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Mike Scioscia: “We can’t have baseball in November … I don’t think the Pilgrims set it up that way”

Jun 6, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

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Angels manager and MLB special committee for on-field matters member Mike Scioscia said yesterday that he’s against the playoffs lasting into November, saying baseball can avoid that without having to shorten the regular season schedule from 162 games.

Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that MLB could remove days rather than games from the regular season schedule by streamlining travel and scheduling doubleheaders, saying of the current setup: “I don’t know what kindergartner figured that one out, but I think maybe we can move to first grade and get that a little better organized.”

He also advocated removing off days from the playoff schedule, which in addition to keeping the postseason from dragging into November would also force teams to actually use their fourth and fifth starters rather than relying primarily on a three-man rotation that isn’t representative of the regular season team.

“We can’t have baseball played in November,” Scioscia told DiGiovanna. “I don’t think the Pilgrims set it up that way.”

  1. dexterismyhero - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Was that the Los Angeles Pilgrims?

    • kinggeorge96 - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      of Anaheim

      • rebarratige - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        The uniforms were better when they were just the California Pilgrims.

      • Old Gator - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Maybe he meant the Boston Pilgrims of Plymouth, Rocky Nook, Barnstable, Carver, East Carver, North Carver, South Carver, Kingston, North Kingston, Plympton and Silver Lake, managed by Tom Morton?

        Anyway, why wouldn’t they have played baseball in November – because Miles Standish figured it was a heathen spectacle and deserved the same fate as the Merrymount maypole dances? Really hard to figure, when they had so many more useful things to do – like, oh, exterminating the natives.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        I used to love those spikes with the big brass buckles on top.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        OG- You forgot Teaticket, Mashpee, Hyannis, and, oh yes, Dennis and his brother East Dennis. Throw in a Sandwich for lunch.

      • Old Gator - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:18 PM

        Did you know that a group of large ponds in Plymouth county are home to the Plymouth red-bellied turtle (Pseudemys rubriventris bangsi), which is found nowhere else on Earth?

        Didn’t think so.

        Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_red-bellied_turtle

        It’s not as impressive as a dire beaver, but it is kinda pretty.

  2. dkb1968 - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Scioscia for President! And I’m a Rangers fan.

  3. halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Scioscia is 100% right. But, the money whores that run MLB baseball will never allow built-in doubleheaders again. As a kid I use to go to an early afternoon doubleheader. Payed one price for admission and got to see 2 games for the price of one.

    Hell, they want to add another wild card team to each league. They will be playing baseball into December.

    • Senor Cardgage - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      “Major League Baseball baseball”? Anyway, when it comes to money, where there’s a will there’s a way. You could charge a premium on doubleheader days. Or make them the day-night variety where you clear the ballpark in between the games.

    • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      I don’t think the Player’s Union will go for it either. At least from the anecdotal stuff I’ve read, there don’t seem to be a lot of Disciples of Ernie Banks out there….

  4. Utley's Hair - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Has he been taking history lessons from Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann?

    • tomemos - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      I presume he was joking.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        As do I.

  5. nudeman - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Great Idea/Will Never Happen

    It’s all about money, PERIOD. Selig, the owners and the Players Union have ruined the game, possibly permanently. American kids don’t play baseball anymore; they play soccer. Don’t believe that? Take a look at rosters today vs. 25 years ago and notice a distinct shrinking of Americans. Every team seems to have guys named Roberto, Ubaldo or Carlos.

    And when is the last time you drove by a baseball field in the summer and saw a pickup game being played? If you answered “never”, you win.

    The best thing baseball could do to change the tide is:
    1. Speed the game up. Cut the time between innings by 30 seconds, and enforce the current rule which says the pitcher must deliver a pitch within 20 sec of getting it back from the catcher. Actually they could easily make it 15 sec.
    2. Cut the number of games to 144, and make each team schedule at least 2 doubleheaders.
    3. Schedule the regular season to end no later than September 20th, and post season no later than October 20th.
    4. Eliminate off days in postseason. That’s right, the # 4 & 5 starters matter again.
    5. Schedule at least a couple WS games in daytime.
    6. Get some ex Major League stars to put together a program to get American kids playing the game again. Dave Winfield had some directive to get inner city kids playing the game again. That was about 5 years ago, and I’ve never heard a single success story.
    7. Salary cap. A HARD one. No more $300M contracts to guys over 30. Sorry A-Rod, Jeetah and Pujols.

    The only problem with almost all of these is that they would reduce revenue. But attendance is down, ratings are down and in my opinion the game is dying. Something needs to change. The owners can keep milking every nickel of revenue from the current system, but it ain’t working, and eventually they’ll be getting less anyway.

    But they won’t change.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      I agree with everything you said except cutting down the number of games. 162 is fine. But, if they instituted everything else, we could be playing the World Series in October again.

      Yeah, we need many more Americans playing the game. Problem is that these kids are too busy with the damn games and computers to care about our great game of baseball. There are too many foreign players in the game.

      • andrebeingandre16 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        youre right, fernandomania sucked. ichiro should just go back to japan! since when is having foreign players bad? it speaks to the popularity of the game around the world.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        andrebeingandre16,

        Where did I say not to allow any foreign players play in MLB? Some of our best players that ever played are foreign-born players. Don’t misquote me.

        All I’m saying is that we have a wealth of American athletes here that could be playing baseball. Every year it seems that the portion of foreign players is increasing. That’s sort of alarming.

        Isn’t that a fair statement?

      • cktai - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        75% of the MLB players are from the USA. I really don’t see the problem.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        cktai,

        75% of MLB players are Americans? That doesn’t sound right. I think you are way off. But, I need to check this out.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM

        cktai,

        Ok. You are right around the number. As of the April 2010 MLB opening day rosters, according to MLB, the amount of foreign-born players was at 27.7%. So, 72.3% of MLB is made up of American players.

        However, 3,370 of the 7,026 Minor League players under contract – 48.0 percent – were born outside the United States. Minor League players span 43 countries and territories, up from 41 a year ago.

        This tells me that MLB in the not too distant future will be made up of a majority of foreign-born players.

        The “Made In the USA” label takes another hit.

      • cktai - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Out of the 1011 players of who have played at least one game in the MLB during the 2011 season, 734 are American.

        For this century it is 2603 out of 3520.

      • cktai - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        You realise that the Mexican League, the Venezuelan Summer League, the Dominican Summer Leaguye, the Colombian Professional Baseball League, the Dominican Winter Baseball League, the Mexican Pacific League, the Puerto Rico Baseball League and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League are all considered Minor League Baseball teams right?

        And you realise that while foreign players have to be drafted to MiLB at a young age in order to have any chance of reaching the MLB, American players can opt to play for college teams right?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        Well, cktai, I guess you don’t care that the U.S., with a population of over 300 million people, can only field 72.3% of it’s own game with American born players.

        If you are OK with it, fine. I won’t win this one.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        “There are too many foreign players in the game.”

        This comment is really uncalled for, and not even really part of this topic.

        I’d click the middle finger button if it was available, but the thumbs down will have to do.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        scatterbrian,

        It was brought up by “nudeman” above and I agree with him. Why do you think that it is uncalled for? Can you add why you disagree that there should be more American players instead of putting up a middle finger?

      • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        Wow. OK, “too many foreigners” is a shitty thing to say. I shouldn’t need to expand on that further. (Happy D-Day by the way!)

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        scatterbrian,

        Yeah. That’s right. Today is D-day. June 6. God bless our troops that day storming the beaches of Normandy.

        All I’m saying that I would like to see more American born players plaing America game here in the USA. I thin a 90% American to 10% foreign ratio is what I’m looking for. One of the problems is that if you have too many foreign born players, there becomes a disconnect between the fans (young and old) and these players. With many, there is a language barrier problem. Fans like to hear from their players in interviews, community outreach, etc. Then, you have the fact that these are U.S. JOBS! In essence, we are outsourcing MLB jobs to foreign players because we don’t have the talent here? Nonsense. I don’t buy it.

      • andrebeingandre16 - Jun 6, 2011 at 7:15 PM

        i want the best players in the world playing. i could care less where they are from.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:19 PM

        I understand you’re frustrated that American athletes are flocking to other sports or activities rather than baseball. But as a rule of thumb, saying that there are too many of a minority in a particular organization or group or league is generally not cool. In this case, it implies foreign-born players are part of the problem, when they’re not. Unless you think MLB’s globalization is a problem, in which case you’re out of luck. It’s an international brand with an international fan-base. Teams have baseball academies all over the world, the job pool is global. The World Baseball Classic just expanded to 28 teams. That’s the state of MLB and it’s not changing.

        Outsourcing is the practice of finding cheap labor to perform jobs overseas. This is not at all the same thing. If someone wants to play MLB, it shouldn’t matter to anyone where he was born. Most baseball fans want to see the best players, not just the best American-born players, not 90% of the best American-born players or any other arbitrary number. What is the point? What does that prove? It solves no problem and serves no purpose, other than instilling some false pride in people who care about this stuff I guess.

        If you’re looking for reasons:

        1. The minors – Through all levels (rookie, A, AA, AAA, MLB) there are roughly 6000 guys playing for the 30 major league baseball teams. NBA plus the D League is about 600 players. I don’t really know the NFL, but there are about 80 guys per team, right? That’s 2560, and I think there’s just a reserve roster, not an actual league, right. So baseball kills in terms of overall professional participation (and if that percentage holds across all levels, it’s about 4300 American-born professional baseball players.) But that might also be a deterrent. With so many levels after college and so much competition, it’s a much longer trip to the top of the food chain, which means more potential for an injury to derail a career. Maybe some players go for the quicker paycheck and bigger draft-day paydays in the NFL and NBA.

        2. Roster size – I’ve done no research, but I would guess NBA and NFL players start their top-level professional careers sooner than MLB players, and that MLB players last the longest. There just aren’t a lot of guys in their late 30s or early 40s in the NFL or NBA, but it’s not uncommon in MLB. This means jobs open up less often in MLB, but with more jobs I’m not sure this means anything. But expanding the rosters–as has been advocated for years for various reasons–could get younger players up sooner, and might make it more enticing.

        3. Too many options for American-born athletes – I’m not going to simply blame video games, but there are a ton of options for kids now. Soccer is growing, MMA is growing, golf is growing, action sports have blown up. I know dudes in their early 20s who are making a nice living as pro skaters, and that wasn’t the case years ago.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Every soccer team seems to have guys named Roberto, Ubaldo or Carlos.

      Fixed it fer ya.

    • cktai - Jun 6, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Yes we need to get rid of those darn foreign players like Roberto Hernandez, Ubaldo Jiminez and Carlos Quentin (oh wait). Its a clear sign of the weakness of American baseball that it needs to import players like Albert Pujols, Jose Bautista, Jair Jurrjens and Joey Votto.

      You know, I have always considered the globalisation of the sport as a positive thing. It is a good thing when players like Rick van der Hurk, Greg Halman, Andruw Jones and Kenley Jansen get to play in the MLB. If you compare to soccer, the Spanish league has players coming from 44 different countries and look at what their national team has done. The number of foreigners does not make the local game weaker, it makes it stronger.

    • nudeman - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      To those like the idiot scatterbrian who have taken my remarks out of context about the makeup of MLB rosters:
      1. I never said “there are too many foreign born players”. Why are you putting quote marks around that? I never said it. YOU chose to turn this into a conversation about political correctness, and in doing so, missed the point.
      2. I do NOT think globalization has hurt the game. Of course it is a good thing.
      3. My point was simple: Not nearly as many AMERICAN kids play the game as was the case 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago. Not even close.
      4. So there are entire generations of Americans who could have been the next Banks, Killebrew, Mays, Aaron, etc, but chose to play soccer, ski, play X Games, or now play with their Wii or X Box. THAT has hurt the game. It might be unavoidable, as the world is clearly a different place than in 1950 and 1960; more choices, more sports to play, etc. But the lack of top top tier American talent playing the game hurts.
      And I see Selig and owners more concerned about maximizing the revenue dollar than being interested in addressing this. It’s a sign of long term lack of health in the game.

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        nudist; I as a Canadian, would like to say that I’m not offended by the original remark that not as many American kids play baseball. It’s true. One reason you forgot to mention though; the birth rate for American children has declined every year for the past 17 or so. As such you are right but not JUST because of other sports and e-games; there aren’t as many kids as their used to be.

        Check that one with a GIS using “American birth rate decline”. So buck up; and have more kids if you want the % of American kids to stay the same in American sports derived of british sports.
        Bon chance mon ami.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:17 PM

        cu68,

        Nonsense!!!! There are many kids here in the U.S. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has one of the highest birthrates in the world. Check your facts, my friend.

        If you look at my above posts, the bottom line is that the U.S., with it’s 300+million population, has the talent to field a baseball league without foreign help and should do so.

        And, I am against a global world. I am an American and have no alliance with any other country. I can’t understand why people want global sports. Where’s your patriotism?

        Please take no offense, cur68.

      • cur68 - Jun 6, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        ‘bicepts;

        http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/aabirthrate.htm

        That’s a US government study BTW. There are others that show the trend in American born babies dropping for the last 20 years.

        You guys need to have more kids. That’s one of the reasons their are fewer of you in your sports. Its not the whole story, by any means, but it’s a big reason. An increase in the birth rate would prop up the American presence. Are you doing your part? Can your boys swim?

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        cur68,

        Do you realize that the link to the article you provided is from 2002, which was 9 years ago? Check more recent stats, cur68. There is nothing wrong with the birth rate in the U.S. It is amongst the highest in the world.

        You refuse to answer my question. The U.S. has the third largest population in the world (behind China and India). Why do we need foreign born players?

        Cur68, I’ll give you the answer my friend. Because MLB allows it. There’s plenty of talent here. Period. End of story.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:41 PM

        Um, I wasn’t responding to your comments. No need to pull my hair.

      • cktai - Jun 7, 2011 at 2:05 AM

        Patriotism is so early 20th century.

        It is a sport. Why should I care where people are born, I want to see the best players, not just the best players from the USA. I prefer to see Ruiz over Sardinha, Polanco over Bocock, Ibanez over Francisco and Bastardo and Contreras over Zagurski or Herndon.

  6. yippityskippity69 - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Way to go Scoscia! bout time it was said! I too used to love the 2 games for price of 1. Heck, I get excited when i’m at a game that goes into extra innings! MLB will never allow it though, revenue is everything to those guys! November baseball is not right! even if played in a warm city! November is football season not time for the Series!

  7. Detroit Michael - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    I love the idea of removing off days (or most of them at least) from the post-season. It kills the suspense.

  8. Old Gator - Jun 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Look, after the atrocity of the designated hitter, why not try playing baseball on skates? When you’ve already sucked the soul out of the game, who cares if a few bones get broken?

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      sorry gator, watching a pitcher hit has to be the biggest atrocity ive ever seen, im just not interested in seeing someone with my hitting skills get totally owned in the batter’s box or seeing guys get pitched around so we can have the pitcher come up and end the rally

    • cur68 - Jun 6, 2011 at 3:17 PM

      Gator; I love the idea of playing baseball on skates. Know why? Canada would pwn EVERYONE. All of us grow up skating and we learn to not just play hockey on skates; I’ve gone ice fishing on skates, played frisbee on skates, volleyball, and, on one particularly beer fueled excursion, I’ve participated in a round of ice-golf. I still have the scars.

      Also hockey players fight way better than any other athlete not involved in the UFC, so ice-ball would be WAY more exciting.

      Heck, we can even play it your way; pitchers have to bat and do their own fighting.

  9. nudeman - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Anybody who cites the American birth rate as the reason for fewer American born MLBers is really stretching things. Preposterous.

    I’m 57, from Chicago and when I was a kid in the summer there were only a few things we wanted to do every day: 1) Play pickup baseball; 2) Watch the Cubs; 3) Go to the Cubs game. Once in a while we’d swim, but pretty much it was baseball ALL the time. And the other neighborhoods in the area were the same. Every ball diamond had kids on it, playing ball or hitting grounders, etc. every day. And anyone my age would say the same.

    Now, it’s completely different. Diamonds have been replaced in a lot of cases by soccer fields. Mind you there was absolutely NO ONE playing soccer in the 60s in the US. As I said before, entire generations of kids have increasingly turned their back on baseball. Most play some little league, then drop it for soccer at some point.

    I positively LOATHE soccer, but have to admit, for a kid it’s more appealing. It takes far less skill, so everyone has a better chance of participating; takes only a ball and a field, as opposed to baseball which needs more equipment; and it provides a lot more exercise.

    I still love baseball; it’s the ultimate skill and thinking man’s game. However, participation is way down in the US, and MLB has done a lousy job of trying to get kids turned back on to the game. In fact they’ve done nothing. $300 ticket prices and WS games being played in 35 degrees and starting at 9:00pm haven’t helped. Used to be every man’s game. Now it’s the rich man’s game.

    The game itself is still great. But unions, dumb owners and greedy players have ruined MLB and in the process driven generations of kids away.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      You and I think exactly the same. I could not agree more with what you have said. Too bad that most of the fellow posters here disagree. It’s a shame we don’t see the level and quality of baseball from 25 years ago.

      I’m 39. Whenever I drive by an empty baseball field at a playground in the middle of summer, I get upset. When we grew up, that’s all we did all day! Play baseball. We would have to fight with our mothers to stay out longer because that’s all we wanted to do.

      • nudeman - Jun 6, 2011 at 8:56 PM

        Yes, agree completely, halladay.

        I’ll say something else that will no doubt touch off a firestorm: Latin players tend to have the fundamentals, plate discipline and overall knowledge of the game of the average American HS player. At best.

        Sorry, it’s true.

        Not saying there aren’t American players lacking in these areas; and I’m not saying every Latin player is lacking in these areas. It’s a generalization. But it’s also true.

        To those of you devotees of political correctness out there, I’m just telling it like it is.

  10. madocyankfan - Jun 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Scosia is still pissed that CC pwned the Angels in 2009. He did on Saturday too.

  11. nudeman - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Amazing how a simple point I make is so ridiculously misconstrued.

    I wrote (paraphrasing): “American kids don’t play baseball any more; at least not nearly to the extent we did as kids.” My point was that MLB has done nothing to reverse this trend and as a result as fans we’ve been deprived of seeing great athletes and potential HOFers play MLB.

    Many/most of you heard: “I hate foreign born players”

    I can’t help you. Sorry.

    • scatterbrian - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      Your comment suggested “get(ting) some ex Major League stars to put together a program to get American kids playing the game again.” That is awesome, there’s nothing wrong with this suggestion. I’d love to see it happen.

      “There are too many foreign players in the game” was neither your comment nor your intent. That was all I was referencing in my comments, specifically addressing the writer and not you. Apologies if you took it another way…

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