MLB commissioner Rob Manfred: Shorter season possible
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he will consider shortening the baseball season if there is interest in that proposal.
The American League has played a 162-game season since 1961, while the National League followed suit the next year.
"I don't think length of season is a topic that can't ever be discussed," Manfred told ESPN.com. "I don't think it would be impossible to go back to 154 [games]."
There has been no serious talk of changing the regular season schedule, and Manfred said he believes that nothing on that front is imminent because other issues, like the pace-of-play rules, are more pressing.
Last week, MLB and the players union approved rule changes intended to speed up the game. Those rules will take effect during the 2015 season.
During the current 162-game schedule, fewer position players are playing the full slate of games.
According to Stats LLC, fewer than nine percent of position players played in at least 150 games last season. Only four (Alcides Escobar, Freddie Freeman, Evan Longoria, and Hunter Pence) played in all 162 games in 2014.
"We already have some of our record books which reflect a 154-game season and obviously some of it reflects a 162-game season," Manfred said. "So there's some natural flexibility there. But if anyone suggests to go to something like 110 games, then there's a real problem. That will throw all our numbers out of whack."
Team owners and the players association would have to sign off on any changes to the schedule.
- Scooby Axson