Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baseball: neutral site

Today, I have a few outrageous suggestions for Major League Baseball. First, it's time to do like football, and play the World Series at a neutral site, in a stadium that has either mild fall weather or a dome. The current playoff schedule has pushed the game dates too late, to a point where bad weather can ruin a good competition, washing away the players' pitching and fielding skills. And by the way, team fans will travel to see the series, just as football fans travel to the Superbowl. Using a neutral site will also improve publicity and ratings. Imagine a world series between, say, Milwaukee and Washington, played -- fortunately -- in Los Angeles.

Playing the series at a neutral location eliminates travel dates. The series can be played in seven straight days, or maybe with one rest day after game four. The current format, with two rest days, over-emphasizes good front-line pitching. To get into the playoffs, a team needs a good complete staff, but winning the series requires maybe three fine starters, a closer and two setup pitchers. Fewer rest days will make the series a whole-team affair. I really want to see the hide-bound leaders of basball wake up and make this change.

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