In order to get the 2011 season wrapped up by Halloween, Major League Baseball wants to change everything you thought you knew about a baseball schedule.
Bob Nightengale of the USA Today is reporting that baseball officials are committed to wrapping things up in October after two straight years of seeing the World Series played into November.
Even if they must alter some previous truths.
So that traditional start on a Monday afternoon? It's out the window because most of the 2011 slate will start on April 1 — a Friday afternoon.
And everyone's game No. 162 will no longer come on a Sunday afternoon, because the regular season will be scheduled to end on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Both shifts will allow Game 1 of the World Series to be scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 19 with a Game 7 (if necessary) taking place on Friday Oct. 28. This year's Game 7 is scheduled for Nov. 4.
Anyone else feel like we've entered an alternate universe? Everything is not as it was!
Says Bud Selig to Nightengale:
"Anything we could do to finish in October is what I wanted to do. It shows how serious we are in doing this. I feel very good about it, and am pleased at everybody's reaction."
Apart from the strange feeling that we'll get when the season opens on a Friday and ends on a Wednesday, this is a good move for all involved.
Players get to start their offseasons a week earlier and Selig buys himself a little bit of breathing room until the next Series snowstorm. FOX gets an extra weekend of playoff action and one less week of the schedule interfering with their precious "House" broadcasts.
Meanwhile, we're relieved of that "this is being dragged out way too long" feeling we get when the NBA season opens before the end of the baseball year. And that April 1 start means that most of the tired April Fool's blog posts will remain unwritten because there's actual baseball to be played that day. Huzzah!
About the only thing I don't like from Nightengale's article is the revelation that the first baseball games of the year will be played between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants in Taiwan on March 25 and 26. Opening day should always occur on American (and Torontonian) soil, but that's another argument for another time.
Big BLS H/N: Walkoff Walk