Mike Scioscia: cut the season to 158 games

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Mike Scioscia must fear watching a Twins-Phillies World Series being played among the snow drifts:

Mike Scioscia is a strong proponent of expanding the division series
from five to seven games and of finishing the World Series in October,
when there is a better chance of decent weather in the Northeast and
Midwest than there is in November.

The 162-game regular-season schedule would have to be condensed so
the postseason could start about Oct. 1, and that could be accomplished
by playing more doubleheaders.

But on Sunday, the Angels manager proposed something more radical:
reducing the number of games, not necessarily to the pre-expansion,
154-game schedule teams played before 1961 but something in the 158-game
range.

Bah. More baseball games, please, not less. I realize that split double headers are unpalatable to the players (long day at the office); and that quick-turnaround doubleheaders are unpalatable to the front office (reduced revenue from selling a ticket). Scioscia’s plan of reducing four games worth of revenue would be a non-starter for the owners.

You can’t have three rounds of seven-game playoff series and a mid-to-late October finish without risking crap weather either early in the season if you start early or late in the season if you go late. To expect otherwise is to expect that the law of conservation of matter (or perpetual motion or one of them laws) be broken.

I think we’re being too fearful of the weather to begin with. Yes, we could get snow in Minnesota or Philly in November. But we’re also just as likely to get a nice 65 degree sunny day and a cool but pleasant evening.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.