From the Windup: Why Does Bud Selig Wish to Kill Baseball?
From the Windup is FanHouse's extended look at a particular portion of America's pastime.
The World Series started after 10:00 pm EST Saturday night.
Next year the World Series will bleed into November.
The winner of the All-Star game (an exhibition) decides home-field advantage in the World Series.
The Houston Astros had to play a "home" game against the Cubs in Milwaukee while their homes were being ravaged by a hurricane.
Look, there are several things Bud Selig has done well for the good of baseball, like the divisional realignment, wild card, and getting tough on performing enhancing drugs (even though he looked the other way as they spiraled out of control); but he's unbelievably bad at managing the schedule of the league. His problem is that he has no foresight. You already have many lifelong baseball fans, including me. We're going to watch no matter what. You're losing the kids and casual fans, though. This group already prefers the speed and excitement brought by football and basketball. Having the first pitch of the World Series take place at 8:30 on a Wednesday night in November -- which it will next year -- does nothing but hurt with this group.
This isn't even delving into the fact that tons of cold weather teams are overloaded each year with home games in April while the Astros, Marlins, Diamondbacks, and Brewers are road-bound. No, I don't want to do that here, because my focus is on the insane scheduling/format in the postseason. We should not be playing baseball in November, and a World Series game should never start after 10:00 pm, especially not on a freaking Saturday night. What an absolute farce. The game ended in dramatic fashion, but that was after 1:00 am. You think casual fans hung around? What's wrong with canceling the game and playing Game 4 Sunday night, Game 5 on the travel day, etc.? Baseball players don't need days off at this point, so don't penalize the fans.
No team gained an advantage from the scheduling, so please don't misconstrue this to be any sort of excuse for anyone. I'm just stating it was an absurd situation from the point of wanting to garner fan support. I'm sure Fox was happy, though, as the game shattered the previous record low rating (6.1, the previous low was 8.0) for a World Series game.
So, Bud, what do I want from you, moving forward? Common sense. That's all. I guess I should elaborate, since you aren't great at figuring things out on your own.
1. Start World Series games at 7:30 pm EST. I mean the actual first pitch. No more of this screwing around for a half hour before actually starting the game. Fox can get their stupid pregame show going at 7:00. This way the game should end around 10:30 to 11:00, and the casual fans and children on the East Coast -- and I'm sorry to those not living there, but it is the largest chunk of the population -- won't be falling asleep before the end of the game. What reason do people have to watch the first three innings if they don't plan on extending themselves past bedtime for the last three?
2. Ditch the World Baseball Classic and don't EVER play games in November. Baseball is a warm weather sport. Unless you get lucky like this year and have Games 6 and 7 inside a dome or in the far south, you are liable to be playing baseball in 30 degree weather. That's ridiculous. It's pushing it to have games in late October as it is, so why push harder? The season starts April 6th next year, due to the awesomeness that is the World Baseball Classic. The last day of the regular season is October 4th, and half of the World Series will be played in November. This is madness. The hot stove should be heating up by then. The WBC, as currently assembled, is not exciting. The series should be more games, and they should not affect the MLB season. Perhaps play it in December and January in Tropical venues? Otherwise just ditch it. It hurts the MLB regular season.
3. No more off days on non-travel days in the playoffs. Thankfully this isn't happening in the World Series, but it's the first round this year where it didn't happen. The players don't need a day off in October. I'm sure it was great for the Phillies players to hang out in LA for a day instead of doing their job, but all this does is extend the series closer and closer to the dreaded month of November.
4. Admit you made a mistake. The All-Star Game is an exhibition game. Each team is required to have one player there. This is the deciding factor in home field advantage for the World Series? It was a stupid idea when put in place, and it's even more stupid after Dan Uggla's awful defense buried the National League this year. Just give it to the team with the best regular season record. Poetic justice that the Rays got it this year, but what if it was Cubs vs. White Sox? Home-field means a huge deal in that series, and the Cubs had a better record ... yet they would have been forced to play four on the Southside.
5. Finally ... when a team is worried about whether or not their hometown still exists because it's being pillaged by Mother Nature, don't force them to travel across the country and play an hour away from their opponent's fan base.
Like I said, I'd just like a little common sense.