MLB opens Thursday afternoon with the same display of silliness that occurs every season.
Over the winter it seemed we discussed ways to improve the game ad nauseam – we’ve come to the point that numerous changes are being implemented in the minor leagues to see their impact (if any) and feasibility in actuality. Well MLB, I’ve identified a recurring problem that has an easy fix, that you’ve long ignored:
On Thursday, April 1st, baseball will be played outdoors in the following states:
New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado.
However, there will be a combined eight (EIGHT) MLB stadiums empty on Opening Day in the following states: Georgia, Arizona, and two each in California, Texas and Florida.
We all don’t need to be meteorologists to see the problem here, but let’s play along anyway…
MLB logic: “Let’s have spring training in Florida and Arizona because spring weather in the northern U.S. can be unpleasant for fans and players. The quality of play suffers, and reschedules and postponements are likely.”
Also MLB: “Let’s open the season outdoors in New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Colorado.”
Here’s the kicker: MLB knows how ridiculous this is. Of the seven teams who open in those cold weather states all but one are off the next day. MLB is admitting, “You know what? There’s a really good chance that on Thursday the weather is going to be worse than a Billy Martin hangover in those cities, so let’s schedule a make-up day – on the second day of the season – just in case.”
By the power of the vacant Chavez Ravine, I command you: For the first 3-4 weeks of the season, schedule the majority of games in southern states and in stadiums with roofs. This will improve the quality of play, the fans’ experience, and greatly reduce rain-outs, reschedules and postponements (which are pains in the seats for all involved).
On a YES Network broadcast not too long ago, Michael Kay (never one to miss an opportunity to spread an illogicality) informed us that teams that play in warm weather climates don’t like having a preponderance of home games in April because that means fewer home dates for them in the summer. Summer games, which generally have larger attendance figures due to school being out and wait for it…better weather…
Now I’m not a chronologist, so I went to my trusty calendar, and my suspicions were confirmed:
There are two full months after April but before July.
Have teams that play in warm weather climates or domed stadiums host 2/3 to ¾ of their games in April. Have teams that play in northern climates host 2/3 to ¾ of their games in May. Better experience for the fans, better quality of play, less climate related rescheduling.
Problem solved, crisis averted.
You’re welcome MLB, now get to work on shrinking the strike zone and eliminating the infield fly rule.
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