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GEORGE HALE TALKS BASEBALL 

IT’S APRIL AND IT’S BASEBALL TIME AGAIN.

THEIRS IS NOTHING LIKE OPENING DAY OR AT LEAST WHAT’S LEFT OF IT THESE DAYS.

THE RED SOX WERE ALL SET TO BEGIN THE SEASON ON MONDAY WHEN MOTHER NATURE PUT A STOP TO THE THE PROCEEDINGS IN CLEVELAND.

SO THE SEASON OPENER WAS PLAYED ON TUESDAY WITH THE GAME TIME TEMP AT 34 DEGREES BUT AT LEAST NO SNOW.

THE WEDNESDAY GAME WAS PLAYED ON A COLD AND WET SURFACE BUT THURSDAY WAS CALLED OFF.

AT LEAST THAT CAN’T HAPPEN AT TORONTO NOW THAT THE SOX HAVE MOVED ON.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL REALLY HAS TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THEY ARE DOING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON AND FIGURE IT OUT.

BASEBALL, FOR ALL ITS EXCITEMENT, IS SIMPLY NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED IN NORTHERN OPEN AIR STADIUMS IN EARLY APRIL.

FANS CERTAINLY DON’T EXPECT SUMMER CONDITIONS BUT IN NORTHERN CLIMES EARLY APRIL IS REALLY LATE WINTER.

HISTORICALLY THE MAJOR LEAGUES HAVE OPENED AS EARLY AS MARCH 31ST.

THE RED SOX WILL OPEN AT HOME ON MONDAY, APRIL 11TH IN THE AFTERNOON BUT WILL INSTANTLY SWING INTO NIGHT PLAY WITH COLD TEMPS.

THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MAKING THE PLAYERS AND AND THE FANS MORE COMFORTABLE.

THE IDEA IS TO MAXIMIZE TV RATINGS, ADVERTISING ET CETERA.

ON THE OTHER END OF THE SCALE OCTOBER WORLD SERIES PLAY CAN EXTEND INTO NOVEMBER IF IT GOES A FULL SEVEN GAMES.

BUT BACK TO MY ORIGINAL POINT.

MLB HAS REALLY TURNED OPENING DAY INTO OPENING WEEK.

AND I THINK WE HAVE LOST SOMETHING ALONG THE WAY.

IT’S NOT AS MUCH FUN AS IT USED TO BE.

SOME TEAMS PLAYED ON SUNDAY NIGHT FOLLOWED BY THE MONDAY SCHEDULE BUT BOTH THE SOX AND THE YANKEES RAINED OUT.

BOTH WERE SCHEDULED IN NORTHERN STADIUMS.

THERE MAY NOT BE A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO PUTTING A LITTLE MORE ZIP INTO OPENING DAY BUT AT LEAST IT’S WORTH A SHOT.

FIRST OF ALL START THE SEASON ON ONE DAY NOT TWO…IT’S EITHER OPENING DAY OR ITS NOT.

GAMES SHOULD BE PLAYED IN WARM WEATHER CITIES OR IN DOMED STADIUMS.

THE CURRENT SEASON REALLY LIMPED INTO BEING RATHER THAN STARTING WITH A BANG.

THERE WAS ACTUALLY A SPRING TRAINING GAME PLAYED BETWEEN THE CUBS AND THE ANGELS ON OPENING DAY.

NEXT IS THE FACT THAT MOST TEAMS HAVE THE DAY OFF AFTER THE FIRST DAY FOR THE VERY REASON THAT WEATHER WILL LIKELY INTERFERE WITH THE SCHEDULE.

SPRING IS BACK, SUMMER IS COMING AND BASEBALL NEEDS TO PUT MORE PUNCH INTO RETURN OF THE GAME AMERICANS LOVE.

I THINK ALL TEAMS SHOULD OPEN ON THE SAME DAY AND PREFERABLY IN THE AFTERNOON IN COLD WEATHER CITIES.

THE CURRENT MAJOR LEAGUE SCHEDULE CALLS FOR 162 GAMES IN 180 DAYS.

PLAYERS AND FANS HAVE ONLY ABOUT 20 DAYS WITHOUT BASEBALL BUT MANY OF THESE DAYS ARE TAKEN UP BY TRAVEL.

IT USED TO BE 154 GAMES BUT WITH EXPANSION THE MATH DICTATED 162 GAMES.

THE AL MADE THE SWITCH IN 1961 AND THE NL IN 1962.

PLAYERS WOULD LIKE TO RETURN TO THE SHORTER SCHEDULE BUT DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH.

EIGHT FEWER GAMES WOULD BE MEAN MUCH LESS REVENUE FOR THE OWNERS AND THE TV NETWORKS.

THERE ARE A FEW OPTIONS THAT COULD BE LOOKED AT SO THAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COULD AVOID THE PITFALLS OF PLAYING IN THE CONDITIONS THAT NORTHERN FANS ENDURE.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A GENIUS TO KNOW THAT THE CHANCES OF CLEVELAND, BOSTON, NEW YORK OR CHICAGO HAVING ROTTEN WEATHER IN EARLY APRIL ARE PRETTY GOOD.

IT’S OBVIOUS THAT THE HESITANT START OF THIS AND OTHER BASEBALL SEASONS IS SIMPLY NOT GREAT FOR THE GAME.

EITHER SHORTEN THE SEASON OR PLAY GAMES IN WARM AND DRY PLACES.

SEEMS LOGICAL TO ME.
BY THE WAY THE EXTENDED FORECAST FOR THE RED SOX HOME OPENER ON MONDAY IS CLOUDY, WINDY AND 55.

RATHER BALMY BY CLEVELAND STANDARDS.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.