing how the Yankees and Mets split New York is somewhat relevant, but not completely . They each use their own broadcast network while the O’s and Nats share MASN. It’s not exactly the same.