Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio


Why not a split season for MLB?

Split season, anyone?

The second half of the MLB season begins with 18 of 30 teams at least 10.0 games out of first place in their division.

Four of those teams sit at least 20 games out. Eight teams are at least 10.0 games out of a wild card spot.

NFL training camps are opening. Kids will head back to school in just over a month.

Hey, Reds, A's, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Rockies and other franchises far removed from the playoff picture, how are those second half attendance projections looking?

So what can MLB do to maintain fan interest in cities where their teams are hopelessly out of the playoff picture?

Why not do what most of the minor leagues do and have done for years? Play a split season. Do a reset of the standings at the All-Star break.

Give a playoff spot to the best first half teams in each division. Everyone gets another crack at a playoff spot in the second half.

Talk about giving new life to teams hopelessly out of the race after suffering poor starts and/or were decimated by injuries.

Think of what it would mean to fans and their interest in watching, listening and attending games through July, August and September.

Imagine being an A's fan and seeing your team's 28 game deficit wiped out to start the second half. Same in D.C. with the Nationals 27.5 games deficit and in Cincinnati with a 15 game deficit reset for the Reds.

Split the season and MLB could have two trade deadlines, one approaching the All-Star break and one approaching the final month of the season.

Double the deadline drama!

A split season would cut down on 'tanking' and 'fire sales'. Heck, wouldn't a split season make teams more inclined to call-up their top prospects, rather than park them in the minors and manipulate service time?

How would a Split Season plan work? There are multiple versions as possibilities. If the minor leagues can figure it out, MLB can figure it out.

If the same team wins their division in both halves of the season, perhaps they earn an opening round bye?

Maybe guarantee a spot to the team with the best overall record in the division. That prevents 1981 happening again, when MLB split the season due to the midseason strike. The Reds had the best overall record in MLB but failed to win their division in either half and were left out of the playoffs.

The first round of the playoffs would feature the first half winner from each division facing the second half winner from their respective division in a best of three or best of five series.

I'll ask what I always ask: What's the downside?

To be determined: How to handle home field advantage.

Any potential hiccups that would exist in the plan would have to be outweighed by the impact of maintaining interest from fan bases in cities currently out of the playoff race and looking for other things to do the remainder of the summer.

We will discuss tonight at 7:05 on Sports Talk.

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