Happy Opening Day!
Today, April 2nd, marks the start of the 2017 MLB season. At just after 12:00 CT, Chris Archer threw the first pitch of the season to Brett Gardner (a ball) at Tropicana Field and real baseball is officially back.
But before we dive completely into the baseball season, let's take a look back at the offseason. Specifically, I want to discuss the offseason lengths of each major American sport. Baseball has a reputation for having a long season; yesterday at the gym I heard someone remark to his friend, "Baseball is already back? It seems like last year just ended." So, I pulled out my calendar and did some math to see just how long the season drags (and by effect, how long the offseason is).
|MLB||4/3/16-11/2/16||214 days||150 days||1.43 : 1|
|NBA||10/27/15-6/19/16||237 days||127 days||1.87 : 1|
|NFL||9/8/16-2/5/17||148 days||213 days||0.69 : 1|
|NHL||10/7/15-6/12/16||228 days||122 days||1.87 : 1|
This is interesting. The first thing that pops off the page is that NBA has the longest season, 23 days longer than MLB and almost 100 days longer than the NFL. For every one NBA offseason day, there are almost two in-season days. The NHL has the same ratio (it moved the 2016-2017 back 5 days to 10/12) as the NBA, but a shorter season.
Obviously the baseball season seems longer because there are more games over the time span of a season.
- In 2016, the Cubs played 178 games (161 regular season and 17 playoff) over 213 days (started on 4/4).
- The Cavs played 103 games (82 regular season and 21 playoff) over 237 days.
- And the Patriots played 19 games (16 regular season, 3 playoff) over 145 days (started on 9/11).
So yes, the baseball season is long. But not because it takes the most number of days (sorry bench press guy at the gym). It's because there are way more games during the season. Perhaps some of the NFL's popularity comes from the infrequency of games and shortness of the season. Sign me up for a 154 game MLB regular season with more off days. What's your take?