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Game 26 Open Thread- Angels (14-11) at Royals (8-17)

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Wow. A four game series? Thats crazy, thats like playing two two game sets back to back!!

As Joe Sheehan pointed out a few weeks ago, the real problem with the schedule isn't where April games are, or aren't being played, but rather the entire premise of the un-balanced/inter-league setup, producing an odd, illogical schedule padded out with random road trips and two-game sets. Thus, the Royals flying to Seattle (after two days in Minnesota) on thursday night, playing three games in Washington, then playing the A's and Angels to complete the week flying back to Kansas City to play... the LA Angels. After their time in KC, the Angels then head out to Chicago turn around and fly back home to play the White Sox.

Sheehan nails it:

Does this make any sense at all? A two-games-in-21-hours trip to a city 1800 miles away from games on either side of it? Whose idea was this? The Padres play in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Denver, but have these two completely random games in Chicago mixed in there as well. It looks, on the schedule, like a trip to play makeup games.

The root cause of this is trying to play too many opponents in 26 weeks. Thirteen opponents four times each—the AL’s schedule in my youth—was symmetrical, and even the NL’s version made plenty of sense. Now, teams are playing 18, 19, 20 opponents, and added to that, playing some of those teams up to 19 games each. It’s virtually impossible to create a schedule that doesn’t have odd travel sequences, risky elements and a lot more flying than was the case 20 years ago.

MLB has simply tried to do too much with its schedule. I’m not sure you can reasonably play everyone in your league, play a clutch of interleague games, play a disproportionate number of games within your division, and do all that without making scheduling a Rube Goldberg contraption. There are already very good competitive reasons to oppose interleague play—take a peek at the interleague slates of the Mets and, well, any other NL team, as an example—and unbalanced schedules have been distorting wild-card races for nearly a decade. When you consider the travel and scheduling burdens these elements create, that should be the final nail in the coffin for this structure. Sensible scheduling should be a part of any good sports league. MLB doesn’t have that, and likely can’t have that, unless it gives up one of its two pet projects--the unbalanced schedule and interleague play.

Sensibility no! Pet projects yes! Pax Seliga!

Tonight, we begin a rare four-game set with the Angels, entrusting the noble Odalis Perez (2-2, 7.54 ERA) to protect us against an Angel onslaught. The Halos counter with the increasingly fat John Lackey (3-2, 2.35 ERA).

We will remember this game, and the anticipation we're feeling pregame, for the rest of our lives.