No More November Baseball

The Dalai Lama has stated that if science proves that something about Buddhism is wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.

Well, two things about the first week in November will have to change.

The first of these two things is not related to the sports world, since it is the fact that Daylight Saving Time needs to be made permanent (a bill to do just that has already passed unanimously in the Senate, but is currently stalled in the House, for some mysterious reason).

The world's largest country, at least in terms of square-mile area anyway — Russia — has observed what amounts to year-round Daylight Saving Time since 1918.

And lest anyone read something political into this, it was also in 1918 that Russia abandoned the Julian calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar.

All of Russia's eleven time zones are one hour "fast" of what the time "should be" — which, given the near-worldwide universality of the 9-to-5 workday, actually makes eminent good sense.

But enough about the clock — so let's concentrate on our former national pastime.

On Saturday, November 5, the Houston Astros won the 2022 World Series in six games. Doesn't that sentence sound disjointed to you? Will some future World Series hero be dubbed "Mr. November"?

This scenario can be avoided in the future, on a permanent basis.


By rolling back the regular season to its "traditional" 154 games. (Have you hugged a "purist" recently?)

Nineteen times is too many times to have teams in the same division play each other. Cut that to 17 times each, and there's your 154-game schedule.

The major virtue of shortening the regular season is that it will allow baseball to guarantee every team that makes the playoffs at least one postseason game at home: In the new, best-of-three Wild Card Series, the higher seed can be given Game 1, and Game 3 (if necessary) at home, with the lower seed hosting Game 2.

And unless the two teams are more than one time zone apart, the three games would be played on three consecutive days (it is always easier to have blanket absolutes — at least according to some anyway).

The surviving teams can be re-seeded after the results of the Wild Card Series are known — but that may be a more suitable topic for another column (had this been in effect in the just-concluded season, the Phillies would have had to play the Dodgers in the NLDS instead of the Braves, and the entire postseason in the National League might have taken a different course).

Some observers also believe that the Division Series should be best-of-seven instead of best-of-five — and that becomes a realistic option, as well, if the regular season is rolled back to 154 games.

In summation, there is a lot to like about a 154-game regular-season schedule in baseball.

While it is an awesome idea to stop "falling back" every year on the first Sunday in November as regards to time, "falling back" to a 154-game regular-season schedule in baseball just might be an even more awesome idea.

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