Among my roommates, I am known as the baseball fan. Each of us is passionate about at least one sport, from football to basketball to Jiu-Jitsu, and I am the baseball guy. I say this to boost my credibility before making an argument that causes many baseball fans to cry foul.

Here it goes: There are too many games in the MLB season. The MLB maintains the current schedule for revenue purposes, but there are two important reasons to overturn it.

First, the length of the season is bad for the players. The 162-game regular season schedule is grueling on players’ bodies, and it often forces them onto the disabled list for long periods of time.

Pitchers’ arms, in particular, are bound to tire out by the end of the season. This forces managers to limit the amount of pitches a starter throws and to rely more heavily on their bullpens. This trend has intensified in recent years, causing increasingly shorter starts.

This means that the star pitcher who makes $15 million a year is only pitching two-thirds of the game. No disrespect to Brandon Morrow, but Los Angeles Dodgers fans came to see starter Clayton Kershaw, not relievers like Morrow. Simply put, if the season were shorter, fan favorites would see the field more.

Another reason the long season is bad for players is that it makes incredible streaks and break-out players fade into irrelevance as the law of averages does its sad work.

This year, Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers started the season as the league’s hottest player. At the end of April, he had 11 home runs, an on-base percentage approaching .500 and a slugging percentage north of .800. To put this in perspective, before this year, he had never had a full season where he hit more than 12 home runs. But bymid-September, his on-base percentage dropped over 100 points, and his slugging percentage dropped nearly 300 points.

John Maynard Keynes once quipped that “in the long run, we’re all dead.” That may or may not apply to economics, but it sure as heck applies to baseball. In the long run, the law of averages killed Thames and all the excitement he brought to Brewers fans. And that’s a shame.

But the most important reason why MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred ought to shorten the season has nothing to do with players. It is about interest, entertainment and the importance of each game.

Early this summer, I was talking about the romance of baseball when my roommate cut me off and said, “Hugh, baseball is boring. And it doesn’t matter what happens right now anyway.”

In a way, I see his point. The early months of baseball are not that exciting or important because the season’s outcome does not hang in the balance. The early months rarely determine what will happen when playoff time comes in October.

Furthermore, as the season progresses, the gap between playoff teams and non-playoff teams widens to the point that many teams have virtually no shot at making the playoffs by mid-July, but still need to play another 80 games. That leaves fans at best lukewarm about the competitive aspect of baseball.

Don’t get me wrong: The league has done a very good thing by adding a second Wild Card spot, and it is still quite fun to go to a game or to watch one on TV, but it’s not a breathless experience every night.

By playoff time, the American sports world by and large has lost primary interest in baseball and turns its attention to football. In doing this, the league is missing out because there is hardly anything more electric than playoff baseball.

Nonetheless, the MLB needlessly competes with the middle of the NFL season for attention. If the MLB playoffs happened in August, by contrast, there would be little to compete with. Football would not have started, and basketball would have already ended.

Life would be more exciting if we got to watch the NBA Finals in June, the MLB playoff race in July, the World Series in August and then football season in September. If baseball were shorter, we would see stars fresh for their games, formerly nameless players eternally enshrined in the annals of baseball lore, and a reinvigorated and electrified fan base. Life would be better if baseball were shorter.

Hugh Ramlow is a junior in the College. “THE ZONE”  appears every other Friday.

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