Bryce Harper had a lot of time to think while he was quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Phillies player made it clear on Friday that only one thing was on his mind: playing baseball again.
Harper shared an extensively detailed proposal for the return of the MLB season via Instagram, which included a regular season of 135 games, a College World Series format for the postseason and other interesting details.
For those who don't want to read this mountain of paragraphs, here is a summary of the five most interesting things about Harper's proposal:
Regular season of 135 games, East-West conferences
Many figures have been released regarding the number of games to be played this season. MLB owners have agreed on a plan to restart the season that includes a regular schedule of 82 games, but Harper seems to think there is room to squeeze in from 135 July to mid-November. Here's his math:
- July (31 days) + August (31 days) + September (30 days) + October (31 days) + November (15 days) = 138 days
- Teams have a day off on Monday every two weeks and play seven-shift matches on Sundays.
It is an interesting idea, although it is likely that many of those days off should be used to create rainy games.
Harper also proposed that all teams switch to a six-man rotation to ease the workload on the pitchers, although he said the idea is flexible depending on what the pitchers are most comfortable doing.
Perhaps the biggest shock is a shift from the American League / National League divisions to an East-West division, similar to NBA conferences. The logic behind this makes sense if teams are limited to where they can play and travel, but it's hard to imagine MLB making that kind of drastic change because, well, it's baseball for God's sake.
College World Series format for the postseason
This part of Harper's proposal is significantly more complicated. He suggests a 10-team playoff round, which includes series of three games and wildcard elimination games. It seems like a lot of chaos to happen in two weeks, so let's let Harper explain:
"10 teams in robin College World Series format in style at the new Texas Stadium or any stadium / stadium that is better. 3 game series. You win the series that moves on. You lose the other loser in a 1 game wildcard. Winner of that moves on. Another team is out. "
The College World Series is usually made up of 16 Super Regional winners, divided into two groups of eight who compete in a double elimination tournament until one team remains on each side. It is unclear whether Harper's CW reference was to divide the 10 teams into two groups of five and then play round robin, or just the double elimination aspect of the playoffs.
All-Star Game, regular season prizes before the World Series
Harper had some good ideas for what happens after the World Series match is determined. Following the hectic playoff schedule, the remaining two teams will have two days to rest. During that time, he suggested that the league play its All-Star game and Home Run Derby. It is an interesting proposal that could attract more attention from the sport, placing the two biggest league events in a row.
Harper also suggested that the league announce its winners during those days, which makes a lot more sense than waiting until the end of the season, when many fans are no longer paying attention.
& # 39; Open for everyone to watch & # 39;
This may be the most important aspect of Harper's speech; The MLB has been heavily criticized in recent years for TV blackouts. It never made sense for a league to struggle to gain popularity among the youngest, to make it difficult for games to be shown. Now, with fans unable to reach the stadium and stuck in their homes with nothing better to do, it is the perfect time to get rid of all these blackouts and give fans the opportunity to fall in love with the American pastime.
Postpone the start of the 2021 and 2022 seasons
Another question that follows what to do this season is what to do for the next seasons? Players will need time to recover, especially if they are blocking a schedule of 135 games in 138 days.
Harper proposed that the MLB postpone the start of the 2021 season to May 1 and then push the start of the 2022 season to April 1. It looks simple enough.