Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
I know it has to be hard to come up with a 162-game schedule for all 30 teams, but this cannot possibly be the best that Major League Baseball could come up with?
I mean I don't claim to be as brilliant as Sports Network Golf Editor Jim Brighters, but I am pretty sure I could figure out a better way to make this thing work.
In case you have no idea what I am talking about, here in the Northeast, temperatures have been near freezing since Opening Day and some places in the Midwest - namely Cleveland - have been blanketed with over a foot of snow.
And if I hear "We got Easter weather for Christmas and Christmas weather for Easter" one more time I am going to vomit.
Anyway, the deep freeze would not be that big of a deal, except the powers that be in the MLB scheduling office felt it was necessary to have teams in the Northeast and Midwest start their seasons at home. I know it is probably impossible to have all teams open in a weather friendly environment, but it does not take a Rhodes Scholar to realize that it makes little sense to have the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who play in a dome, start their season in New York.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended.
I mean the Detroit Tigers opened the year against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have a retractable roof. Not to mention, all four AL West teams opened the year against each other! What kind of sense does that make? That's four series right there that could have avoided bad weather.
But what has transpired in the wake of the four-game series between Seattle and Cleveland getting snowed out is absolutely ridiculous. Ok, so it was probably a bad idea to schedule the series there rather than in Seattle in the first place, but what the league is doing now really has me scratching my head.
Cleveland's next series, which is slated to begin on Tuesday, against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will now be played in Milwaukee at Miller Park. Now what kind of sense does that make? I get it that Jacobs Field probably won't be ready to go with over a foot of snow in the area. But why Milwaukee? Why couldn't they switch one of the two series they play in Anaheim later in the season? While we are at it, if they are playing three series, why schedule the one in Cleveland in April in the first place?
I am sure a lot of Indians fans holding tickets to the Anaheim series are going to jump at the opportunity to make the over 400-mile drive to beautiful Milwaukee. The nearly eight-hour trek may be worth it, though, because I have just gotten word that the Famous Klement?s Racing Sausages are scheduled to run at each of the three games.
There is a precedent for this, though. The Florida Marlins were forced to play home games at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field due to Hurricane Ivan.
I just cannot figure out for the life of me why the possibility that the weather in April may not be that great in the Northeast and Midwest did not cross through the minds of the people making the schedule in the first place.
MLB has lucked out in recent years with only a smattering of early-season postponements, but why even take the chance?
In reality there has only been a few games this season directly affected by the weather, with the exception of course being the fiasco in Cleveland. By the way, tell me again why that series this early in the season had to be played in Cleveland rather than Seattle, where there is a retractable roof?
Cleveland is expected to fight for a playoff spot this season. Now, not only do they lose at least three home games, they still have to play a pair of doubleheaders to make up the four games with the Mariners. And I'll bet you that at least one of those games is going to be made up in Seattle with the Indians as the "home" team.
Provided there are no other postponements, both teams have an off-day on April 16th. The Mariners are traveling to Minnesota that day, and the Indians just need to get to New York, so they might be able to get a twinbill in that day since teams just love playing doubleheaders this early in the season.
Let's put the common sense of fixing the schedule aside for the moment. How about thinking of the fans for a change? I don't know about you, but it sure looked to me that people were real excited about seeing the start of the season in places like Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia. But then again I'd be guessing on that one because I couldn't really see their faces, since they were covered with ski masks and blankets.
MLB not caring about its fans is no big surprise. The next time MLB actually does something with the best interests of its fans in mind will be the first time.