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One on One: Should the MLB season be 162 games?

A shorter MLB season is a win for everyone

by Rodrigo Perez

It’s no secret that baseball has not been America’s favorite pastime with its decline in popularity over the years. The American public just seems to be more interested in the touchdowns of the NFL and the slam dunks of the NBA to notice the home runs of MLB. 

The current model that MLB uses is a 162-game season, about a half-year trek. It’s extremely difficult and exhausting for the fans to keep up with a 162-game season, as interest gets lost during the six months that it spans. Because the interest in baseball has been on a decline, this long season does not help tenured fans or newcomers enjoy America’s game. 

The only solution for this issue is for MLB to shorten their season to imitate other leagues, like the NFL and NBA. With a shorter season, the fans wouldn’t have to watch so many games —  which would make them more of an event.

Since there are plenty of games, the importance of winning and losing is nearly lost, as losing a couple games early on in the season does not ruin your chances to potentially go far in the playoffs. The teams that perform well during the beginning of the season usually get a big-enough lead to the point where there is no chance for other teams to catch up. 

While baseball is losing some of its steam as one of America’s favorite sports, it’s not a dead sport. One advantage that comes with keeping the 162-game season is that the fans would be able to see their favorite team play more, but sometimes quality is better than quantity. By simply reducing the number of games played, MLB would be making the league easier to follow, more competitive and more exciting. 

162 games of perfection

by Courtney White

The 162-game season of baseball was created so teams could make mistakes and recover, players could get into funks and streaks and fans could make it to a game no matter what was happening in their lives. MLB experimented with a shortened season last year, and it didn’t turn out well for players or fans. 

Both former National League MVP Christan Yelich and former American League MVP José Altuve had what fans, and themselves, considered disappointing seasons. In the shortened season, both players barely hit over .200, which was well below their averages from the previous season. Many pitchers were affected as well, including Ross Stripling, who ended up with an ERA two runs higher than his usual average. 

The shorter season also produced a great number of injuries to players, which has a bigger overall impact on the player and the team. In a regular season, missing 10 games for injury is just a blip on the radar screen of the season. In the shorter season, a player is missing a larger fraction of their season, impacting their stats and potentially their team’s record. 

MLB players, teams and fans are built for a longer season. Players train year-round to build stamina to play in spring, summer and fall with the goal to win games and create a great fan experience. Yelich was adamant that his game was negatively impacted by the shortened season. 

Shortening the Major League Baseball season would do more harm than good, and MLB should keep its season the 162 games of perfection as it is.

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