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Fixing MLB’s Opening Week
April 6, 2018
Good day friends, it’s your pal BeefLoaf and I am back after a bit of a hiatus from writing, it happens, sometimes you can’t quite get the lead in your pencil to go right….so to speak, but I digress. I am writing this in the midst of the White Sox Home Opening Weekend and I wanted to get into a league wide MLB problem that almost everyone has opined on, but almost nobody is getting right. After spending 3 hours out in low 30’s degree weather Thursday, with 2/3rds of that time being spent in the snow, and once again spending 3 hours in low 30’s degree weather on Saturday, it would seem that we have a bit of a climate problem when it comes to the start of the MLB season. I happened to catch some Pirates/Twins earlier in the week, which was also in the snow, and while it looks pretty on TV, it’s probably sub-optimal for the players. You can look around the league at the various postponements across the midwest and northeast to start the season and see this is clearly a problem. You end up bunching these games up later, playing them on off-days down the stretch. Nobody in their right mind wants that shit. So what to do??? I’ve heard that they should start the season in only the dome / warm weather parts of the MLB landscape but that doesn’t seem right, I mean, why would folks in these locales want a disproportionate amount of their home games right now as opposed to June or August or wherever else in the schedule. I’ve heard that the baseball season should be shortened and started later. Hey, I could get on board with that, but I think the owners like to accumulate whatever revenue they can in the early season from their taxpayer funded stadiums, so I am not sure we’ll ever see that (possibly if they are expand the playoffs in a more dramatic way, maybe this happens), but for now, we are left with a series of undesirable prospective solutions, none of which are going to fit with the current climate of baseball in which the players have negotiated substantially more off-days for theyselfs. What to do???
I got to thinking, everyone who follows a baseball team LURVES a road trip!!! Every year, it is the one thing that gets talked about more than anything else, WHAT CITY ARE WE GOING TO GO SEE THE WHITE SOX play in? I’m sure all fan bases are like this…..so I haz the solution….instead of starting the season in any teams park, the first 10 days (8 games) of the season will be at a neutral location. Each Division will be assigned a city to attend to play 2 games each against their divisional opponents, for 8 games total for each team. With the added off-days you might even run into some of the heroes from your team having dinner, drinking excessively or tucking a buck in the city that your division is assigned to, imagine that!! However, the neutral sites need some sort of appeal, so I’m thinking these are the criterion…….
– Warm predictable weather or a Dome stadium
– A big enough stadium to hold major league baseball even if major league baseball games have never been held there
– Fun city or location, possibly a city that wants major league baseball so that Rob Manfred can pretend he is doing some due diligence on a future site for expansion
Here is the first cut at this solution……
Montreal – We’ll send the NL East to Montreal! World class city, they used to have baseball (as you might have heard) and rumor has it they want baseball again (or at least baseball romantics who forget they couldn’t get 3,000 people to a game at the end of the Expos residence there)….and rumor has it, they have an exciting night life and would be a cool city to visit. They already have a baseball stadium, so this shouldn’t be a problem. I see this as a no brainer. I can’t wait to watch Thor throw a shut out and then fake speak some French, it’s gonna be amazeballs!!
Honolulu – Yep, we are sending the AL West to Hawaii, why not? They deserve it, don’t you think!?!?! Truth be told, I don’t think Honolulu has a big enough baseball stadium to have MLB games, but they have that junky old football stadium that hosts the college team and used to be the home for some of the most boring exhibition football games in the history of sports known as the Pro Bowl. I see no reason they can’t do a little conversion job to slap this together. I would love it if they had a comically short Right Field fence and Joey Gallo hit like 9 HR’s in a game, including one out of the stadium completely, whatta thrill! I suspect that we could get tons of folks that don’t even care about Billy Beane to fly from their homes to Hawaii to enjoy this little baseball get together.
Las Vegas – You knew this one was coming, booze and gambling and nightlife mixed together…..we are sending the NL West here, this way the Rockies won’t feel slighted as they can still play at altitude. I am not sure the AAA stadium will work, so we might have to play these games inside of one of the casinos. I could just see it now, Clayton Kershaw sitting at the nickel slots pounding away and then being called to take the mound that next half innings. Warms the heart.
New Orleans – We will send the AL Central to NOLA!! Now, I think playing these games in the Superdome makes the most sense, I would think they could figure out how to make that workable for baseball, although I doubt many of the hard partying midwesterners that head down there will actually make it to the games, between Harrah’s casino and Bourbon Street and the French Quarter there is a whole fuckton of things to keep this crowd busy and boozey! Imagine an April trek of games where Ned Yost doesn’t look like he’s going to freeze to death. That would make baseball history!!!
Mexico City – The AL East will be sent to Mexico City!! Now, once you get past kidnapping and rampant gang violence, I hear Mexico City is a fun town. They have Azteca Stadium which holds like 100,000,000 people, or at least it did for those Guns n Roses concerts in the 90’s. For those that don’t know, Mexico City is at higher altitude than Denver, so watching Stanton and Judge maim balls in this ballpark should be a treat, it will be like playing Baseball Simulator 1.000
Indianapolis – The NL Central will go to….Indianapolis? Look, I know it’s not a world class city like the others and it doesn’t really have a baseball stadium either, so we’ll have to shove it into the dome where the Colts play, but goddamnit, we aren’t taking away all the damn jobs from the Midwest, so we are having our brothers to the east in Indiana host this excursion. Cubs fans rejoice!!! You’ll get to spend some time trashing this quaint midwestern town instead of Clark and Addison. I’d expect 108 fave Jim Irsay to be there in fine form. He’s not on the hook to speak or “represent” a team or some shit, so he can really enjoy hisself.
Doesn’t this seem like something we could get behind? Then the rest of the schedule can start around April 10th or something and if you want to trot out a week of warm weather / dome home games then, you are really kicking out the super bad weather section of the schedule for the midwest / northeast teams. I envision locations and assignments would rotate over time, but this idea would have everyone booking their road trips together and creating a big
mess party for all to attend.