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.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.