I'm just chucking up some really hot takes today. But bear with me here.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Yesterday, Hubbs wrote the following blog, incorporating some pretty damning evidence from a noted Big J journalist, Jared Carrabis, indicting Anthony Rendon for being a good-for-nothing, overpaid, crybaby. (Paraphrased.) The "take the money and run" poster boy.
They pointed out that he had zero problem signing one of the largest contracts in MLB history a few years ago. And has basically skated through it so far, milking every o̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ injury to sit out as long as possible.
Yesterday, Rendon got killed for going on the Jack Vita podcast and voicing his displeasure with how long the Major League Baseball season is.
And, hear me out, I agree with him.
Baseball, America's pastime, is at a crossroads. With a season length that many, including players like Rendon, and far many more who are too afraid to be outspoken about complaining, find obnoxiously long, it's time for a rethink. The traditional 162-game marathon not only wears down players but also dilutes the excitement for fans.
The notion of playing opening day games in early spring, with snow still blanketing stadiums in cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, seems almost absurd. It's not just about player comfort; it's about fan experience and the quality of play. Why not start the season later, in the genuine warmth of late spring? If an early start is unavoidable, we should at least consider having cold-weather teams play their initial games in warmer locales or domes. It’s a strategy that has worked for other sports like basketball and hockey when scheduling conflicts arise.
There is no reason to be playing opening day games in March or April with snow on the ground and freezing temps in Chicago or Minneapolis or Cleveland. ZERO! Cut the season down. Make the games more meaningful and spread them out a little. If you absolutely must start the season that early, then weigh the rest of the schedule with more home series like the Bulls and Blackhawks do every year when the circus is in town.
I am writing this as a former employee of a World Champion baseball organization, who has a World Series ring, and was called an "unsung World Series hero" (The Chicago Tribune's words. Not mine. nbd.)
I've sat through 80+ games in a year. For a few years. It's impossible to "complain" about getting paid to watch/work professional baseball in a cathedral, like Wrigley Field, so I'm not complaining. I'm simply pointing out that it's exasperating.
A 101-game season has the perfect ring to it.
Back in the old days, the World Series was played in the 2nd week of October.
Now, due to the expanded season, expanded playoffs, and networks having too much of a say, it happens in November.
Let's end the season in October. Like it’s supposed to. Fewer regular season games allow for longer playoffs. No more November baseball. It's absurd.
While we're at it, no more 9 pm start times. Doesn’t matter if game times aren’t running 4-5 hours anymore thanks to the pitch clock. Starting playoff games at 9 pm eastern for tv is bullshit. You want to grow the game back? Start focusing on the kids. Step 1- is allowing kids to actually be able to stay up and watch it.
And let's also add more day time games while we’re at. Nothing beats daytime baseball. Nothing.
Another fix that's staring everybody directly in the face is the doubleheader. What the fuck happened to them? Why are they only an occurrence when the schedule is too damn cramned to allow for a make up date due to a rainout? They used to be a hallmark of the game. Players love them. And fans love them. They're like a double feature at the movies. (Which has also gone extinct for some dumb reason.)
Make teams play one or two noon and 4 pm doubleheaders a month on a Saturday or Sunday in June, July, and August while kids are out of school. And offer a single ticket for a fair price. Imagine being able to take your kids to two games at Wrigley on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon? And be home before 9 o’clock? It would be amazing. It would also allow players more coveted off days to rest, relax, or actually live a life outside a ballpark.
For everybody killing Rendon for making as much money as he does, and having the nerve to complain- they're totally right. He has no leg to stand on. But it's possible for the point he makes to be true at the same time.
The season is as long as it is for one reason and one reason only, and that's money. The TV Networks, and networks the teams now own and operate independently, desperately need 162 games so that they can fill 162 days out of the 365 days of content they need to provide in order to scrounge up every ad dollar they can. Since live sporting events seem to be the only thing commercial advertisers want to spend money on nowadays (thanks to DVRs and on-demand streaming), it's a true "wag-the-dog" situation the league and players find themselves in. The contracts keep going up, so the revenue needs to increase, and the easiest way to do that is by adding more games. Why do we think the NFL fought the players' union so hard to add one more regular season game to its schedule?
The real winners in this, despite what the purists will argue, is us. The fans. The quality of play in baseball's postseason is unlike any other sport other than perhaps hockey. The MLB postseason is incredible. Every pitch matters. There's an electricity that simply doesn't exist in the regular season, no matter how big the rivalry between teams is. It's compounded. Imagine regular season series' in May and June all of a sudden mattering a hell of a lot more than they do now, because of a condensed season and not seeing that team again another 30 times that summer? The intensity would be off-the-charts, and we'd be getting high-level baseball all season long rather than when pennant races start.
Obviously, this will never happen because of money. But you have to admit most of this makes sense.
The defense rests.