Game 7 of the 2009 World Series scheduled for NOVEMBER 5th! Are you kidding me?

Is Baseball Headed Toward the Inevitable? The Thanksgiving Classic in Florida!

10/28/09 in MLB   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

That's right.  November with a 'Novem'.  The last time this happened was in 2001 but there was a decent excuse then.  The season was delayed a couple of weeks due to a national tragedy.  This time, it happened on its own.

There are a handful of reasons for this.  First, the demise of the scheduled double header added a week to the season.  But this extra week was often tacked on in April.  That is, where the season once began around April 6th or so, now it begins around March 31st or so.  But, sometimes the calender is such that the extra week gets tagged onto the end of the season.  Like it did this year.   So this year while the season started on the respectable date of April 6th, it ends on the slightly late date of October 4th.  This would not be too much of an issue, were it not for...

The next thing that delays the post season.  The creation of the extra playoff round.  Like it or hate it, this adds an extra week to the post season. 

And then comes the most recent action that delays the post season.  Last year an extra off day was included in the LCS schedule.  This was done at the request of National TV.  We all know the ratings for the World Series have been dropping.  FOX pays a lot of money to broadcast the World Series.  They feel they are entitled to try and make money from their investment.  Low ratings do not help them do that.  In fact, it causes just the opposite.  Lower than expected ratings means they either have to charge less for their ads or refund money to advertisers after the fact.  FOX has decided to pump up the ratings by altering the World Series Schedule.  Originally, the Series as scheduled included two Saturday and Sunday games should it go the full 7.  FOX decided they needed to maximize the nights when more people are watching TV.  This means killing one of the Saturday games.  Saturday is the lowest rated TV night of the week.  Fridays weren't on the schedule anyway but that is the next lowest rated TV night.  They wanted to maximize mid week games.  Among the higher rated TV nights.  So, they opted to start the Series on a Wednesday and end it on a Thursday.  But, this would mean a 5 or 6 day layoff for the teams.  Even FOX realized that would probably not be a good thing.  So to help minimize this, they added the extra off day to the LCS schedule and added a couple of extra days to the Division Series schedule.  There.  Problem solved.  

The extra off days, in addition to helping the bean counters at FOX breathe a little easier, really have monumental effect on the outcome of the Series'.  With the extra off days, teams with shorter pitching staff suddenly get the advantage over teams that made the post season with deeper staffs.  Teams have brought stud starters back on short rest before.  But now that strategy is no longer the major decision it used to be with the built in extra days or days.  It may seem like a small thing, but it can dramatically change dynamic of the entire post season.

In the end, this just shows that it is TV that rules the post season.  There are no more day World Series games because TV gets better ratings at night.  And now we have an even longer post season because TV gets better ratings on some days vs others.  And that means intentionally scheduling a minimum of one and potentially four World Series games in November.    One can only imagine what is in store for the fans when MLB extends the Division Series to a best of 7 or even adds two more wild card teams, which, believe it or not, has been discussed at owners meetings.


It seems only a matter of time before the "Fall Classic" becomes a "Thanksgiving Day tradition".
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10/30/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Heyhey1970 wrote:
I like this idea of trimming Spring training down.  Ideally, I would love to see a 120 game schedule, but the owners aren't going to give up those gate receipts.  This hurts the Cubs because Wrigley Field plays so much differently in October than July.  Do you put together a division winning (power driven) lineup or a "small ball" lineup when the wind is blowing in during October?

Given the very large playoff field, I think trimming the season a lot would be a very good idea.

10/30/09   |   Heyhey1970   |   194 respect

Scott wrote:
MLBA and Bud Selig need to grow a pair and stop letting the networks control everything.  There is no way that there should be any regular season games being played in October.  Baseball players are a creature of habit and during the regular season, teams normally have 2 days off a week, Monday and Thursday.  There is no reason why they cant start a 7 game series on a Tuesday and play Tuesday/Wednesday, off day Thursday, play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, off day Monday and then play Tuesday/Wednesday? 

My suggestion is this, shorten spring training down to 3 weeks instead of 5 weeks.  Baseball players themselves will tell you that the preaseason schedule is way too long and by shortening the spring training games in March by a week or two, it'll allow a full 162 game schedule.  Once October rolls around, start all 4 LDS series' on Tuesday, 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening, and then play the postseason like the teams do in the regular season

I like this idea of trimming Spring training down.  Ideally, I would love to see a 120 game schedule, but the owners aren't going to give up those gate receipts.  This hurts the Cubs because Wrigley Field plays so much differently in October than July.  Do you put together a division winning (power driven) lineup or a "small ball" lineup when the wind is blowing in during October?

10/29/09   |   WBKsports   |   366 respect

wrote:
 I love baseball and I'm always depressed when the World Series ends and I know I'm going to have to wait until April (or at least very late March). So I don't have much problem with this. However, the weather is going to continue to be an issue, especially the later it runs. We've had two feet of snow these past couple of days in Denver-- imagine if the Rockies were still in it. Indoor baseball is not natural, so I don't want to see the changes there. I think at the very least they could reduce the season from the current 162 back to the old 154. And yes, they could actually schedule doubleheaders like the old days. Especially if they let you buy just one ticket (a natural doubleheader, not the day-night crap), on a summer afternoon-evening, I think that would be fantastic. Start the season on Friday instead of Monday (the Friday before), that way in addition to your sellout on Opening Day, you would still get good attendance on the weekend, and not the huge dropoff you currently get for the second game on Tuesday. Schedule a couple of doubleheaders, cut a couple of off days, and you could easily shave at least two weeks off the current season.

But I do think think it's cool that all four sports will play this Sunday, and possibly Monday.


 So true...I think more double-headers could be scheduled too, and I like your summer afternoon/evening idea as well. If the World Series was in Colorado this season...brrrrrrrr....I'm a native from San Diego, so I can't imagine how chilly it would be in Denver on November Night!!!  It never goes below 40 here in SD!!!

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Scott wrote:
The same thing you do when there is bad weather at the end of May or June.  There are plenty of chances to makeup games through doubleheaders or off days.  Besides, the chances of there being many delayed games are slim to none.  Baseball does a good job in the month of April of having enough off days spread out that teams can make up games due to "bad weather".

Owners don't like to make up games.  There will be more games to make up if they start the season two week early.

I'm just sayin'.

10/29/09   |   Scott   |   53604 respect

ML31 wrote:
OK.  Then what do you do about the bad weather in many MLB towns at the end of March?  There will be many delayed games those last two weeks of March.  They will have to get made up sometime.

The same thing you do when there is bad weather at the end of May or June.  There are plenty of chances to makeup games through doubleheaders or off days.  Besides, the chances of there being many delayed games are slim to none.  Baseball does a good job in the month of April of having enough off days spread out that teams can make up games due to "bad weather".

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Scott wrote:
MLBA and Bud Selig need to grow a pair and stop letting the networks control everything.  There is no way that there should be any regular season games being played in October.  Baseball players are a creature of habit and during the regular season, teams normally have 2 days off a week, Monday and Thursday.  There is no reason why they cant start a 7 game series on a Tuesday and play Tuesday/Wednesday, off day Thursday, play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, off day Monday and then play Tuesday/Wednesday? 

My suggestion is this, shorten spring training down to 3 weeks instead of 5 weeks.  Baseball players themselves will tell you that the preaseason schedule is way too long and by shortening the spring training games in March by a week or two, it'll allow a full 162 game schedule.  Once October rolls around, start all 4 LDS series' on Tuesday, 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening, and then play the postseason like the teams do in the regular season

OK.  Then what do you do about the bad weather in many MLB towns at the end of March?  There will be many delayed games those last two weeks of March.  They will have to get made up sometime.

10/29/09   |   Scott   |   53604 respect

(Edited by Scott)

MLBA and Bud Selig need to grow a pair and stop letting the networks control everything.  There is no way that there should be any regular season games being played in October.  Baseball players are a creature of habit and during the regular season, teams normally have 2 days off a week, Monday and Thursday.  There is no reason why they cant start a 7 game series on a Tuesday and play Tuesday/Wednesday, off day Thursday, play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, off day Monday and then play Tuesday/Wednesday? 

My suggestion is this, shorten spring training down to 3 weeks instead of 5 weeks.  Baseball players themselves will tell you that the preaseason schedule is way too long and by shortening the spring training games in March by a week or two, it'll allow a full 162 game schedule.  Once October rolls around, start all 4 LDS series' on Tuesday, 2 in the afternoon and 2 in the evening, and then play the postseason like the teams do in the regular season

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
Crazy idea: how about adding exhibitions and extending spring training? It doesn't snow in Florida or Arizona in Feb...How about bringing some of the Japanese team over or some of the Dutch or South African teams. I realize that spring training stadiums hold a fraction of what big league parks do, but maybe by Japanese TV buying the rights to some of the games owners can at least blunt some of the revenue loss of starting the season on March 31 and cutting it back to 156 games (instead of the old 154)

If this involves the owners taking in on less dime, you can forget it.  If owners can make an extra dime off it...  You bet they would be interested.

But that is not the only hurdle.  The MLBPA must OK it.  

What you describe sounds a bit like the WBC.  But I can't imagine owners make more money off an extended spring training.  Nor can I see foreign TV being interested enough to pay any kind of coin for it.  But I guess you never know....

10/29/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

ML31 wrote:
More double headers does not generate more money in concessions and such.  It is a whole lot less.  It is one less day of parking revenue.  People buy more at two separate games than they do at a doubleheader.  And it is an entire set of ticket revenue they don't get.  Perhaps the draw of a doubleheader would bring out more fans, but for the teams that do well at the gate already this will only hurt.  As for the rest, the few added butts won't come close to the revenue lost from holding two separate games.

I have often wondered why the season starts on a Monday rather than a weekend.  Take a look at your schedules...  Often teams play one day and then have an off day right off the bat.  This is intentional because of the uncertain nature of weather in many markets.  They schedule an off day right away as a contingency of that.  If the games were on a weekend, they simply couldn't schedule the off days.  No one wants a weekend off day.  Owners or fans.

Crazy idea: how about adding exhibitions and extending spring training? It doesn't snow in Florida or Arizona in Feb...How about bringing some of the Japanese team over or some of the Dutch or South African teams. I realize that spring training stadiums hold a fraction of what big league parks do, but maybe by Japanese TV buying the rights to some of the games owners can at least blunt some of the revenue loss of starting the season on March 31 and cutting it back to 156 games (instead of the old 154)

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
It's not likely. But, the opening weekend (instead of Monday) would generate more revenue, and doubleheaders, even with taking a hit on the gate, would actually generate more food, beverage, and possibly merchandise sales at the stadium.

More double headers does not generate more money in concessions and such.  It is a whole lot less.  It is one less day of parking revenue.  People buy more at two separate games than they do at a doubleheader.  And it is an entire set of ticket revenue they don't get.  Perhaps the draw of a doubleheader would bring out more fans, but for the teams that do well at the gate already this will only hurt.  As for the rest, the few added butts won't come close to the revenue lost from holding two separate games.

I have often wondered why the season starts on a Monday rather than a weekend.  Take a look at your schedules...  Often teams play one day and then have an off day right off the bat.  This is intentional because of the uncertain nature of weather in many markets.  They schedule an off day right away as a contingency of that.  If the games were on a weekend, they simply couldn't schedule the off days.  No one wants a weekend off day.  Owners or fans.

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
 I love baseball and I'm always depressed when the World Series ends and I know I'm going to have to wait until April (or at least very late March). So I don't have much problem with this. However, the weather is going to continue to be an issue, especially the later it runs. We've had two feet of snow these past couple of days in Denver-- imagine if the Rockies were still in it. Indoor baseball is not natural, so I don't want to see the changes there. I think at the very least they could reduce the season from the current 162 back to the old 154. And yes, they could actually schedule doubleheaders like the old days. Especially if they let you buy just one ticket (a natural doubleheader, not the day-night crap), on a summer afternoon-evening, I think that would be fantastic. Start the season on Friday instead of Monday (the Friday before), that way in addition to your sellout on Opening Day, you would still get good attendance on the weekend, and not the huge dropoff you currently get for the second game on Tuesday. Schedule a couple of doubleheaders, cut a couple of off days, and you could easily shave at least two weeks off the current season.

But I do think think it's cool that all four sports will play this Sunday, and possibly Monday.


There is merit to what you suggest.  Cutting back to 154...  Adding more double headers...  But here is the problem with those ideas.   They all would result in the owners making a few dollars less than they do now.  When was the last time the owners did something to the game that meant they would take a financial hit for the "greater good" of the business?

10/29/09   |   Dubya   |   39 respect

It' will never happen, but the season needs shortened by 20 games. Especially if they go to another 7 game series or add more teams to the playoffs. Baseball isn't meant to be played in November. Shouldn't even be played in late October in my opinion.

10/29/09   |   YankeeDudeL   |   15 respect

(Edited by YankeeDudeL)

Here's a list of ballparks that have opened in the last decade:

Cincinnati Reds: Great American Ballpark (2003)
Detroit Tigers: Comerica Park (2000)
Houston Astros: Minute Maid Park (2000)
Milwaukee Brewers: Miller Park (2001)
New York Mets: Citi Field (2009)
New York Yankees: Yankee Stadium (2009)
Philadelphia Phillies: Citizens Bank Park (2004)
Pittsburgh Pirates: PNC Park (2001)
St. Louis Cardinals: Busch Stadium (2006)
San Diego Padres: PETCO Park (2004)
San Francisco Giants: AT&T Park (2000)
Washington Nationals: Nationals Park (2008)

I'm flattered on behalf of the Yankees that you feel they're the only team that can actually plan on playing into late fall every year, as they're the only team you're holding accountable for not including a roof.

10/29/09   |   uwgb44   |   28 respect

Lets just have the Phills sweep and we can be done on Nov 1st

10/29/09   |   WBKsports   |   366 respect

 WTF are we complaining about? This is great. I've been waiting for this since 2001...It was the first time I think we could watch  a Non Pre-Season NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL game all on the same day.  That's just siiiiick!!

I thought this would never happen again. In fact on Saturday Night after some college football, the NY Knicks play the Sixers at MSG.  Then on Sunday the NY Giants visit the Eagles in Philly Hours before Game 4 of the World Series NY vs. Philly too...If that's not enough sports for your weekend, you can watch some hockey in Philly on Saturday night or you can watch the Islanders if you choose. The Rangers play home on Sunday night too. OVERLOAD!!

Rejoice NY and Philadelphia Fans...This is your weekend!!!

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

BluDevil wrote:
Well, I say why not? People will buy the tix, so do it. As soon as fans stop watching, stop buying tix, stop buying merch, then things will revert back.

If that would happen I would be all for it.  But I think we all know that will not be the response.  I mean, people aren't watching now and that isn't stopping any of this.  And if people stop buying tix, MLB will do anything BUT revert the game back.  They will try and come up with some other worthless thing to try and fix it.  This has happened before.  FOX asked MLB to do something to help with the All Star Game ratings.  Did MLB actually address the real issue for why the ASG is getting less and less popular?  Of course not.  They added that idiot, "this time it counts" garbage.

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
But that roof would have come in handy in Minnesota in April and late October - as well as in New York.

The remedy for that is to start the season later and shorten the post season. 

Problem solved.

10/29/09   |   BluDevil   |   618 respect

Well, I say why not? People will buy the tix, so do it. As soon as fans stop watching, stop buying tix, stop buying merch, then things will revert back.

10/29/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
Too late - the Yankees in all their wisdom, built another open-air stadium. You would think with all that brainpower their money could buy, that someone might have suggested a removable roof.

Actually, I 'm very happy that the MLB market that gets the 3rd highest summer rainfall did not build a dome.  MLB does not need more domes.  

For the record, there are 4 teams in the three MLB markets that get the most summer rain.  And only one of them has a roof.  The Rays.  

10/28/09   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

ML31 wrote:
I can just see MLB pulling an NFL type of thing....  Eventually the World Series will play all games in the same "neutral site" city.  In Florida, Arizona or California.  Or even a city with a dome to ensure weather is not a problem and so bigwig advertiser execs can have yet another excuse to go somewhere to be knee deep in hookers and booze.

This was an awesome piece!

10/5/09   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wrote:
Well, honestly, World Series Game 7 would be better to watch on Thanksgiving than the Lions versus... anyone. But I get your point. Good job!

I can just see MLB pulling an NFL type of thing....  Eventually the World Series will play all games in the same "neutral site" city.  In Florida, Arizona or California.  Or even a city with a dome to ensure weather is not a problem and so bigwig advertiser execs can have yet another excuse to go somewhere to be knee deep in hookers and booze.