Wednesday, October 25, 2006

No More Cold-Weather Baseball.

-With the rain pouring down on a very cool, if not cold, day in October...I thought it would be a good time to share my idea for baseball to re-arrange itself to prevent playing games in unbearable weather.

Here it is in a nutshell. Start the season at the beginning of March...but play all of the March games at the home stadium spring-training sites of all teams.

The Cardinals would play all of their March home games at the Jupiter complex. No, there wouldn't be any home games played in St. Louis in March....only April through August. Then, the playoffs would begin the week of Labor Day and be finished by the end of September. This way all of the games would be played at sites where baseball can legitimately be played. Baseball is not legitimately played in 38 degrees and rain...or snow flurries such as were predicted for Detroit Sunday night. In most cities in North America you can't expect good baseball weather beyond October 1st. That's just the way it is. Fans and players shouldn't have to put up with cold-weather baseball. And, you're playing your championship games in conditions that haven't been dealt with for any of the regular season? Does that seem fair to anybody?

I know what the arguments would be against it...
-The St. Louis Cardinals should not play home games in Florida.
-Why play games in March that many home fans can't opposed to post-season games in October that make you a little uncomfortable? Most teams don't make the post-season.
-The owners aren't going to go for it because they would lose a bunch of money on the low attendance in March at the smaller, spring-training ballparks.
-The home cities would lose a lot of revenue from sales taxes etc.

There are several other logical arguments against it. But, think of the positives.
-All (or at least the vast majority) of the games will be played in warm weather.
-The post-season games could be played in reasonably warm weather....what baseball is meant to be played in.
-All games in March would be televised back to the home market...and serve as promos/commercials for ticket sales during the April-August regular season.
-Many fans would take baseball vacations...(many already do) see their team play in March.
-The Spring-training cities could build bigger stadiums and legitimately expect to see them filled. Tax-sharing plans could be worked out with the home city.
-The national sports scene in March is currently dominated by the NCAA basketball tournament. Some hockey. Some pro baskeball. March baseball could compete effectively with that menu.

The only other idea that fixes the weather problem is to play all post-season games at neutral, warm-weather sites. But, that won't work for many reasons. Plus, home fans shouldn't be denied the chance to see post-season games in their own ballpark.

Of course, Bud Selig, the players association, and everyone else involved with running MLB would poo-poo the idea. "It's not broke. Why fix it?"..they would say. Well, I'm saying it is broke when they ask their loyal fans to sit through baseball wearing parkas, rain-coats, mittens, and ear-muffs. They would consider it...if they could make more money doing can bet on that.

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