Major League Baseball has a handful of upcoming events to get excited about, but, in one contributor’s opinion, they could’ve been scheduled better.
Today is going to be a busy day in the world of baseball. In addition to a full slate of regular season games, MLB’s Futures Game will be played at 3:00 (Eastern). Detroit Tigers fans are hoping that Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson, the organization’s top two hitting prospects, will do something memorable at the plate. Of course, many of those fans will be bailing on the afternoon’s Tigers/Twins game a little early in order to find out.
It’s unfortunate that the Futures Game has to compete for eyeballs with other games. That seems like a bad break for an important showcase like this, especially one that has developed a such a rich history of its own. However, there’s not going to be much time after it’s over to bask in the excitement before it becomes somewhat of an afterthought. That’s because the 2021 MLB Draft begins at 7:00 (Eastern) this evening. It’s possible that there is more anticipation about that than the Futures Game.
What if MLB figured out a way to avoid cramming two key events into the same day? Some fans may wonder why there isn’t something scheduled in that two-day lull after Tuesday’s All-Star Game. For example, what if the Futures Game took place on Wednesday night?
This feels like a good moment to wonder why it’s even necessary for the ASG to always be played on a Tuesday night. With all of the above in mind, in the interest of stimulating imaginations, I came up with a reconfigured schedule. Depending on one’s perspective, it may not be a perfect solution, but my idea is to set aside an entire four-day weekend to showcase the biggest stars in the majors, the brightest prospects in the minors, and the best amateurs who could end up in either or both of those groups some day.
Friday MLB Events
No MLB regular season games would be scheduled, thus kicking off the revamped All-Star Weekend. The Futures Game would be an evening event, and it would be a nine-inning game.
Saturday MLB Events
The Home Run Derby would take place in the evening. (As Iong as I’m using this platform to share some opinions, I’m going to put myself on record to say that I think the derby is lame and meaningless. Hitting a “home run” off a “pitcher” who is deliberately lobbing meatballs in a glorified batting-practice session isn’t that interesting to me. Sorry, not sorry.)
Sunday MLB Events
The All-Star Game would be played. While it would be cool to have an ASG played in daylight, it’s fine if this remains a prime-time event.
Monday MLB Events
The first day of the MLB Draft would take place in prime time. In addition to the first round and Competitive Balance Round A, the second round would also take place and be televised. Dillon Dingler is showing us that a good second-round pick can be just as important to a team’s future as a first rounder is, so it’s time for this round to elbow its way into the spotlight.
The time-frame parameters would be altered slightly. Currently, there are four minutes in between first-round announcements, two minutes in between the comp picks, and one minute in between Day Two’s second-round announcements. In this new reconfiguration, there would only be two minutes in between first-round announcements. For as much time as organizations have conceivably spent preparing for the draft, a team shouldn’t need those extra two minutes to decide on a ‘plan B’ if someone else nabbed their top choice. The smartest organizations will likely already have contingency plans in place if that happens.
Tuesday MLB Events
MLB returns to a full slate of games. The remaining rounds of the draft continue and conclude.
At the very least, this proposed reconfiguration would be a starting point. There would be, as there currently are, a lot of moving parts and logistics to consider. For a glimpse at the schedule of the next few days’ events, click here.