Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Time for a balanced schedule

The way that the major league schedule is set up is absolutely appalling. Let's just look at the state of the American League for a moment. Over in the AL West, the A's, Angels, Rangers, and even Mariners will benefit from the arrival of the Astros in their division - they can beat up on Houston nineteen times this year.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, the AL East is pretty much up in the air. Toronto had a HUGE offseason, Baltimore is coming off of a playoff appearance, and those two are the usual basement dwellers. The Blues Jays, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays will play each other for almost half of their seasons - think about how that changes things in terms of Wild Card chances.

Now that each league has fifteen teams, and large blocks of interleague play are over (in favor of spreading those games from beginning to end), it's time to demand a balanced schedule. We've all pretty much accepted that the playoffs are essentially a crapshoot; any team can get hot at the right time, and ride that all the way to the World Series. But getting to the playoffs (yes, even with the new expansion) take quality play all season long.

But when the Rangers get to play the Astros nineteen times, and the Red Sox only play them seven times, how can we pretend that their records can be fairly compared? It's obvious to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that a balanced schedule needs to be next - at least within each league.

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