commissioner remains open to 154-game schedule

Baseball In his first year as commissioner, Rob Manfred already has overseen an improvement in pace of play on the field. Might he be up for shortening the length of the season, too?Manfred certainly appears open to the possibility. At a news conference Wednesday night in Houston, Manfred indicated reverting to a 154-game schedule isn’t out of the realm of possibility and said the notion has drawn support from other constituencies. 2015: These AL player gotta get better in 2015″Players have asked about 154,” Manfred said, via .com. “I think 154 is a topic that is complicated. It has big competitive and economic ramifications. Having said that, I think in the 20-something years I’ve worked in the game, there’s more conversation about it than there has been in a long time.” It has been more than 50 years since baseball switched to a 162-game schedule, and one of the points of debate back in the 1960s likely would resurface quickly if there was a serious move to turn back the clock: statistical integrity. Baseball loves its records, and just as many were upset about the impact adding eight games to the schedule would have on Babe Ruth’s home run records, many (now armed with social

media) probably would be similarly affronted by going the other way.The most important roadblock, though, would figure to come from those who pay Manfred’s salary — the owners. Dropping eight games overall means dropping four home dates for each team, and that’s a decent chunk of change. Not that any owner can claim poverty, particularly given the state of television rights deals these days, but owners aren’t generally in the business of finding ways to give away revenue.The change could have its benefits, though, by potentially saving wear and tear on players and keeping the World Series from trickling into November in any given year depending on how the calendar sets up.As Manfred said, the economic implications could make this a non-starter out of the gate, but the appearance of open-mindedness from on a variety of issues lately is a refreshing change.