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.

Angels sign Kole Calhoun to three-year, $26 million extension

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first base during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.

Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).

The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.

Bryce Harper lobbies for Matt Wieters and Greg Holland

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a single in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.

As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:

Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!

Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:

I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.