The title, of course, is set to the tune of “Bill Bailey.” (And if you don’t know that classic song, well, Google it. Or ask Alexa or Siri.) Old Man Winter obviously can’t read, or he would see that today’s date is April 18 and realize that it is well past time for him to go back to the North (or South) Pole. Snowballs and baseballs are roughly the same size, but this time of year, we would rather see baseballs being thrown than snowballs. The weather gets warmer for a few days, fooling us into thinking that spring is finally here; then Old Man Winter returns, making the weather windy, cold and sometimes snowy. Old Man Winter doesn’t know he’s outstayed his welcome.
Twenty-five Major League games have been postponed this season due to inclement weather, including today’s Cards-Cubs game, which was rescheduled for tomorrow. Even closed-in stadiums were not exempt – one of the Blue Jays’ games had to be postponed due to a leaky roof. The Cards-Cubs game that was cancelled on Monday due to inclement weather is scheduled to be played as part of a twi-night doubleheader on July 21. It will hopefully be warmer by then. I do recall, however, attending a Camera Night game in July at Busch Stadium II when the temperature was so cool that we were all wearing jackets.
I can’t remember a season when so many games have been postponed or rescheduled in the first month of the season due to the weather. So much for global warming! It’s so sad to see our boys with the hooded sweatshirts under their uniforms and caps, trying to stay warm. Sweatshirts are expected during playoff season in the fall, when it normally is cooler. But in April? What have we done to Mother Nature to make her hold back Spring? There’s a reason that spring training is held in Florida and Arizona. Usually, the teams bring the warm weather up North when they return. I will be attending both Saturday and Sunday’s games at Busch Stadium and the temperatures are projected to be in the low 60’s. It should be in the high 60’s by now.
It’s not good for the players to play in such cold conditions. It makes the muscles tight and prone to injury. Tommy Pham pulled a groin muscle during last night’s game. The cold weather might have contributed to that injury. The cold weather conditions also doesn’t make the baseballs fly like they would if the weather was warmer. In addition, if the weather is cold, the fans won’t come to the stadium, and concession profits are lost.
So is this season an anomaly? Could all these postponements/cancellations happen again next year? The weather can’t be predicted a year out, but maybe MLB could schedule games to prevent snow-outs/cold-outs/ice-outs. How is that possible, you ask? I’m (almost) certain that all of the game schedules are drawn up by computers by now.
Here’s my proposal:
- All games in March and the first 3 weeks of April should be held in stadiums in warmer climes or in stadiums with roofs.
- The exception to number 1 would be an early April homestand for each team for the home opener. The fans deserve an April home opener; they’ve waited six months for baseball. There will be a scheduled day off after the home opener, in case the home opener is rained out, snowed out, or it’s just too darn cold to play. The Cards already do this, but I’m not sure if other teams do.
Surely MLB can arrange the schedules so that the late March/early-to-mid-April games can be played at the stadiums located in warmer climes or that have a closed-in roof, and those teams are listed in Column A below. The teams listed in Column B are the teams that don’t have the necessary attributes for Column A.
Twins White Sox
Mariners Red Sox
You will note that there is an extra team in Column B for both leagues. MLB will have to do a juggling act with the schedules, but that’s what computers are for. Maybe the Blue Jays could play at the Rockies’ stadium for a quick interleague matchup to even things up. Any other plan has got to be better than all the cancelled/postponed games this month. In addition, when it gets hot in the South and the West during the summer, perhaps those teams could visit the northern and the eastern teams and play in the cooler climes.
The Cards will be back home on Friday for a six game homestand. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and boot Old Man Winter back home. I’ll have the homestand highlights in my next post. Until then, thanks for reading! See you next time!