When Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia talks, people tend to listen. A distinguished 35-year career in Major League Baseball as a player and manager has given him a sphere of influence, and he utilizes it when called upon.

This past weekend, Scioscia proposed cutting back the MLB regular season schedule to 158 games from the current 162-game format and increasing the divisional playoff series format from five to seven games.

Scioscia wants to make sure that the World Series ends in October, allowing for better weather in the Northeast and Midwest than there is in November, when the current postseason format ends.

In an interview with L.A. Times reporter Mike DiGiovanna, Scioscia said, “If you went to 154 games, you’d lose a lot of gate revenue.

“But if you blend it, where you cut down some games and some dates, you could minimize the [financial] impact, tighten the schedule by a week to 10 days to accommodate an expanded division series and get the World Series done in October.”

Scioscia is certainly passionate about this subject, given the fact that his Angels team was dramatically impacted by last year’s playoff format that had the Angels playing only nine games in 21 days in October.

In December of last year, following the conclusion of the playoffs, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig formed a 14-member special committee to review and revise on-field related issues, and eliminating off days from the playoff format this season was one of the new policies enacted.

Scioscia is a member of that committee, so his comments certainly carry added weight.

With the rapid expansion of Major League Baseball since the 1969 season, when both the American and National Leagues moved to divisional play, the playoff schedule extended the season well into October.

In 1993, baseball added another division to each league, the Central, to accommodate the introduction of expansion teams and realignment. In 1995, the Divisional Series premiered, adding another elimination round to the playoffs, at the same time introducing wild-card teams to the mix.

All of this, plus network television’s insistence to start the World Series on a Saturday night to achieve better ratings, has pushed the season well into November.

The above proposal certainly makes sense, given the fact that weather in November can have much more of an impact on a game’s outcome.

Television revenue and marketing has ruled the day in baseball for far too long. It’s time for MLB to step up and put together a schedule that is conducive to fair and equitable play for all.

You can follow Doug on Twitter @desertdesperado.

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