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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Start the regular season at the spring training sites.

Last night I monitored the Yankee exhibition game at the Red Sox spring training park.

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/spring_training/ballpark.jsp?c_id=bos

JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the Spring Training ballpark and adjoining Player Development Complex for the Boston Red Sox in Lee County, Florida.

A number of the characteristics of the ballpark are taken from Fenway Park, including a "Green Monster" ...


Dimensions:

Left Field: 310 feet
Left-Center Field: 379 feet
Center Field: 420 feet
Right Field Bullpen: 380 feet
Right Field Pole: 302 feet

Seating diagram

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It's a replica of Fenway Park in Boston. Having the 37 foot wall in left for home spring training games should help Hanley Ramirez, the shortstop who signed a multi-year contract with Boston and is being shifted to left field.

If the 2015 finals reach a seventh and deciding game, that game may be played on November 1. That's nuts. It's unlikely that the people running the Major Baseball League (MBL) will shorten the regular season but they may add games to the tournament. That would push the most important games further into November, which would be even more nuts.

Consider that before you simply dismiss my suggestion as nuts.

Start the regular season in the warm weather locations of teams that are based in cold weather outdoor ballparks. Arizona, Los Angeles, Tampa, Houston, etc. can simply play in their normal parks. Boston, the Chicago teams, the New York teams, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. should simply play in their spring training parks.

The Red Sox park in Florida holds about 25,000 fewer fans than the Boston park. That would be less revenue at the gate. But increasingly the big revenue source is television and Red Sox fans in Boston watching on TV would be seeing what looks a lot like what they now expect during the regular season.

The spring parks could easily have their capacity expanded and many more fans would consider escaping the cold winter to attend REAL games where the temperature is much more comfortable.

We all know that spring training is way too long. Continue to start it at the beginning of February but limit, or better yet, eliminate exhibition games between teams. The regular season could start by March 15 at the latest with room to start earlier if needed. Then move north as weather permits, not necessarily on a fixed date.

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