I was thinking over the weekend how much better football has it figured out. The Chargers played a meaningless game in the last week of the season. The playoff implications were there in the form of not getting hurt and trying to put together enough tape so as to confuse whoever they may play in the second round, but it didn't matter if they won or lost.
It was posturing and some high level strategy so it wasn't totally meaningless, but even if it was, it only made up 6% of the regular season.
Compare that to what happened to the Padres in 2008 and 2009. There was strategy and posturing to be sure, but there was also a lot of lag. There were lots of meaningless games. I know other football teams started playing their meaningless games earlier, but think about it. If you could potentially get into the playoffs with a 9-7 or 8-8 record, you still were potentially in it well into the season with a 3-6 record or something like that. Look at Tennessee. The lag is noticeably reduced.
Now that we live in the future, there should be no lag. Things should be instantaneous.
Therefore, I re-post the idea that the baseball season should be shortened drastically. Not to 148 games, which has been thrown around before, but rather to something like 52. Instead of 25 men active on a roster, we cut that down to 15.
This would have some (interesting) effects:
Each game becomes an event. No more "strategically" sacrificing 3 1/2 hours of baseball by resting your best players. No throwaway day games with a #5 vs a #4 pitcher. Each game becomes much more meaningful.
Players are forced to be more dynamic. AL fans, do we really need a fat guy who can't play the field taking up roster space? Not with a 15 man roster we don't. Every single player will be expected to play longer and more positions. No more specializations. If the only thing you're good at is throwing a curve ball left handed, then sorry, you won't be making the roster today.
Every game gets played at its fullest potential. I touched on this in the first point, but by shrinking the size of the teams and the number of games, we also ensure that the quality of the games remains high. Every game would feature the best or second best starting pitcher that a team can field. With fewer overall spots the talent level also goes up. What can Philly do with 4 number one pitchers? There's no point. Better to invest in hitting and therefore let those other pitchers go to other teams. Or maybe teams do stock up on fantastic pitchers and dilute the pool for everybody else. More strategy!
The moral of the story: The future is now!