Report: MLB will ‘heavily discuss’ idea of 154-game schedule

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged that a 154-game schedule will be discussed.
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

By Sam Galanis

If you think the Major League Baseball season is too long and would like to see it shortened, you might get your wish soon. Or not.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB Players’ Association Director Tony Clark spoke to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale ahead of the All-Star Game on Tuesday and said the league would definitely consider a 154-game schedule. It’s a topic that would come up when negotiating the next collective bargaining agreement after the current one expires in December 2016.

“In looking back from the time I played to now that I’m watching what these guys are doing, I don’t know how they do it,” Clark told Nightengale. “What these guys are being asked to do with respect to games’ start times, with respect to the travel distances themselves, with respect to performing at an elite level with three days off a month, is a challenge.

“I think that’s why as we continue to move forward here, and guys continue to be asked to do more and more, it’s something that we have to look at significantly.”

Shortening the MLB schedule to 154 games would give players more time to rest and less time to get injured. Fans would be almost guaranteed to see their favorite players take the field at the ballpark. So why isn’t shortening the season a no-brainer?

Money.

“We sell out in a lot of markets in terms of gates, we have television commitments and there are game guarantees that could be affected by a shortened season,” Manfred said. “So it’s a huge economic issue.”

While many players and managers would be in favor of a shortened season, those economic issues ultimately will be a huge obstacle. So, despite the fact that it’ll be a big topic of discussion as early as next year, it seems unlikely that the 2017 season will be the first to have 154 games since 1960.

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