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It makes sense to encourage the additional cost of about $100 million per ballpark, especially against an expected building lifespan of between 50 and 80 years. Baseball should give teams an incentive to build retractable roofs by kicking in money from its central fund or allowing clubs to write down the cost against their revenue-sharing status.
Abbreviate the calendar
There is no way the teams will agree to shorten the regular season and you know it. Years ago, when you still held ownership in the Brewers, you thought you had enough support for a 154-game season to bring the question to a vote. Instead, not one owner even seconded the motion. It is not a realistic option.
What you have promised to do is attempt to excise the extra days from the postseason calendar. The Phillies had 16 days off in the postseason to play 14 games; they had 19 days off in the regular season to play 162. Tightening the postseason up would mean implementing a flexible schedule, which you've promised to look into. For instance, if both League Championship Series end quickly, baseball could move up the start of the World Series to avoid a week of downtime.
Build up the narrative
Charlie Manuel was 19 years old, in high school, married with a son, when his father, a preacher suffering from late-stage diabetes, committed suicide on April 9, 1963. He left a note for Charlie, asking him to take care of his mom, June, and 10 brothers and sisters in the tiny Blue Ridge Mountains town of Buena Vista, Va. Months later, after being recruited by North Carolina to play basketball and Michigan for football, Manuel signed a contract with the Twins for $20,000, giving a chunk of it to his mother.
Manuel kicked around the minors and majors as an outfielder for 13 years, played in Japan for another six, and put in 18 years as a scout, coach and minor league manager before getting his first big league managerial job in Cleveland in 2000. He survived cancer, bypass surgery and divorce along the way. The Indians fired him in 2002. Manuel joined the Phillies as a front office adviser before being hired as their manager in 2005. He was often derided by harsh Philadelphia fans as a funny-talking rube, though they likely had no clue Manuel overcame a severe stuttering problem as a youth.
"People are going to say a lot of things about you," Manuel said before Game 5, "and I've always taken that personally. When somebody attacks me personally, yeah, that kind of upsets me, because I wish they were standing in front of me. But at the same time that's part of it. And that's part of being mentally tough."
Manuel, 64, guided the Phillies to two straight playoff appearances, bringing the team back from seven games down in mid-September 2007 and 3 1/2 games behind in mid-September of this year. He had an insouciance about him that worked well in a harsh town but also a firmness that prompted him to bench Jimmy Rollins for not hustling during a regular-season game, then benching him again a month and a half later when the star shortstop reported late for a game. He made his mama proud. June Manuel died on Oct. 10, 19 days before her son became only the second manager in Philadelphia's history, after Dallas Green, to win the World Series.
"She'd be laughin' and gigglin' right now," Charlie said after the clincher, "telling everybody we've got a real good team."