Let’s do a theoretical here:
Pick an arbitrary date for the start of the MLB season, like June 1st. Say we just start the year at that point, pick up the schedule there, and play a shortened campaign.
Any issues? Problems?
You’d save yourself the headache of rescheduling, but the standings would be unbalanced due to the loss of divisional games, which would have to be weighted or worked into the back-end of the calendar somehow. The Phillies are set to play six divisional series between now and June 1st, which would be lost in our theoretical scenario.
One of possible solutions to reworking the schedule is to play doubleheaders, which Jeff Passan writes about in a story posted to ESPN this morning:
MLB and the MLBPA have worked toward a potential agreement over the past 10 days, acknowledging the inevitability of a shortened season that both parties hope would begin by early June and would guarantee players a prorated salary that would depend on the number of games played, according to sources. Multiple players told ESPN they are willing to play a significant number of doubleheaders — as many as two a week — to make up for lost games and try to get as close to a full 162-game schedule as possible.
Using our theoretical, the Phillies would miss 58 games if we picked up the calendar on June 1st. That would leave you with 104 remaining game days, plus 10 off days not including the All-Star break. If we wanted to get to 162 games, and we played during every off day, we’d be trying to stuff 58 lost games into 94 remaining games, which means you’d be playing a doubleheader every 1.62 games.
That’s a lot of doubleheaders, and you’re putting quite a bit of wear and tear on guys’ bodies if they would agree to do that.
This is my solution:
Let’s only reschedule the lost divisional games, which amounts to 19 for the Phillies, and just play those games as doubleheaders to balance out that portion of the calendar. The rest of the games can just be cancelled outright, and we play a shortened season (around 125 games) without running these guys into the ground and causing unnecessary injuries.
That’s how I’d do it. Good idea? Dumb idea?