Just when the conversation around the Frappe Office has been circling around the need to shorten the baseball season so that it can end sooner and begin later, MLB has decided to ignore our genius input. If you haven’t heard the latest, MLB has decided that the World Series will begin on a Wednesday this year instead of the traditional Saturday. This means that if the World Series goes 7 games, we’ll be watching baseball on November 1st.
The reasoning behind this move has to do with raising the TV viewership of the World Series. The weekends are typically TV’s least watched evenings, Saturday being the lowest followed by Friday. Starting the World Series on a Wednesday avoids potentially having the series on two Saturday evenings and still avoids Friday nights. However, a game 5 would be in direct conflict with Monday Night Football.
The new schedule also provides some room for post-season rain outs. The Divisional Series will now have a day-off between game 4 and 5 for the first time ever, giving the players a much requested travel day. It will also extend time off between the Championship Series and the World Series. One report I heard today said that a sweep in the NLCS would give the team 9 days off! If Detroit taught us anything last year it’s that too much time off is not a good thing.
While I have to applaud MLB for getting smart about its publicity, viewership, and post-season weather problems, there has got to be a better way of doing this. MLB just keeps pushing the baseball season later and later into the year. Baseball has already had scheduling problems with the beginning of this season. The dozen and a half rain outs (or snow outs) it experienced in places like Detroit and Cleveland will provide for plenty of fun doubleheaders later on this year. And with last post-season as an example, we should expect to see some similar problems this year, especially as we push the World Series later and later. Perhaps Mr. Al Gore is onto something when he talks about this whole climate change business.
Major League Baseball needs to get serious about this issue before they find themselves in a post-season series that can’t be played at home due to a weather misfortune. Imagine how pissed the Mets are going to be when they have to move their home games to Milwaukee because of 5 days of heavy rain. While a solution is not going to be easy to settle on, BiCoastal Bias might be onto something with a shortened season. Beyond that, it seems like doubleheaders are baseball’s only other option. And besides, fans love doubleheaders, so why not give them more of them?
Nonetheless, the fact still remains that we might be watching baseball in November this year. And in that case, I’ll just consider it an early Christmas present. Thanks, Bud.