A few years ago, I wrote an article regarding the length of the Major League Baseball season, and some ideas as to how to shorten it.
Watching players and fans alike dressed more for an outdoor hockey game rather than a baseball game, not just an ordinary game, but a World Series game, one that could decide the world championship, just gave me chills up, and down, my spine.
This year's schedule makes me shiver even more.
The series is scheduled to begin on Oct. 28 at the American League home park and end, if it goes seven games, on Nov. 5 at the American League home park.
Those are the dates if there are none are lost to inclement weather, which could extend the series even deeper into November.
As of this writing, three of the five teams in contention play their games in the northern tier of the country—the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers.
The Twins, of course, play in a dome, and the Angels play in sunny Southern California.
In the National League, we have the Rockies and the Phillies, and who can ever forget the '07 Series, with snow on the ground in Denver?
All of that being said, I would assume that some of the biggest MLB postseason fan paraphernalia to be sold in sporting apparel shops and on the Internet will be team ski jackets, wool hats and thermal gloves, not to mention the snow boots.
How many of us have yearned for an official pair of MLB Red Sox thermal gloves and snow boots?
Hip side flasks will also be a big seller, as will Jack Daniels and Old Grand Dad.
And, we probably won't hear the vendors walking down the aisles screeching out "Hey, ice cold beer here, get ya ice cold beer." Well, maybe that's carrying it a bit too far. I can't envision the beer drinkers switching to hot chocolate, with those cute little marshmallows floating on the top.
Baseballs for the games, of course, will be kept in a nearby microwave oven so they can be thawed out before being given to the home plate umpire.
And, outside the ballparks, you can pick up a free portable pocket heater with every gallon of Prestone Anti Freeze purchased.
Now, that's what I call a fun night at the ballpark!
So, what can we do to get back to the point where Major League Baseball is played in the kind of weather it is supposed to be played in, and in weather in which the fans arent bundled up, and the pitcher doesn't have to thaw out his fingers between pitches?
The answer is simple. It's the same answer I had a couple of years ago. Shorten the length of the regular season by going back to the good old days, when teams played doubleheaders on Sundays. Yup, almost every Sunday of the season, teams would play two afternoon games, one right after the other, between a short break, and, now get this....all for the price of ONE ADMISSION.
What, you say. Make these players play two games on the same day? Two consecutive games, like one after the other?
Yeah, I guess you're right. How could we even consider asking these vastly underpaid athletes to play twice in the same day? Yeah, they just aren't making enough money to warrant that, right?
Not to mention that the player's union would scream and holler, and the owners would cry that they are losing money by doing so.
My GOD, they would say, we can't afford to turn the lights on as it now stands, what will happen if we don't take in separate admissions for each game? We will have to cancel one of our annual six vacations, or stop driving one of the six autos in our garages, or maybe even rent out one of our vacation homes to time share folks.
It will be such a hardship, I suppose, to have single admission doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons.
But what about the comfort of the fans—the fans who will be paying through the nose to sit in the stadiums at these postseason game? Or the good will of allowing some younger fans a chance to witness playoff or even World Series games in the afternoon, when it just might be a little warmer? Maybe even bring back the good old "knot hole gangs." Those things really don't matter much, do they?
Well, all of that being said, I am sure that none of what I am suggesting will ever happen.
The games will go on. November will come, and maybe even Thanksgiving will come.
I guess they could always bring in John Madden for Thanksgiving day, when Game Seven of the World Series will be played, and he can give out a drumstick to the MVP.
Maybe they can find John Henderson, of John Deere fame, to clear off the snow around the pitcher's mound so pitchers can get a good footing much in the way that Patriots kicker John Smith did when he kicked the game-winning field goal, in the snow, to defeat the Dolphins, 3-0.
Or better yet, I am sure that Santa Claus would gladly throw out the first pitch when he finishes his duties at the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade.
Maybe I should not have written that last sentence. It sort of sounds like I am conceding the AL to the Yankees. No way. Jose.
The 2009 World Series will be played at Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium. At least there will be two, maybe three, games in which the players, and the fans, won't need their parkas and sled dogs.
Anyway, a little hint for the organists (if there are still any left). Dig out the sheet music for the theme song for this year's World Series—"Winter Wonderland."
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