Monday, April 09, 2007

Total Bull

The Indians/Mariners four-game series has been completely wiped out due to snow in Cleveland. The obvious question is why are games being played in cold-weather cities early in April? Obviously, bad weather can come at any time, but it is far more likely early in the year.

Apparently, MLB tried scheduling in warm weather cities and domes a while back, and there were many complaints from northern teams because they had to play the first week or so on the road. The southern teams probably weren’t too pleased either, as their early season attendance is probably not as good as their later season attendance, and so by playing at home early in April, they would necessarily lose games later on.

So experience shows that no one is happy with an all-south and dome early season schedule, so that’s out the window. Fine. But what is particularly galling about the Indians/Mariners situation is that it is the only scheduled meeting between the two teams in Cleveland this year. That makes makeup games a total pain in the rear.

If you insist on having early season games somewhat evenly distributed between cities geographically and by climate, then the least you can do is to make those intra-divisional games. Since you are already playing those teams a billion times thanks to the ridiculous unbalanced schedule anyway, it makes it a lot easier to schedule makeups.

But why you would have the only series of the season in Cleveland between the Indians and an inter-division opponent with a dome in the first week of the season, followed by a trip to Cleveland by a team from the best weather location in all of baseball (southern California--after all, as the song says “It never rains in Southern California”), is beyond all logic and reason.

UPDATE: This doesn't fit the subject, but it does fit the title. I am watching the Yankees/Twins on ESPN right now, and Rick Sutcliffe said something to the effect of "It's scary to think how good the Twins could be had the economics of the game allowed them to keep David Ortiz as their designated hitter." Uh, Rick, Ortiz was RELEASED by the Twins after making $950,000 and was paid $1.25 million in his first year with the Red Sox. Apparently, he was released to make room for Jose Morban on the roster. Yeah, Rick, real economic distress there.


  1. Do I need to be the one to say it? The Indians would probably have another series with the Mariners on the schedule if they weren't busy off playing the Padres or the Marlins or some other random team from the NL. Interleague play was a nice little gimmick, but the unbalanced schedule and the interleague play are causing a lot of problems.

    Although, having grown up in Cleveland, it is something of a freak accident that we got a foot of snow in early April.

  2. I couldn't agree more about interleague play and the unbalanced schedule. I hate both.

    It is weird that we got a foot of snow, but the opener got snowed out in 1996 as well I recall. Very disappointing to this ten year old home on spring break. But there's a reason why they leave those one day gaps in all of the schedules in the first week of the season. Plus, the rariety of snow in Cleveland in early April illustrates why waiting just a week or two to play the series takes the risk of snow on any given day from say 5% to pretty much nil.

  3. No one wanted Ortiz?

    "I really would have liked to deal David," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "But I couldn't find a taker."

    The main reason Ryan couldn't get a better return on Ortiz is that he was one of four Twins eligible for arbitration and likely to earn a sizeable raise in the process. Other teams now have two days to claim Ortiz off waivers, in which case he would still go to arbitration, before he becomes a free agent.

    "There are other players that clubs like as much or more," Ryan said. "But that doesn't mean that David won't have people come and be interested in him."


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