The extended winter season has wreaked a lot of havoc on the major league baseball schedule this year…especially, this past weekend. On Friday, one game was postponed because of “inclement weather”; Saturday saw three games postponed and, on Sunday, the jackpot of postponements: six games were called off because of bad weather…SIX! Then, as I pondered the material for this blog, I saw, on MLB.com, that two games have already been postponed for today. My clock read 9:00 a.m., PDT and there was a postponement already!
With all of this bad weather (thanks, Punxsutawny Phil!), the burning question comes to mind: Why aren’t the early games of the season being played in warmer weather ball parks/domed stadia? I counted 12 teams that either have a domed stadium, retractable roof or are located in warm-weather locations…TWELVE! They are…in random order…Tampa Bay, Miami, Toronto, Los Angeles Angels, Houston, Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, Arizona, San Diego, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta and Texas. The Minnesota Twins, who used to play in a domed stadium, decided (when they built their new stadium) that they did not want a domed stadium or a retractable roof. How is that working, Twins? With all of these great places to play baseball available, without danger of being “snowed out”, we have seen games being played in Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Boston and New York.
The kicker was that game at Kansas City this past Saturday. Both teams were bundled up like they were going sledding…and, given the amount of snow that was falling, they very well could have gone sledding! It is time to revisit the idea of starting the first two weeks of the regular season in warm weather parks. So, the logical solution would be to start the major league season with cold-weather teams visiting warm-weather teams. Of course, some of those cold-weather teams would kick up a fuss, saying they would not want to start every year on the road. To that, I would offer the question: would they rather play on the road or not play at all? While teams like the Angels (16) and Boston (15) have played a lot of games so far, other teams like Minnesota (11) and Kansas City (13) have not. Cleveland and Detroit have not played a game since last Friday…and the Tigers have an off day today!
Another way to solve the issue of bad weather in April would be to start the season later…around the third week. That, unfortunately, would go over like a lead balloon…MLB and the Players’ Association would not go for cutting the season from, say, 162 games to 150 games. That would make too much sense!