By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
Hey, if bad weather is going to dominate the Tigers’ schedule this week, Totally Tigers might as well focus on it. The first week of the season always seems to beg the same question in regards to inclement weather.
Kurt and Holly have not shared their answers to today’s question. It’s the best way for our readers to get the best bang for their buck. So here we go.
Do you think MLB makes a concerted effort to consider potentially poor weather when they plan the first week of scheduling every year? Why are West Coast teams playing West Coast teams? Why are dome teams playing dome teams?
I don’t think Major League Baseball considers weather at all in their scheduling. They only hope for the best, especially in the Midwest. They don’t schedule around the potential that Opening Days will be ruined, and money will be lost.
With 7 teams playing in dome stadiums and so many others in the South and West, cities in the Midwest and the East should never play each other at least within the first 2 series of the season.
Without doing a complete study, I think you could get really close to a solution. Maybe not 100%, but at least an attempt can be made. Detroit visiting Chicago in the first series of the season is ludicrous and a recipe for disaster as it is playing out this week. Detroit heading home after that and opening with Boston is equally puzzling. This is not the time of year for teams in “cold weather” cities to find themselves on the same playing field.
Opening Day is a big deal in so many baseball towns. Almost a holiday in Detroit. It is the first rite of spring for Tiger fans to break free of winter and usher in a new baseball season. What we just saw in Chicago was a shame. People filled the park for an Opening Day game threatened by bad weather. After a long delay, they never played the game.
So Opening Day in Chicago took place on Tuesday, not in front of a packed house, but in front of 5,000 people. To me, that’s a failure by Major League Baseball in a big market baseball town.
There must be a method to the madness behind how scheduling is determined; but it’s obvious that poor weather is not part of the equation. When you look at who is playing who and where during the first week, weather cannot even be close to the top of the list of priorities.
So much planning goes into Opening Days around the country and it can all be ruined by having to play at a time when the weather often threatens to dictate attendance, fan spending and God forbid, enjoyment of a much anticipated occasion.
Teams and fans are just supposed to suck it up I guess. But many fans, given the weather, end up spending their money in the bar across the street watching on TV or flat-out just going home with a whole pocket full of money.
There’s nothing like a stop-start-stop start to your team’s season and the challenge of keeping momentum up after the first game and win of the year. Conceivably, the Tigers may be rained / snowed out for 2 of their first 3 games and forced to make them up in a just-announced double-header. Not to mention a TBD game later in the season when the timing may be slammed and the team not-so-fresh.
It’s an unfair disadvantage to teams which reside in the coldest of climes.
It’s also clearly not enough to schedule an off-day after every Opening Day – a lesson that continues to be ignored year after year.
But a quick look at the first series for each MLB team reveals that they are paired with either division rivals or nearby cities. And I have to ask why this logic – or really, lack thereof?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that some parts of this country are the very last to shake winter weather patterns. I mean, really – Detroit and Chicago at the beginning of April? Whoever decided on this schedule must be from Florida.
I can only think that the Opening Day schedule is developed as it is in order to promote rivalries and thus attendance. But tell that to the Chicago fans who had to bear the weather and even worse, the world’s worst intro music. Just to see the introductions.
Days off from work that were wasted; kids were disappointed. Money spent and nothing to show for the day. Everyone using all their hard-earned days-off and financial capital on Monday’s game and few being able to return on Tuesday, as evidenced by the paltry 5,000 fans for the make-up game.
And it’s not just the beginning of the year that should be questioned. Let’s look at August when fans literally fry at the games if they live on the East Coast or in the South. Is it really too much to ask that there be more emphasis on scheduling games to fit the climates depending upon the month?
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