The Cubs

The Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run home run Oct. 7, 2017, in the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Major League Baseball will celebrate its regular season Opening Day on Thursday afternoon, when all 30 of the league’s teams are scheduled to begin their 2018 seasons. 

Sports fans all over the country have Opening Day circled on their calendars as a national holiday-type celebration occurs for the fans of America’s pastime. 

Opening Day often brings that sense of seasonal hope, as the bad weather begins to disappear and summer is just around the corner. 

However, it has become a different type of feeling for some fans who are critical of the MLB’s scheduling procedures. 

With many of the league’s teams playing in northern parts of the country, Opening Day doesn’t have that spring vibe it once did when fans find themselves sitting in cold and rainy conditions in March. 

Those northern-located teams hosting Opening Day games often have an off-day following the scheduled opener in case the weather doesn’t permit the game to be played on the scheduled date. 

With baseball’s ratings continuing to drop below other sports, maybe some changes wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Baseball analysts and writers have proposed hypothetical ideas and concepts that will help with scheduling conflicts as well as keeping players healthy over the course of the long season, including the possibility of changing the season’s length.

The season has included 162 games, ranging from late March or early April to late September or early October, depending on how the schedule fits in the calendar. 

But, if the number of games was dropped to 150 or 155 games, it could allow for more off days or travel days and allow players to be better rested and energized to perform at a high level. 

Another concept that may seem a bit far-fetched would be dropping the number of games substantially, which could help with the redundancy of the regular season. 

There is always going to be the purists of the game who can never get enough baseball and will watch from when pitchers and catchers report in February to the final pitch of the World Series in late October or early November. 

Aside from those baseball fanatics and purists are average fans who want to be as tuned in as possible to America’s pastime but find it difficult due to the league taking up eight full months and small parts of two more months of a 12-month year, a timeframe that includes both preseason and postseason. 

With the season seeming never-ending at times, it is easy to see why the game is losing popularity. 

If you take out all the controversy over pace of play during the games and the league’s initiative to speed up play, the pace of the season is almost dreadful at times, and many fans can probably agree that it could use some serious reconsidering. Whether it be the regular season beginning the first week of May or ending Labor Day weekend, something needs to be done about the length of the MLB season sooner rather than later.

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