Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Spectacularly Bad Idea

In case you were still wondering, dear sports fans: the people who run pro sports really don't give a damn about you. They say they do, and sometimes, they act like they do, but then the Lords of Sport do something like this: they fiddle with the 2011 baseball schedule so they can make TV happy.

The San Francisco Chronicle's fine baseball writer John Shea reports ESPN and its puppets at Major League Baseball want to change the Giants 2011 home opener from a 1:35 PM start on Friday, April 8th to a 5 PM start on Thursday, March 31st. To do this, they'd "borrow" a game from the Giants' first homestand of the season--and then send the Giants and Dodgers hustling to the airport after the game so they could play what was supposed to be both team's season-opener in LA the afternoon of Friday, April 1st (full Giants schedule here, so you can see how all this looks).

Net result: Giants fans are deprived of the long-standing San Francisco tradition of a midday home opener, Dodgers fans see their team shuffled off on a bizarre one-game roadtrip (and their own season-opener diluted by the one-night stand in San Francisco), and everyone is treated to a game played in the difficult 5 PM lighting conditions. There's also the not-so-trivial reality of how the thousands of people who share season-ticket plans deal with a home opener that's now just another game--and a Monday night ticket that's suddenly a ducat to the season-opener.

All of this so ESPN can stage-manage its season-opening coverage on March 31st and cap it with a championship-banner ceremony in San Francisco. In other words, Opening Day is just an editable piece of ESPN's storyline.

Of course, MLB should say "no", and of course, it won't. The fans' only hope is that the MLB Players Association will veto the move, as it wisely trashed another boneheaded concept: having the Giants open the 2011 season in Taiwan.

Next time you run into one of the World Series champs on the street, ask for your autograph--and then ask your favorite Giant to oppose this madness.

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