Baseball base

Let bad teams earn their way up

Major League Baseball’s fearless creativity hit one more sour note Wednesday.

They call it a balanced schedule because every team will face the other 29 teams during the 2023 season and beyond – how long “beyond” lasts is up for debate.

In practical terms, there will be 13 games against divisional opponents, a total of 64 games other league opponents, and 46 interleague games.

Putting this in practical terms, the Red Sox-Yankees games will be reduced from 19 to 13.

Fans through the Northeast are salivating to see the Marlins come to town.

Since Kennesaw Mountain Manfred took over as commissioner, MLB has been on a track leading to bland homogenization. Calling them “leagues” has become silly. Call them the American Conference and National Conference.

Beyond the stated purpose – letting all fans visit the ballpark to see all the other 29 teams – this is an awkward attempt at big-league socialism.

Good teams do not benefit from series against bad teams. Bad teams may draw better – and get higher TV ratings – against good teams.

Theoretically, that infusion of cash will sustain the weak teams without costing them a dime. It follows that the bad clubs will spend more to make themselves better on the field. Ultimately, every one of the 30 MLB teams will have a reasonable shot at winning a championship.

Counting on that happy ending is, of course, ridiculous.

There are MLB owners who will put that money in the vault from which their children, or children’s children, can prosper.

Ask Kansas City Royals fans how much fun they had watching their 2016 championship team “poof!” within one off-season. Ask how Miami Marlins fans relish seeing their heroes play inside a big-league pinball machine that hits tilt every year.

Not even Derek Jeter’s management could help. Jeter walked away this spring after seeing the Marlins go 218-327 during his tenure.

Too many owners leave spring training with visions of adequacy. If their teams win enough to maintain reasonable incomes they are content. And when players perform above and beyond, they are subject to being traded to a contender, or fleeing as soon as their free agency kicks in.

Bet you can’t wait for the Nationals to invade Fenway Park

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