More is Less

One of my best friends would always look @ me while I was adding football plays for our team …on the fly… and say, “Less is More”….well I’m carrying that corollary to the next level, “More is Less”.
….The MLB has just announced plans of an expansion of their playoff system to 14 teams. This follows a grueling, 6 month long–162 games schedule to determine those playoff teams. That full season begins after 4-6 weeks of exhibition baseball. It looks like a season from St. Patrick’s Day to Veterans Day will be on the slate soon. IF the MLB is intent on expanding the playoffs, a shortening of the regular season is essential. The Cardinals owner, Bill DeWitt, a very shrewd businessman and good owner, has already proposed reducing the schedule back to the 154 game format of decades ago.
….All of the professional teams hover right around the 50% level of post-sesaon teams—it makes MONEY so….regular season…step aside  The NHL has 16 of 31 teams in the playoffs; NBA 16 of 30 teams; the NFL is marching in step with the MLB and considering 14 of 30 teams (47%)…fans still flock to these early round games and drive up TV ratings…both which elevate the cash flow of the league. Owners ARE in the business of making money…increased playoffs seem to be inevitable at the time.
….Just think if college sports went that route….there are 125 D-1 football schools….FOUR (4) make the playoffs. In basketball, @ D-1 level there are 347 teams with 68 making the tournament. If either of those sports followed the professional playoff model, we’d have 60 NCAA football teams in the playoffs and 170 D-1 basketball teams in the brackets!! When one holds these systems side-side… from my eyes …it seems “more is less”.
…This precept applies in many other ways….Jay Bouwmeester’s cardiac “issue” brought all the players & fans quickly back to “real” life. The tremendous work accomplished by the medical staff probably saved his life. His career may be in jeopardy…but…..due to the larger medical staff now at each professional game, there is less chance for a severe catastrophe to occur during the game. Facing this permanent loss…. seemingly… the Blues went out & acquired a rental for the rest of the year…meaning he’ll become a free agent at the end of the year…in Marco Scandella. It appears that he’ll be in regular rotation, stout defender and has experience. Even with his $4m contract the Blues easily remain under the hard cap of $81m/year.
… the Longevity of MLB games …up to 3 hours 5 min last season is too long for my taste…and many other fans. In my attendance @ Cards games last year, when the inning ends after the clock strikes 10:00pm….there is a max exodus for the gates…even if it’s a tight score. 3 hours is enough!!! The MLB ALSO realizes it ….soooo… the implementation of new rules to speed up the game. Now relief hurlers must face a minimum of 3 batters or the reaching the end of the inning prior to a pitcher being replaced. I think, it’ll still be 1 batter in many cases. Managers will use that specialist, when possible, with 2 outs in the inning.
Soooo…that relief hurler is removed at the end of the inning after his batter.
…Meanwhile, an “untouchable” that is never approached is shortening the time between innings. That time is necessary for the sponsors to get their word “out”….so the owners can wheel-barrow their money to the bank. Here’s a suggestion….put 5-10 second commercials in the corner of the screen, between batters, to get out the message. I believe that MORE people would actually see it ..and read it…instead of stepping out of the room for food/drink/other stops between innings. Go back to the 1 minute between innings that was used for decades. It’d save approximately 20 minutes/game.
…As the Astros ….apparently I misspelled it last week as… Asstros….who’s codebreaking program evolved over years are receiving protection from the MLB from the other players of the league. No pitching inside or retaliation is the word of the league to the players….are you kidding me…the over/under @Vegas on Houston batters getting hit-by-pitch is 83 for the season. I’m going over!! Does anyone REALLY think that all the MLB players will follow that directive? I don’t. Further, I would encourage Jose Altuve to subscribe to Julian Javier’s ghost-like turn of DP pivots @ 2B since I have the feeling that opposing runners may be coming in harder & higher on those type of plays in 2020. On the other hand, do you think that the umpires will be “patting down Altuve” each AB? 
…the players protection is due to the immunity required by the MLB Players Union. The union required that MLB doesn’t retaliate against the players. So, the guilty Asstros, are expecting not to be treated in an unusual way by the other players. However the FANS will let them know. Already yesterday in the 1st spring training game, Houston heard the 1st ..of what will be the norm.. a long, loud, continuous chorus of boos, heckles, banging seats (I guess sending signs to the batters ) that will demonstrate the fans thoughts.
…the landscape of NCAA Mens basketball has a totally different look. This Weekend the #1, #2 & #4 teams were upset. No….it wasn’t Duke, Kentucky, N. Carolina being upset…it was #1 Baylor, #2 Gonzaga & #4 San Diego State! Meanwhile, sitting in the #6 spot is Dayton…another team arriving on the national stage. With all of the talent spread around to more & more teams, the certainty for a team …they always call it a program….to dominate for a decade.. or more…is less & less. That’ll be great for the sport.
YOUR thoughts/reaction are always invited!