I’ve written this commentary before, and I will be glad to stop the repetition if someone would listen to me!
The general theme is: the baseball season is too long; the specific subject today is Spring Training, the main culprit.
Are you going to tell me it takes four or five weeks to get ready for the 162-game endurance test? Does it take that long to hit .242 or author a 5.44 earned run average? 109 batters—a little over three a team—hit above .249 in the major leagues in 2015. Thank you, ESPN.com.
What would the .250s have hit if they had “only” two weeks in the sun in Arizona and Florida? .246? Lorenzo Cain of Kansas City—with that month’s preparation—posted a .307 average last season: fifth best in the American League. .307 has always been good, but Top Five?
Don’t tell me these guys don’t come to official workouts in pretty good shape with plenty of cage-work or throwing and catching the ball between late October and March 1. What else did they have to do in the offseason? Practice law—their second job?
Also, it has dawned on me after watching baseball for more than six decades, you get three or four at-bats a game and maybe several defensive chances unless you’re a pitcher or catcher. Don’t you think the offensive guys could take 14 days batting practice—facing some hard throwers—and get in dozens of swings a day? And infielders/outfielders could take a ton of ground balls, line drives?
One big problem is I imagine the folks in Arizona and Florida do not want any reduction in Spring Training, which would cut into their hotels’ $250-a-night income and all the other money made off tourists.
Make it up to them in some way: MLB could offer a special payout to the states.
Here’s where a two-week preseason could help. You also cut the regular season back to its old (traditional) 154 games and put on some double-headers, and you’re close to a season ending around Labor Day. You can’t get a legitimate champion in that length of time?
The World Series might end near October 1. That’s BEFORE college and pro football really heat up. Opinion: no one really cares about baseball once football begins except the fans in cities where their teams are in contention. Yes, baseball would be hurt in September—but NOT in October, too.
You know what? Maybe those .235 hitters would realize they have less time to beef up that average so they might work harder. Maybe .245 would become a real possibility.

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