By Caleb Jonkman
To say that the 2018 MLB season hasn’t had the best start would be an understatement. Ask the Cubs or White Sox who didn’t play a game last week because of ten degree wind chills. Ask the Blue Jays, who’s game today was cancelled because of ice falling through the roof.
The MLB has not seen this level of postponement or cancellations in the past 10 years. It has left fans, management, and players wondering what has been going on? What’s interesting is that if you take a closer look, you can see a few reasons why.
Players have been complaining for a very long time. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the league’s response to its players. In short, they listened. Players have felt for a long time that the season’s they play are too long to be played with only a weekend or two days of rest. The MLB listened to this gripe and decided to move up the season an extra week, to incorporate more time for travel, and an extra day for players to recuperate between off days.
However this decision may actually hurt the players instead of benefit them.
Playing a game and then traveling isn’t bad. At least you have time on the plane and on bus rides to be able to recover. What really hurts you as a player is when you have to play double headers, or back to back days.
With the postponements being issued throughout the league there is no other way to get these games in other then to do exactly that. The Chicago Cubs have had 3 games postponed already. One being made up in July and the others being added onto already scheduled games as double headers. This completely reverses the goal of what the players association was trying to do.
This choice to make a hard stance has put the Players Association under huge scrutiny. The MLB has said that the reason that they always started the schedule late was to accommodate weather and not overload its players.
But either way the players lose. Play through tough weather, or play on low rest. The one thing that neither side wants to acknowledge is the game amount. The season has always been 162 games. It s part of an unwritten rule that this is how baseball is done. Why? Will 150 not do? What will losing 12 games in snow, sleet, or played till 1:00 in the morning change?
This is a hot topic of debate especially with players consistently getting the short end of the stick. There has been discussion of shortening the season, but then the MLB and the Players Association both lose out from TV benefits and advertising kickbacks.
Someone has to lose in this scenario yes, but sooner rather then later baseball needs to realize that it can no longer be its players.