Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was in the news recently discussing an MLB overhaul and a call for ‘drastic changes.’ At the forefront of Smoltzs’ issues with the MLB is the lack of drama with only a handful of games left to play before the playoffs.
Outside of the NL Central Race (which as a Milwaukee company, we are fully engulfed in), Smoltz says the lack of drama this close to the end of the season is a problem. The AL Wild Card Race has been over for months. With Smoltz being a member of the MLB Competition committee – I’d say that his unhappiness is definitely something to note and hear out.
A couple key points he makes, some of which I disagree with, are arguments we’ve been hearing for a while now (if you’re an avid MLB follower).
- ‘Eliminating the shift.’ This argument I do not understand. You don’t tell a shooting guard in basketball that he can’t help out on a double team under the basket. Why then should we tell the shortstop that he can’t play on the other side of second base, and essentially ‘double up’ on the player who always pulls to right field?
- ‘Curtail the relentless use of relievers’. Ok… find better starting pitchers then.
There is one point he makes that I must say, I agree strongly with. Revolutionize the schedule. One way to do this is by not playing interleague games and essentially have every team play the same schedule; i.e. everyone plays the same teams the same amount of times. The NBA adopted this same philosophy and their playoffs and playoff races have been a topic of conversation for the past X amount of years.
The most important aspect of revolutionizing the schedule would include trimming the number of games played. This would help in a number of ways: it would keep more teams in the hunt and cut down on injuries. Let’s face it: more teams in the hunt lead to more storylines, which as sports fans – we all love!