The season is really long
At 162 games a year over six months, the Major League Baseball season is much longer than any other major professional sport. That doesn’t even include the six weeks or so of spring training, or the month-long postseason. And these days, players are expected to stay in shape year-round, so they don’t have a lot of downtime.
That means players are on the road and away from home for at least 81 days a year in the regular season, plus the aforementioned spring training and playoffs. And until the most recent labor agreement was ratified in 2016, some teams had to travel across the country after a night game to play a day game the next afternoon.
Those cross-country flights and having to fly multiple times in a week take their toll. And the grueling length of the season is relentless. It’s why “greenies,” or amphetamines, were used so often in MLB back in the day, especially when playing a day game after a night game. Yes, players, including future Hall of Famers, openly did speed to compete.
These days, greenies are banned, which is better for players’ health. But it means they’re more tired while playing. There has been talk in recent years about going back to the pre-expansion 154-game schedule, but nothing has come of it.