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Why shouldn't MLB reduce its season to 154 games?

We asked writers from our league of SB Nation MLB sites what they thought about shortening the baseball season to 154 games. Here is what they said.

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Say what you will about new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, but he does acknowledge that if baseball has a problem, it's attracting a younger audience. He certainly doesn't lack for ideas on how to approach it, either -- he has separately proposed increasing offense through smaller strike zones and speeding up the pace of the game with several rule changes.

His latest proposal is to shorten the season from 162 games down to 154, a mark not seen since 1961, and boy do people have BURNING OPINIONS on the topic. I asked several of our SB Nation MLB writers what the big deal is, and here's what they had to say:

Why do you hate (or support) the idea of reducing the MLB season to 154 games?

Wait, this could actually reduce injuries:

"Injuries and fatigue take their toll after 150 games into any baseball season. The 2011 Red Sox and the 2014 Brewers are the latest examples of teams who seemed primed for greatness but couldn't survive September. Baseball is a grind, an everyday sport designed to tax teams and players until October.

Changing the length of the season will fundamentally change the personnel requirement for teams to make the playoffs, possibly requiring less depth for any roster.  Should baseball be a sport where you have to outlast as much as you outplay? That's its current DNA, and you have to wonder how much eight games taken off the schedule would change that." -- Danny Russell, DRaysBay

Game length and pace is the real problem:

"The biggest question I have about reducing the schedule is whether there is actually a problem that needs to be fixed. The new pace of game rules have a specific goal in mind: cut down the time it takes to play baseball games in order to keep viewers interested.

Reducing the schedule feels like making a change simply for the sake of change. Cutting a week off of the schedule can be done in other ways that don't affect owners' pockets, such as scheduling doubleheaders (another thing baseball used to do)." -- Rob Rogaki, Bless You Boys

It's not like November games occur very often:

"Its a solution in search of a problem. People seem to think November World Series games are a common occurrence, and that the weather automatically turns cold on November 1. The truth is, November World Series have happened just three times before -- once because of 9/11, and once because of the World Baseball Classic. Despite playoffs stretching through the month of October, we have not seen a rash of cold weather games. So why change?" -- Max Reiper, Royals Review

It's not just the season itself that causes fatigue:

"For someone who had begun to feel a little too much like a crotchety traditionalist regarding a lot of the ideas Commissioner Manfred has been tossing around, I actually wouldn't mind reducing the schedule to 154 games. The baseball season is really long and it's not just the 162 game schedule. Players show up to spring training earlier every year.

With expanded playoffs, the postseason runs into November more often than not.  Young players often volunteer to play winter ball to appease their clubs, essentially playing the whole year round. So you lose a week of games, but improve scheduling for each team and perhaps assist the players we all want to see from wearing down." -- Christopher Fittz, Lone Star Ball

Who does this idea actually serve?

"Who benefits? Owners certainly don't, and neither do diehard fans. And I don't think there's a single non-baseball fan who has said, "I'd really love to get into baseball, but that season is just one week too long."

The only people who gain anything out of shortening the season are exhausted players, and when was the last time MLB ceded something to them just out of the goodness of their hearts? If this was something Manfred was proposing during contract negotiations with the MLBPA, I'd understand it. But proposing this now just seems like a cheap way to get attention." -- Richard Garfinkel, GasLamp Ball

It might just come down to money:

"The biggest, most important reason to not reduce the schedule to 154 games has nothing to do with my personal desires, but the loss of revenue from four home games to owners and TV partners. They'd never go for it. Beyond that, we have now had a 162-game schedule for nearly as long (55 years, since 1961) as the 154-game schedule was in place (57 years, 1904-60).

Shrinking the schedule would also mess with record books.  Finally, 154 games and 162 games were chosen to balance schedules (22 games vs. each team in an eight-team league, 18 vs. each in a 10-team league). We don't have balanced schedules anymore -- but we do have tradition, so keep it." -- Al Yellon, Bleed Cubbie Blue