Shorter Season?

by Dave B. in


Much has been said and written about the length of the Cape League season and how it affects the comings and goings of the players. This year did not seem much different from any other year, but by the time the final game was played, the Cotuit Kettleers were not the same team that had played so well down the stretch. They were missing three positional players - Jason Kipnis, Kevin Patterson and Matthew Holliman and they had only one positional player on the bench. Sam Brown, a pitcher, was the starting leftfielder in the last game. Brown did not have an at-bat in his college season at N.C. State. There seems to be a feeling around the league that something needs to be done to fix the problem. During the playoffs, Mike Roberts and Steve Englert both called for a shorter season.

It doesn't seem likely that the season will start earlier so that it can end earlier. That would just move the problem from the end of the season to the start of the season. Teams would be even more dependent on temp players in June.

Would scheduling a few doubleheaders help ? Maybe every team could play two or three doubleheaders when they are playing a team from the other division. There would be a savings on travel expenses if Falmouth only goes to Orleans once. This doesn't seem like a viable alternative for a few reasons. If the doubleheaders were scheduled only on weekends, there is still the issue of players work committments. Early games in Cotuit, Brewster and Y-D would have to be played at noon or 1:00. If doubleheaders were made to be seven inning games, there would still be a strain on pitching staffs. Also, from a revenue standpoint, fewer home dates means less revenue and the earlier start times that doubleheaders would necessitate would mean smaller crowds, at least for the early games.

Shorten the season by a few games ? I think each franchise likes the idea of 22 home dates for revenue purposes. Fewer home dates would mean less money when the hat is passed, less money generated by the 50/50 raffles and less money in concession and souvenir sales. Shortening the season from 44 to 40 games would mean two fewer home games for each team and that would mean a lot less money coming in from those sources.

If you were "Commissioner for a Day," what would you propose as a potential fix ?