Beginning in 2011, Major League Baseball’s regular season will begin on Friday, April 1st instead of the normal first Sunday/first Monday in April. This means the regular season will end on September 28th, with the playoffs starting September 30th/October 1st with the World Series set to start on October 19th (meaning, barring any weather-related delays, the World Series will not be played in November).
In my opinion, this a very good thing. Yes, the weather really isn’t that much different between the end of October and the beginning of November, however, in places like New York City, Boston or Minnesota for example, this can be the difference between playing in 40 degree weather and 20 degree weather. It was only a matter of time before the World Series was not only hampered by rain but by snow and ice.
Yes, there will still be issues of weather causing problems at the beginning of the season, but in my opinion that’s much better than it causing problems in games that decide the World Champion (and can be minimized by not playing in the Northern States to open the season). Also, any weather-related delays in April can easily be made up throughout the season through double-headers or make-up dates.
No one likes to see baseball played in cold weather – not the fans and certainly not the players. There’s a reason players start April slow – cold weather is harder to play in than warm. Why would we want to see the World Series determined by who handled 20 degrees and snow better? There’s a reason the NFL (till 2014 at least) has only played the Super Bowl in either a dome or warm-weather locale – no one wants a championship determined by weather.
In this writer’s opinion, Bud Selig has finally done something right. “Anything we could do to finish in October,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA TODAY, “is what I wanted to do. It shows how serious we are in doing this. I feel very good about it, and am pleased at everybody’s reaction.”
The only other way to prevent November baseball would have been to either shorten the season or schedule double-headers or schedule less off days during the playoffs, none of which MLB would ever do because they would lose money and we all know, that would be the last thing MLB wants. So, moving the start of the season up a couple of days works fine by me (not to mention having the full opening day be on a Saturday means no longer having to leave work at noon to catch all the games on TV).
So, what do you think? Is baseball making the right decision by moving up the start of the season or would you rather see a shorter season and less off days during the playoffs?
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