Commissioner Fay Vincent said yesterday he's considering asking major-league owners to reduce the 162-game season, or play more doubleheaders, so the World Series won't be ending close to November.
Vincent is concerned that if the Series between Atlanta and Minnesota goes seven games this season, the last game would be played on Oct. 27. The potential for a climatic problem was not magnified this year since the Twins play in a dome and Atlanta has mild temperatures.
"Suppose we were in Milwaukee?" Vincent asked before Game 2 of the World Series. "I don't care how much you love baseball, you don't want to have such conditions."
Vincent said he would discuss the idea with the owners at the winter meetings in December, but said the chances of reducing the number of games was "probably not great because of the ownership issues involved."
A reduction in the schedule, or more doubleheaders, probably would result in a loss of TV revenue and it's unlikely the owners would go for that. The players, meanwhile, dislike doubleheaders.
Vincent also renewed his concerns over the length of games during the 1991 season. To help speed up things, the commissioner said he is asking umpires to start calling the high strikes and follow the strike-zone rules.
"I've talked to some umpires about it and they said they would do it but would get complaints from the managers," Vincent said. say too bad. The strike zone is what it is unless somebody wants to change the rules. The umpires will do what they are told."
* PIRATES: General manager Larry Doughty won't stand in Jim Leyland's way if he wants to interview for the vacant Chicago White Sox manager's job.
Leyland signed a two-year contract extension last fall and has said he plans to honor that contract. However, Doughty said he )) will let the White Sox interview Leyland if they request permission.
"My theory is if someone has a chance to better himself in prestige or financially, I can't stand in the way," Doughty said.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said that the club hasn't yet asked for permission to interview anyone, and won't begin the process of hiring a successor for Jeff Torborg until after the World Series. Torborg resigned on Oct. 11 to become manager of the New York Mets.
* The Major League Baseball Players Association may file a grievance over the lottery held to determine the rights to Cuban defector Rene Arocha, Eugene Orza, the union's associate general counsel, said.
The St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday won the special eight-team lottery conducted by Major League Baseball and have exclusive rights to sign Arocha until the amateur draft in June.