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Monday, October 12, 2009

Game On!: Would MLB lie about the temperature?

The definitely immoral Anders Celsius?

Depending on who you listen to, Game 3 of the Philadelphia-Colorado playoff either was the coldest game in MLB postseason history, or else merely tied for that honor.

MLB announced that the first-pitch temperature, taken in center field, was 35 degrees, tying the record set in Cleveland at Game 4 of the 1997 World Series, when there were snow flurries.

But Denver Post columnist Dave Krieger points out that Denver radio station KOA put the number at 28 degrees and TBS said it was 31. (And based on how long it took MLB to admit it had been infiltrated by steroid users, we’ll go with the outsiders’ opinions on this one, and wait for the Weather Channel to weigh in.)

...It’s time to shorten spring training by at least a week, start the season earlier with emphasis on games in warm-weather cities, and put as much of the frosty weather as possible on the front end of the schedule.

Repoz Posted: October 12, 2009 at 04:51 PM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3349836)
Worldwide climactic changes can be a bvtch.
   2. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:08 PM (#3349850)
Why is it so unreasonable for there to be a seven degree variance in temperature? I've played golf courses that have ten degree swings depending on where you are on the course.

Not to mention, if there's anybody that wants to emphasize the extremes it is local weather stations. I have yet to live in a market that doesn't provide totally overblown local weather coverage where every storm and arctic blast is 'recordbreaking'.
   3. heyyoo Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:11 PM (#3349855)
.It’s time to shorten spring training by at least a week, start the season earlier with emphasis on games in warm-weather cities, and put as much of the frosty weather as possible on the front end of the schedule.

While I agree with this in general, it's only October 12th. Even if you started the regular season on a week earlier, and got the playoffs rolling a week earlier, you are still looking at the World Series ending on October 20 something anyway.
   4. JPWF13 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3349865)
...It’s time to shorten spring training by at least a week, start the season earlier


I've seen frost and snow in early April games, I have yet to see a WS game get snowed out.

Doe he want the season to start in March?

The average US (contiguous) temperature in April 2009 was 51 degrees (usual April average is 52)
The coldest OCTOBER in the past 30 years was 2002, when the average temperature was 52.6, the average for October is 54.8

In the contiguous United States, the average temperature for March is 42°F- slightly cooler than November...


Yeah, sure. let's start the season earlier
   5. Rally Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3349867)
You want warmer playoff games? Then keep the cold weather cities from going deep in the playoffs. Angels have done their part.

If the Twins continue to contend in the AL central, people will be questioning the wisdom of building a brand spanking new outdoor stadium there when they have a perfectly good dome.
   6. flournoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3349871)
In the contiguous United States, the average temperature for March is 42°F


Wow, is that for real? I don't think I've ever seen a temperature so low in March, except maybe an overnight low.
   7. JJ1986 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3349873)
The season started a week later and ended a week later than most seasons.
   8. Joey B. is counting the days to Trea Turner Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:30 PM (#3349876)
The game looked pretty well packed, and on TV the fans looked like they were having a great old time.

The authors of this piece need to toughen up a bit and stop being such whiny-ass little pussies.
   9. Repoz Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:30 PM (#3349875)
Day/Night doubleheaders sprinkled through the season. Knock a week off.
   10. aleskel Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:35 PM (#3349883)
meanwhile, why the heck are they waiting a full days before they start the ALCS? Shouldn't they have a contingency plan so that, if the two ALDS' end quickly, they can move it up a day or two?
   11. Natty Fan Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3349885)
Average daily high and low temperatures for Denver, CO:

April - 61 and 34 degrees Fahrenheit
October - 66 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit

October is definitely warmer, but the average daily high temperatures in October are closer to those in May (70 degrees) than in April. The solution is simple -- more day games in the playoffs.
   12. puck Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3349886)
The game looked pretty well packed, and on TV the fans looked like they were having a great old time.


That's not the story I heard. Apparently, you could have scalped a ticket below face value. People at the game reported the cold seemed to subdue the crowd.

It was cold, even for Denver. The Saturday temp set a record by 7 degrees.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3349889)
It was cold, even for Denver. The Saturday temp set a record by 7 degrees.


A record, which means this typically doesn't happen. This is a non-issue to me.
Cue Andy's memory of the Indian Summer of '79 which followed the miserable, dreary '79 postseason.
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3349892)
The crowd was pumped where I was, although I wasn't there in 2007, so it may have been much more exciting then. On the other hand,

1) It was really cold.
2) The game was played really late on a Sunday night, for which there is no excuse.
3) It was an awfully slow, sloppy game from the Rockies' standpoint. The worst kind of game to sit through is when your pitcher is walking tons of guys, i.e., when Jose Contreras is in the game. That makes the game both depressing and slow.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:46 PM (#3349894)
I do think MLB should take more control over the playoff schedules, giving warm weather/dome teams the night games and earlier starts to teams where weather can be an issue.

Of course, the NFL allowed a league championship game to be played at night in January in Green Bay, so MLB has a long way to go before it can be as negligent.
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:47 PM (#3349895)
Also, as was mentioned in that blog post puck linked to, crowd control was terrible. There weren't nearly enough gate personnel working. We stood outside the stadium in line (except it wasn't a line, just a mass of people) for over a half hour waiting to get through the gates. We finally got in, in the bottom of the first, and as we walked up the steps to our seat we saw a mass of literally a thousand people still waiting to get in.
   17. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3349901)
Of course, the NFL allowed a league championship game to be played at night in January in Green Bay, so MLB has a long way to go before it can be as negligent.


fwiw, I was still living in Wisconsin at this time, and by the day of the game, tickets for that game were very hard to get rid of.

MLB/TBS gave Philly/Colo the 10:07 est start, based on the fact that they were assuming the LAD/STL series would continue as well, which would've meant four games, and none of us seem to like having to pick which one to watch.
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3349905)

MLB/TBS gave Philly/Colo the 10:07 est start, based on the fact that they were assuming the LAD/STL series would continue as well


But it didn't. Why couldn't they have moved the game to the afternoon slot as soon as the Dodgers wrapped up their series on Saturday afternoon?
   19. flournoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3349910)
I preferred it when the games were on simultaneously.
   20. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3349911)
But it didn't. Why couldn't they have moved the game to the afternoon slot as soon as the Dodgers wrapped up their series on Saturday afternoon?
Page 1 of 1 pages


Oh, I don't know maybe it is because TV isn't the only audience.

I'm guessing because people have tickets to the games and are told it is at 807pm Mountain, employees are scheduled to work a 8pm game, and if you change that less than 24 hours before 1st pitch, you are going to hack off thousands of people. I'm guessing a nearby Broncos game at 2 pm Mountain time also had something to do with it.
   21. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:05 PM (#3349913)
The season started a week later and ended a week later than most seasons.

I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the WBC, which was directly responsible for delaying the start of the season.
   22. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:07 PM (#3349914)

Oh, I don't know maybe it is because TV isn't the only audience.


Well, I was in the live audience, and I would have strongly preferred the game be played in the afternoon. Yes, it would have been difficult for some people, but the time of the game wasn't even announced until Friday, so it's not like there were a lot of long-term plans affected. As it was, the alternative is to ask people to sit out in sub-freezing temperatures past midnight on a Sunday night, which presents problems of its own.

The start of today's game was initially announced as 2:07 local time. Sometime yesterday evening (I assume after the Yanks finished their sweep), it was re-announced as 4:07. I haven't heard a lot of gnashing of teeth over moving that start time.
   23. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3349916)
Why couldn't they have moved the game to the afternoon slot as soon as the Dodgers wrapped up their series on Saturday afternoon?


Because the Broncos had a home football game and they didn't want to compete against the NFL.

-- MWE
   24. JPWF13 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:08 PM (#3349917)
Wow, is that for real? I don't think I've ever seen a temperature so low in March, except maybe an overnight low.


Where do you live?
In New York we get plenty of freezing temperatures in March. Drive an hour or so north of NYC, and you'll still see snow on the ground late March.
   25. BDC Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:09 PM (#3349918)
the NFL allowed a league championship game to be played at night in January in Green Bay

Not even suggesting that that's a good idea, it is still part of the lore and mystique of football that they play in some inhumane conditions sometimes (including August in Texas, when the heat can kill and sometimes does).

Baseball in large part depends on being able to grip a small object and throw it with great precision. A finicky, insufficiently macho sport, perhaps, but one where you need to be able to have sensation in your fingers :)
   26. JPWF13 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3349921)
The solution is simple -- more day games in the playoffs.


Ain't gonna happen with BSelig in charge.

A record, which means this typically doesn't happen. This is a non-issue to me.


Ditto, plus it was record by 7 effing degrees, which means it was really a major outlier.
   27. sunnyday2 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3349922)
I've played golf courses that have ten degree swings depending on where you are on the course.


That's nuthin.' I've played course that have ten inch swings in snow depth depending on where you are.
   28. heyyoo Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:11 PM (#3349923)
I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the WBC, which was directly responsible for delaying the start of the season.

Yeah...that should be played in November anyway.
   29. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3349925)
Because the Broncos had a home football game and they didn't want to compete against the NFL.


Having the nationally televised Denver NFL game during the daytime, followed immediately by the nationally televised Denver baseball game starting two hours after sundown, was yet another spotlight on MLB's ridiculous scheduling priorities. It would have been ridiculous even if it were a bright warm day, let alone a day where all the football coaches were wearing parkas and tassled winter hats six hours before the start of the baseball game.

So far I have seen four innings of the Phillies-Colorado series. Couldn't see either of the games that started at 2:37 Eastern time on weekdays. And couldn't see the last half of the game that started at 10:07 Eastern time, about two hours after sundown in Denver, on SUNDAY. They leave me no choice but to become a Yankees fan.

Wow, is that for real? I don't think I've ever seen a temperature so low in March, except maybe an overnight low.


Well, the average temperature is for all 24 hours of the day.

I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the WBC, which was directly responsible for delaying the start of the season.


More specifically, the bizarre scheduling in the WBC, in which the US kept having pointless three-day breaks for the players to complain to the press about how pointless the three-day breaks were, and some pairs of teams played each other four times, each time with a different supposed significance to the game.
   30. BDC Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3349926)
I don't think I've ever seen a temperature so low in March

It can freeze in North Texas till Easter. If you've never seen 42F in March, you probably live in Miami. Or Death Valley :)
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3349928)
Drive an hour or so north of NYC, and you'll still see snow on the ground late March.


An hour? We may have gotten the occasional freak late March/early April snowstorm (just as NYC has), but it wasn't something you could count on.

Not even suggesting that that's a good idea, it is still part of the lore and mystique of football that they play in some inhumane conditions sometimes (including August in Texas, when the heat can kill and sometimes does).

Baseball in large part depends on being able to grip a small object and throw it with great precision. A finicky, insufficiently macho sport, perhaps, but one where you need to be able to have sensation in your fingers :)


Obviously baseball is more dependent on good weather than football, but scheduling a game in the evening in January in Green Bay went beyond simple discomfort and entered genuinely dangerous.
   32. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:14 PM (#3349929)
Well, I was in the live audience, and I would have strongly preferred the game be played in the afternoon. Yes, it would have been difficult for some people, but the time of the game wasn't even announced until Friday, so it's not like there were a lot of long-term plans affected. As it was, the alternative is to ask people to sit out in sub-freezing temperatures past midnight on a Sunday night, which presents problems of its own.

The start of today's game was initially announced as 2:07 local time. Sometime yesterday evening (I assume after the Yanks finished their sweep), it was re-announced as 4:07. I haven't heard a lot of gnashing of teeth over moving that start time.


I sympathize with the guys and gals that have to work these events, as coordinating a bunch of mostly part-time workers (for many a second job) to show up to an event that has a fluid starting time has got to be a losing battle.

I didn't like the late start either, but given the circumstances, mostly the Broncos game nearby, and MLBs/TBSs desire to not run games at the same time, this was all they could do.

Do Broncos games ever coincide with Rockies games in September, at the same time?
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:15 PM (#3349930)

Because the Broncos had a home football game and they didn't want to compete against the NFL.


This may be the real reason but it is exceedingly dumb, the kind of thing you would do if you thought about the problem for about 15 seconds. Yes, the Broncos played at 2:15 yesterday. Yes, many people in Denver would have preferred to watch that over the baseball game.

So rather than have some overlap, the solution is to play the game so that basically no one in Philadelphia can watch the whole thing? And what's larger, the Denver afternoon audience minus the Broncos audience (even though many people could watch both simultaneously), or the Denver audience at midnight on Sunday night?
   34. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3349936)
An hour? We may have gotten the occasional freak late March/early April snowstorm (just as NYC has), but it wasn't something you could count on.

I remember going to a Phillies home opener and it was snowing. It must have been 2002 or 2003.

Poughkeepsie area has snow in March for what seems like all the time. If I recall correctly this past spring took a long time coming in the Poughkeepsie area and we were joking that it would still be snowing in May.
   35. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3349937)
I sympathize with the guys and gals that have to work these events, as coordinating a bunch of mostly part-time workers (for many a second job) to show up to an event that has a fluid starting time has got to be a losing battle.


I can imagine even they would have preferred to work in the afternoon, although the hot-cocoa vendors were doing a brisk business.

How hard is it to plan ahead for these things? "The Rockies and Phillies will play at 8:07 on Sunday, unless the Dodgers/Cardinals series ends on Saturday, in which case they'll take the afternoon slot." How many people would have been inconvenienced by that?
   36. puck Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3349938)
There weren't nearly enough gate personnel working. We stood outside the stadium in line (except it wasn't a line, just a mass of people) for over a half hour waiting to get through the gates.


Was it worse than other sell-out type games, like opening day? Maybe all the winter gear meant that more people/things/bags needed to be searched.

I didn't have trouble in any of the near-sellout games in the latter part of the season. Maybe fewer people got there early due to the cold.
   37. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3349939)
Obviously baseball is more dependent on good weather than football, but scheduling a game in the evening in January in Green Bay went beyond simple discomfort and entered genuinely dangerous.

They have the same problem in Chicago. I remember when the Bears last made it to the Super Bowl they scheduled the season finale against the Vikings at night in Chicago. Just plain old stupid.

Historically they did a pretty good job avoiding late December/January games in Chicago but what with the 17 week schedule and 3 weeks of playoffs they are becoming more and more common.
   38. JPWF13 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3349940)
An hour? We may have gotten the occasional freak late March/early April snowstorm (just as NYC has), but it wasn't something you could count on.


60 miles north on the Throughway, get off and go West for 10 minutes, and yes you will likely see snow one ground in March, "freak late March/early April snowstorm"- who was talking about that, I was talking about snowfall from February or earlier still being on the ground.
   39. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3349943)

I didn't have trouble in any of the near-sellout games in the latter part of the season. Maybe fewer people got there early due to the cold.


It was by far the worst I've seen. I've never had to wait more than about 15 minutes before, for a Saturday fireworks game.
   40. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:24 PM (#3349945)
I sympathize with the guys and gals that have to work these events, as coordinating a bunch of mostly part-time workers (for many a second job) to show up to an event that has a fluid starting time has got to be a losing battle.

If I recall from the Cleveland/LA game in Milwaukee the toughest part is dealing with the unions and the CBA. For the most part the unions frown upon short notice schedule changes.
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:24 PM (#3349946)
Aren't cold days in spring a huge amount better for baseball than cold days in the autumn? I mean, if it's snowing on April 10th, you can postpone the game for a later date when it'll be warmer, any time in the next five months. If it's snowing on October 20th, you can...play the game, or postpone for a later date, which will be at the most two or three days later, and probably just as cold.

The whole specter of choosing whether or not the weather is too bad for baseball in Cleveland at Halloween is just depressing, because you're faced with the reality that postponing might make things even worse.
   42. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3349947)
Tom, agree, I'm guessing the workers hated the 8 pm local start, and some didn't bother to show up. As an ex-food vendor, I would've showed up, but at that time I didn't have a 8-5 weekday job and kids to feed and tuck in to bed.

I suspect they weren't given the 8:07 option because of the Twins/Yankees game running at the same time.
   43. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:28 PM (#3349948)
If I recall from the Cleveland/LA game in Milwaukee the toughest part is dealing with the unions and the CBA. For the most part the unions frown upon short notice schedule changes.


and the stadium staffing, I was one of the 20,000 or so curious onlookers during the first of those three games, and there was an extraordinary shortage of concession workers at the first game. It was a like a typical concession line at high school football game at halftime, except instead of 150 kids in line trying to buy a bag of skittles and $1 nachos, it was $4 brats and beer.
   44. puck Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:30 PM (#3349949)
Seth Smith sighting! Though I assume Gonzalez moves to RF, rather than employ two LF's and no RF.
   45. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:36 PM (#3349958)
and the stadium staffing, I was one of the 20,000 or so curious onlookers during the first of those three games, and there was an extraordinary shortage of concession workers at the first game. It was a like a typical concession line at high school football game at halftime, except instead of 150 kids in line trying to buy a bag of skittles and $1 nachos, it was $4 brats and beer.

I went to two of those games, I think it was first and last (or first and whichever one Dick Vitale was at), and the trick was to get your food as soon as you got there and if you were hungry after that snag a vendor walking by. People around me were complaining a bit about the lines but I never noticed them because I did this both times I was there.


And in terms of weather, those were April games and snow was on the ground in Milwaukee and falling on the ground as well. Plus of course Cleveland was snowed out as well.
   46. bumpis hound Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:49 PM (#3349974)
I'm beginning to think that Selig & co are embracing playoff creep so that they can someday justify a move to a neutral site WS, as has been bandied about a few times in the recent past. I hope I'm wrong, but, against all common sense, the games keep going later and later into winter; I can't help but think Selig has his sights on another "improvement" for the sport.
   47. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:54 PM (#3349976)
Did someone say Neutral site sporting events?
   48. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:54 PM (#3349977)
Even Bud Selig isn't stupid enough to seriously consider neutral-site baseball. They've seen the attendance figures for neutral-site WBC games, haven't they?
   49. esseff Posted: October 12, 2009 at 06:54 PM (#3349979)
-- Aside from the Broncos and the convenience of the attending fans, TBS isn't going to give up its prime time broadcast on the West Coast (and an hour or two of prime time in the East and Midwest). The rub was that this was an unusual situation in which the westernmost host city was a cold-weather location. That often isn't the case.

-- As for the season schedule, with or without the WBC, the season has to move back a week every five or six years, just as a function of the fact that the calendar moves up a day each year (or two in leap years). As long as the schedule-makers prefer that the season begin on a Monday or Tuesday for most teams, there will come a point when the season either has to creep into March or bounce back a week into April; by the calendar -- WBC aside -- this was that year.
   50. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:08 PM (#3349989)
I'm beginning to think that Selig & co are embracing playoff creep so that they can someday justify a move to a neutral site WS, as has been bandied about a few times in the recent past. I hope I'm wrong, but, against all common sense, the games keep going later and later into winter; I can't help but think Selig has his sights on another "improvement" for the sport.

Regardless of people's feelings against November night games in the North, the backlash against a Super Bowl-like site for the World Series would provoke a backlash of New Coke proportions. It would never happen.

But that's just about the only phony gimmick that they'd never dare to try. And what else hasn't been done already in pursuit of the almighty Nielsen?

The long and short of it is that as long as baseball is driven purely (meaning 99%) by financial considerations, it will never give priority to playing conditions over TV ratings. And if this means never considering doubleheaders as a means of shortening the season; or ruling out reducing the number of regular season games; or kowtowing to the WBC; etc., then tough titties as far as the suits are concerned.

And for all the talk about how Selig & Co. are old fogies, it ain't exactly the geriatric set that's driving baseball's scheduling considerations and other marketing schemes. The only fans that they really care about in the depths of their souls are the ones who seemingly spend half their disposable income on rotgut beer, stuffed crud pizza, and pink baseball caps, and who find nothing unusual or offputting about having to stay up till 1:00 a.m. to watch a game between the Rockies and the Phillies played in 20 degree weather.
   51. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:09 PM (#3349990)
October baseball in Denver is a huge crapshoot. The record low for October 13 is 3 above zero. For twelve of the remaining days of the month, there are record lows below 10 above. Compare that to, say, Milwaukee, where the all time record low for October is 15F. For Boston, it's 25F.

Of course, you are also more likely to have warm weather in October in Denver than in either of those cities. The average high for October 12 in Denver is 68F. The monthly mean temperature for Denver is 51F, almost identical to Milwaukee (51.5) and a few degrees lower than Boston (54).
   52. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:14 PM (#3349997)
Considering that for most of the Rockies history no one has had to worry about October baseball I would think this issue is a bit of a non-issue.
   53. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:16 PM (#3350003)
October baseball in Denver is a huge crapshoot. The record low for October 13 is 3 above zero. For twelve of the remaining days of the month, there are record lows below 10 above. Compare that to, say, Milwaukee, where the all time record low for October is 15F. For Boston, it's 25F.

Of course, you are also more likely to have warm weather in October in Denver than in either of those cities. The average high for October 12 in Denver is 68F. The monthly mean temperature for Denver is 51F, almost identical to Milwaukee (51.5) and a few degrees lower than Boston (54).


And of course a person with common sense would look at both of those sets of figures, and reason that 12:07 might be a more logical time for an October game in Denver than 8:07. Not that Selig would ever see it that way.
   54. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:16 PM (#3350005)

The long and short of it is that as long as baseball is driven purely (meaning 99%) by financial considerations, it will never give priority to playing conditions over TV ratings.


I get that. The crazy thing about yesterday's game is that there's just no way it got better ratings ending at 2 a.m. in Philadelphia than it would have in the afternoon.
   55. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:22 PM (#3350014)
The long and short of it is that as long as baseball is driven purely (meaning 99%) by financial considerations, it will never give priority to playing conditions over TV ratings.

I get that. The crazy thing about yesterday's game is that there's just no way it got better ratings ending at 2 a.m. in Philadelphia than it would have in the afternoon.


But what makes you think that just because it's a Phillies game, they want to pay any particular attention to the fans in Philadelphia? Suits don't ever think along those lines, Tom.
   56. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:23 PM (#3350019)
And of course a person with common sense would look at both of those sets of figures, and reason that 12:07 might be a more logical time for an October game in Denver than 8:07. Not that Selig would ever see it that way.

What, you mean go directly up against the NFL? No way.
   57. BDC Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:33 PM (#3350028)
you mean go directly up against the NFL? No way

I am convinced that MLB tries to avoid the direct matchup because everybody employed by baseball prefers to watch football games.
   58. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3350030)
There was an NFL game on last night, too.
   59. puck Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3350031)
October baseball in Denver is a huge crapshoot.


What's the bb-ref of weather stats? This is sort of interesting.

Weatherbase has Denver with more days < 32 deg F, but also with an avg of 5 rainy days, which is fewer than a lot of other cities.

#52 is sad but true. I hope the Rockies have corrected this problem.
   60. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:53 PM (#3350053)
There was an NFL game on last night, too.

You can run, but you can't hide. The Colts-Titans game last night peaked at 15.738 million viewers. Wonder how many tuned in for the Yanks and the Twins, or the Phillies and the Rockies?
   61. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 12, 2009 at 07:57 PM (#3350056)
I'm guessing I'm in the one Indy-metro household that didn't catch a snap of that game.
   62. Adam B. Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:12 PM (#3350075)
There are enough warm-weather or dome teams in MLB to move the season a week earlier and have games played in those cities:

NL: ARI, ATL, FLA, HOU, LA, MIL, STL, SD, SF
AL: KC, LAA, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX, TOR
   63. Swedish Chef Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:16 PM (#3350082)
Is this the lamest conspiracy theory ever? It's no grassy knoll or Bavarian Illuminati, that's for sure.
   64. JJ1986 Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3350095)
There was an NFL game on last night, too.

The game was effectively over by around 10:00 EDT or around when the Rockies game started.
   65. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:29 PM (#3350096)
Tom, agree, I'm guessing the workers hated the 8 pm local start, and some didn't bother to show up.

If Denver is anything like Chicago, lots of vendors work sports events regardless of team so it's possible some vendors were working the Broncos game and wouldn't be able to work the baseball game unless it started later.
   66. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:35 PM (#3350107)
There are enough warm-weather or dome teams in MLB to move the season a week earlier and have games played in those cities:

NL: ARI, ATL, FLA, HOU, LA, MIL, STL, SD, SF
AL: KC, LAA, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX, TOR


Wouldn't work.


You're asking half the league to start the first two to three weeks on the road which muck a lot of things up and the biggest reason it won't work is because you are asking half the league to have a disportionate amount of their home games played during the lowest attended part of the schedule.
   67. cercle Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3350110)
I imagine the NCAA tournament plays a role in how early MLB is willing to start the season. In 2010, they could start the season the Monday after the regional finals and would be starting the season 4 days earlier. It's worthwhile in my opinion, but I don't think they'd want to do it any earlier than that and be competing with the sweet sixteen and elite eight games.

Day/Night doubleheaders sprinkled through the season. Knock a week off

This would be great.
   68. Adam B. Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:43 PM (#3350115)
@McCoy: How about just the first nine games? Last week of March, first half of the first week of April? I recognize that revenue issue, but I wonder whether the warm-weather teams have the same problems with April attendance as do the Northern towns. What you'd want to do is compare these April 2008/2009 average attendances with the year-end averages to see whether the Northern cities saw a greater bounce by year's end. I'm nerdy enough to take a look.
   69. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:51 PM (#3350120)
I think it is a pretty universal occurrence that spring games are more sparsely attended than summer month games. School is out, the weather is better, and such.

Back in the days when the best seats in the house were 23 dollars or so and not 80+ dollars I used to love the April/May games. You could buy spur of the moment tickets to games and get the best seats in the house. Traffic was light, the lines small, and there wasn't a ton of people pressing on you at your seat.
   70. Adam B. Posted: October 12, 2009 at 08:59 PM (#3350128)
Okay. Did the math. The data is here. The ten teams whose per-game average attendance increased the most between April and overall:

Minnesota
Atlanta
Texas
Detroit
Pittsburgh
Toronto
Washington
Cleveland
Chi. White Sox
Milwaukee

Three dome, two warm-weather, four cold-weather and I don't know where to list Washington.

The ten teams at the bottom, from least-bad (SF actually gained 1.59%, and the next two operate at capacity year round):

San Francisco
Boston
Chi. Cubs
Cincinnati
L.A. Angels
Arizona
Tampa Bay
Florida
San Diego
Oakland

Excluding Boston and the Cubs, that's six warm weather teams whose overall April attendance was better than their overall 2009 attendance.
   71. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:03 PM (#3350132)
The ten teams at the bottom, from least-bad (SF actually gained 1.59%, and the next two operate at capacity year round):

The weather in that neighborhood in San Francisco is probably better in early April than it is in July.
   72. Adam B. Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3350146)
And SF did increase a smidge. It's the six teams at the bottom which suggest that giving warm weather teams home games for the first 10 days won't hurt their attendance.
   73. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:34 PM (#3350168)
One thing to remember and adjust for is the home opener.
   74. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3350174)
WRT those attendance figures, I'd bet that the teams with a big season ticket base (NY, Boston, Cubs, Cards, Phils, LA) show much smaller increases from April to the rest of the year, and that these advance sales are a much bigger factor accounting for the small increases cases than the weather. Remember, attendance is based on ticket sales, not turnstile count.
   75. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:41 PM (#3350175)
I think I am missing something.

SF avg April attendance this year was 34,770 and their average attendance overall for 2009 was 35,322. I don't see how that means that attendance is better in April than the rest of the year.
   76. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:54 PM (#3350183)
WRT those attendance figures, I'd bet that the teams with a big season ticket base (NY, Boston, Cubs, Cards, Phils, LA) show much smaller increases from April to the rest of the year, and that these advance sales are a much bigger factor accounting for the small increases cases than the weather. Remember, attendance is based on ticket sales, not turnstile count.

I also think expectations play a certain role as well. The Rays just came off a World Series appearance and I think it is somewhat understandable that the Rays were a hotter spur of the moment ticket in the beginning of the season than as the season wore on.

Plus the Rays and the other warm weather teams are already getting a schedule slightly tweaked so that the cold weather teams play there in the beginning. The Rays as an example played 3 of their 4 home games against the Yankees (a good traveling team with a fanbase down there) and it was the home opener for them. Florida had 6 of their 9 games against the reigning champs and the Mets while the weak team was softened by it being the homeopener.

Back when the Selig's used to own the Brewers it seems the Cubs never played the Brewers until the summer so that they could maximize revenue. I'm sure if the Rays had a choice they would rather play all of their games against the Yankees in Tampa during the summer months when the gains they would recieve would be at their maximum.
   77. Adam B. Posted: October 12, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3350185)
@McCoy, It isn't -- I said that SF's attendance increased a smidge from April to the rest of the year. Just that that was enough to be in the bottom 10. Cincinnati decreased by 3%, Oakland by 22%, the rest in between.
   78. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:01 PM (#3350193)
Sorry, misread it.

Looking closer into SF I find it interesting that they played the Dodgers and Diamondbacks at home in April with the Brewers being the home opener.


I also would find it interesting to see how many of the teams require you to purchase more than just the home opener tickets in order to get home opener tickets. If I recall correctly the Brewers at one point, and maybe still do, made you buy tickets to other games in order to get tickets to the home opener (or was it the Cubs?).
   79. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:09 PM (#3350200)
Oakland:

Things that help Oakland's April.
9 games-1 home opener
Home opener moves the average April attendance up by almost 2,000 tickets.
9 games-3 against Boston, and the only series of the year against Boston.
I'm thinking Oakland would have loved to hae played this series in August on a weekend.
   80. esseff Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:14 PM (#3350203)
SF attendance, by month, is likely to skew toward those months when the Dodgers are on the schedule. I presume that to be true of other teams and their main rivals. Point being that there is more than weather and school vacations at work in the attendance numbers.
   81. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3350205)
San Diego:

The first two series at home are against the Dodgers and Giants and then at the end of the month they play the Pirates.
Throughout the course of the season it becomes obvious that the Padres are chucking it again and I don't doubt that that doesn't help ticket sales.


The Dodgers on the home opener series bring in 97,000, 4th of July weekend they bring in 114,000. The Giants as the second series and first weekend series of the season bring in 75,000. Last series of the season and last weekend series of the season the Giants bring in 77,000.
   82. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:22 PM (#3350209)
SF attendance, by month, is likely to skew toward those months when the Dodgers are on the schedule. I presume that to be true of other teams and their main rivals. Point being that there is more than weather and school vacations at work in the attendance numbers.

Well yeah, there is a ton of things at work (like playoff races) but a Dodger game during a cold weather period and/or during a school day isn't likely to sell as many tickets as a Dodger game during a warm weather period and/or when there is no school.


The first Dodgers at Giants series of 2009 took place at the end of April. Weekday series and it brought in 99,000 tickets. The next series was in mid August and was also a weekday series. That series brought in 125,000 tickets.
   83. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: October 12, 2009 at 10:55 PM (#3350233)
Considering that for most of the Rockies history no one has had to worry about October baseball I would think this issue is a bit of a non-issue.

I know this doesn't contradict "most", but they have been in the postseason three times in seventeen years, which at once every six years or so is better than a good number of teams can manage.
   84. McCoy Posted: October 12, 2009 at 11:03 PM (#3350249)
If you have to worry about something 3 times over 17 years then you really don't have to worry about it.
   85. Joe Willie Mammoth Posted: October 13, 2009 at 05:37 AM (#3350659)
Al Gore says not to worry, in a couple of years we'll be begging to play October baseball in Denver and Minneapolis.
   86. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 13, 2009 at 06:30 AM (#3350670)
No, climate change, by making extremes more extreme, may make it even colder and wetter in those places in October.
   87. DCW3 Posted: October 13, 2009 at 06:51 AM (#3350672)
There are enough warm-weather or dome teams in MLB to move the season a week earlier and have games played in those cities:

NL: ARI, ATL, FLA, HOU, LA, MIL, STL, SD, SF
AL: KC, LAA, OAK, SEA, TB, TEX, TOR


St. Louis in April is decidedly *not* a "warm-weather" team. The Cardinals had their home opener snowed out not too many years ago.
   88. Adam B. Posted: October 13, 2009 at 12:29 PM (#3350725)
DCW: DC is also a possibility.

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