For Major League Baseball fans, there’s nothing better than post-season. We’re in the throes of it right now, of course.
The game’s pace seems to quicken. Mistakes and heroics are magnified. TV networks bring in their A-list announcers and fill the ballparks with cameras to catch every angle and drip of emotion. Home fans are out of their minds.
As a viewer, it’s hard not to get swept up. But why does it take until October to get there? What about the other 162 games — the regular season?
Baseball’s an incredible game. But here’s how the MLB could make it better:
Enough already. Get rid of the designated hitter. In the National League, pitchers bat. In the American League, they don’t. What other professional league plays by two sets of rules? Interleague play and the World Series are flawed because of that.
Make it a best of three. The addition of a second Wild Card team in each league in 2012 made the race to the post-season a mad scramble. But because the two Wild Card teams in each league play a one-game playoff, one bad game can end a terrific season before the champagne has even gone warm. A team should have to win two to advance.
Put a limit on how many times a manager can change pitchers. The game has gotten so specialized that relievers are often waved in to pitch to one hitter and then replaced. That slows the game down beyond the casual, comfortable folksy pace that we love so much.
Shorten the NBA season, which now runs from late October through late June. Allow no tip-off after baseball’s Opening Day.