Making the World Series relevant again
It's really no secret that the World Series does not garner the interest it did in the past. Other than die-hard baseball fans, there was very little buzz (or even knowledge) of the Series among people.
Jon Heyman was on The Score this morning talking about this. He said that the Series has become a hometown series where almost all of the interest is contained in the two cities represented. One thing he pointed out was that there are no day games any more during the World Series. Game IV last night started at 8:00 and ended around 11:00. It was a school night, so young kids could not fully enjoy the game.
What do people think needs to be done to make the World Series relevant again? I remember growing up in the 60's and 70's and when the World Series was on, everyone tuned in regardless of the teams involved. It can't be that the Series competes with Football, because there has been NFL football in October for almost 100 years now. It can't be for lack of general interest because making the Series is Topic A for fans of almost all MLB teams from November until their team is eliminated in August/September the next year.
I think day games on the weekends would go a long way. This would allow younger fans to get involved and more committed to the Series as they grow up. I also think the extended playoff schedule is a buzz kill. Right now, the only pro sport whose championship game garners widespread interest is the NFL with the Super Bowl. The NBA and NHL have extended playoffs with so many teams, they feel like regular season games. I think MLB has fallen into the same trap. With extended playoffs, the specialness of the World Series become anti-climatic because most casual fans have hit their saturation point. After all, once we're done with 162 games, there is a potential for another twenty games which is more than 10% of the regular season.
Having two divisions where the division champs play a best of five to go to the World Series would keep post season interest high. Of course, the owners would never put the genie back in the bottle because it would reduce revenues in the short term until people rediscover baseball.