Even former players can't handle the 162-game season. One of the big draws of baseball is fans can enjoy the game for the duration of spring, summer, and fall. However, the toll it causes to players is undeniable.
They may not be in constant motion, but baseball still produces a lot of wear and tear on the body. Elbows get blown out, hamstrings get strained, and shoulders get hurt because of the repeated motion over 162 games of highly competitive matches. If MLB wants to have the best product on the field at all times, it needs to shorten the season to give everyday players relief in their physically taxing positions.
Who cares what casual fans want? Baseball was meant for those who eat, sleep and drink the game. There is no other sport like baseball because you can get your fix every single day. Who doesn't want more home runs, crazy catches and pitcher's duels?
Having games every day is great for teams who get money from television deals, but the people it doesn't help are the fans. Baseball is the rare sport that offers action every day during the season, which is great.
However, because the best players need rest, they are unable to always suit up. Fans go to the ballpark expecting to see stars and see bench players instead. That kills the fan experience.
One of the main arguments against a shortened season is players would be getting paid more to play less. Owners believe baseball players should take pay cuts in order to make up the difference. But here's the kicker—baseball players are already getting paid to sit.
As much as these athletes love the game, even they need a break from the everyday grind of a season. So managers sit them every so often to rest and refocus. Having fewer games with rest days spread apart ensures everyday players can actually play every day. No need to take a break from playing, when there are already rest days built in.
A lot can happen in an MLB season—and that's a problem. Having more games devalues the worth of each game. In college football, each game can mean a bowl berth or the end of a meaningful season. In baseball, a loss in May is a Tuesday. Games up until the last months of the season mean nothing in the grand scope of things because you can always make up ground in the other 161 games.
With the stakes so low, it's hard to justify caring about such a long season.
There's no such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to baseball. The more games there are, the more data there is to determine who is truly the best team. The larger data sample sizes allow for more information to draw from.
If you knew anything about baseball, it's all about the numbers. 162 games allow for numbers to really shine.
Baseball already lost revenue potential by eliminating multiple games in a wild-card series. Reducing the number of games will drive revenue down even further. Eliminating a game takes away ticket and concession sales.
Plus, teams will be forced to increase ticket prices to make up the difference, which will turn some fans off who come for a stadium experience they can afford. Families turn to baseball for affordable fun. You can buy tickets for the entire family without breaking the bank.
Having 162 games keeps ticket prices at an affordable level, and makes the sport appealing to families looking for a fun activity. Reducing the number of games will only hurt baseball.
The argument that players NEED rest is bogus. They choose to have rest. Manny Machado played all 162 games and had a good season. With the modern athlete eating better and taking better care of their bodies, no one who claims to be a ball player should be unable to play 162 games.