Baseball’s abnormally good luck with weather during the World Series came to an abrupt end last night, with the first foul weather suspension of a game in World Series history. (Announcers always use such a qualifier, in case some World Series games had been suspended in Super Bowl history, or Chinese history. They’d also be right to say it was the first World Series game suspended in history, period, but that might sound presumptuous. More likely, Tim McCarver didn’t think of it.)
Baseball has no one but itself and Fox to blame for this week’s problems. (Tonight’s forecast is no better than last night’s.) Fox requested some extra days off in the playoff schedule last year, to spread the games out more and prevent Games Six and Seven from taking place on a weekend, where low general viewing (Saturday night) and pro football (Sunday night) would cut into their audience. Using the schedule in place since the inception of a third tier of playoffs in 1995, this year’s Game Seven would have been played on October 26, last Sunday. In Florida. In a dome. Hardly any weather problems there. (Why the Tampa Bay area thought a domed stadium was advisable for an area where people move to enjoy the weather is an open question.)
Next season doesn’t start until April 5, so baseball is talking to Fox about removing the open dates to keep the Series from running as late as November 5. Even Bud Selig appreciates the potential for embarrassment if Games Six and Seven were to be scheduled for the first week of November in Boston or Chicago or Cleveland or Detroit, none of which are out of the realm of possibility. Starting the season on March 29 apparently hasn’t occurred to them, even though Major League Baseball has complete control over where games are played in the beginning of the season, and none at the end.
Of course, these are guys who still insist on starting all games at 8:30 Eastern time. I appreciate the need to give West Coast viewers a chance to get home, but this start time ensures 75% of the people in the country will miss either the beginning of the game (because they’re not home yet) or the end (because they passed out in the seventh inning).
That explains the disjointed, overly parenthetical nature of this post. I’ve been up until at least midnight every night for three weeks, I’m already exhausted, and it only Tuesday.