The Demand of Baseball’s Long Season
The Demand of Baseball’s Long Season is for the Players to Worry About
The Major League Baseball season boasts 16 times more games than the NFL season. The 162-game schedule can wear down well prepared athletes, leading to nagging, chronic, overuse injuries such as forearm tightness, shoulder fatigue, and oblique and hamstring strains. They even call August the dog days because everyone is dogging it by the end of the summer.
But there’s good reason for this slog of a season. Baseball is unlike any other major sport. The best teams only win about 60% of their games, great hitters only hit safely 30% of the time, and games can be won or lost on an error or bloop hit. In the end, there’s a lot of luck involved. A long season shows, unequivocally, which teams and players are the best. Winning percentages and stats don’t lie with such a large sample size.
There is no reason to shorten the season from a fan’s standpoint, unless you’re in a cold weather city. April and October can be brutally cold in Boston, New York and Chicago. Outside of the occasionally frigid game, the players take the brunt of the demand. They are the ones on the field giving it their all every day, but they are paid accordingly. And one of the biggest reasons for high salaries is the abundance of games and the revenue that the long season generates.
And shortening the season puts records in jeopardy. With fewer games, players are less likely to break in-season records for any stat, and careers will have fewer games in them and that could put career records out of reach. The age-old pastime of arguing over the best player in history would have to be put on a curve.
You pay good money. Let the players earn it by playing 162 games for your enjoyment.