WILL MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ever learn? The 2008 season is ending in farce as the Fall Classic turns into the Wet Blanket.
Game three of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays started at 10.06pm Saturday and didn’t finish until 1.47am Sunday.
Then, at 11.10pm last night, game five was suspended in the middle of the sixth inning due to driving rain.
Just bad luck with the weather or more a case of bad planning?
MLB commissioner Bud Selig obviously thinks it’s the former. “You can get warmer weather as the fall goes on. Like most things in life, you need to be lucky. Leo Durocher once said it’s better to be lucky than good. I think we’ve been pretty good, but we certainly haven’t been lucky.”
I’m sorry Mr Selig but you’re wrong. Baseball is a summer sport and when you play games on the East Coast in October, you’re asking for trouble.
The World Series – the showpiece event of the season – should be played at the end of September, or at worst the first two weeks in October.
What’s currently happening is an anti-climax. It’s football season now, as demonstrated by the fact that more people watched the Pittsburgh Steelers v the New York Giants than did Game Four at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday.
2009 season won’t end until November
Of course, there is absolutely no chance of the owners agreeing to cut back on the regular-season schedule of 162 games. That would mean a loss of revenue from television as well as the paying public.
But how about coming up with an alternative plan?
Doubleheaders used to be a regular event in baseball. Why not play two a month, preferably before a team’s rest day? That could reduce the regular season by as much as 12 days.
I know the players and coaches don’t particularly like them but the fans do, especially when they’re played at the weekend.
Something needs to be done to shorten the season. Yet, unbelievably, it’s actually going to be longer in 2009.
Spring training will be lengthened to accommodate the World Baseball Classic in March, meaning game one of the World Series won’t take place until October 28 with a possible game seven scheduled for November 5.
In England, November 5th is known as Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night, an occasion celebrated by firework displays.
It’s not exactly rocket science to figure out it’s far too late to be playing baseball.