Late March and early April can be just too darn cold for White Sox baseball. And, Sunday’s postponed game against the Kansas City Royals proves it.
Early spring temperatures in the Midwest can be incredibly cold and White Sox fans know it. Surprisingly the temperature in Kansas City was actually colder on Sunday than it was in Chicago – but not by much.
The White Sox aren’t the only team that is suffering from the effects of the frigid temperatures in the Midwest and North.
Inconveniencing fans with rescheduled games
With Opening Day occurring earlier than usual, some of the earliest games were postponed. When this happens, fans and the team have to adjust their schedules. And, the results can be problematic, especially for teams that are counting on a big gate. Fans who were planning on attending the game on Easter Sunday might not be able to attend the doubleheader on April 28.
For example, the Detroit Tigers had to schedule a doubleheader on Sunday because of two postponed games. Also, the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals had to reschedule after postponing their Opening Day festivities.
Solving the problems in three steps
There are three simple answers to this Opening Day conundrum. One is to schedule all early games in domed stadiums, and stadiums in the South and West for the first week or two. The second is to schedule Opening Day a few days later in April. The third is to respect Mother Nature and recognize that Opening Day does not need to have all 30 teams playing on the same day.
While the idea of a 30-team Opening Day was noble, it was too easy to predict that at least one stadium would have weather-related issues on March 29. And, it was too difficult to schedule a way to see all of the games on one day. Staggering Opening Day games is so much more fan-friendly than cramming them all into a 12-hour schedule.
Domes and warm locales
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The MLB should consider where these early games are played. Yes, it is fun to attend Opening Day games in Chicago, Detroit, and other Midwest cities. But, there really isn’t anything fun about sitting in the cold, or the rain, or the snow while watching a bunch of men from warm Caribbean or Central American locales play in their balaclavas. No pitcher wants to throw in 30° and no batter or fielder wants to try to find the ball amid falling snowflakes.
Therefore, if the MLB wants to continue scheduling games this early, they should only schedule them in the six domed ballparks, California, Texas, Florida, Denver, and Atlanta. Unfortunately, this is only 14 ballparks, so two teams might have to wait. Unless, the MLB makes a few Opening Day series two games long instead of three or four.
If you look at the White Sox schedule, it is clear that the MLB tried to arrange for games to be played, but to host the Tigers on April 5 is a bit of a stretch. And, why can’t the first series against the Tampa Bay Rays be played in Tampa? That way, it is certain to be completed.
To better accommodate an early Opening Day, the MLB could also consider adding one or two more domed stadiums. But, that’s a discussion for another day.