If you will indulge me, I'm going to get Mad Online for a moment.
Saturday's baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Seattle Mariners began at 9:10 p.m. in St. Louis. For fans on the Atlantic coast (or, say, in southern Indiana, which is very much Cardinals territory), the game began at 10:10 p.m.
That it was a Saturday, a day during which more Cardinals fans than normal could reasonably stay up to watch the game without having to concern themselves with being tired for work or school or any other early morning commitments the next day, seemingly justifies the start time. And the start times should absolutely cater towards the home team.
But 7 p.m. local start times really only need to exist to cater towards the 9-to-5 job crowd. It's enough time for fans to get out of work, change into their baseball spectating clothing, and get to their team's baseball stadium assuming that they live within a reasonable proximity of it. A 6 p.m. start, which is arguably as or more convenient for fans watching at home, usually results in a late-arriving crowd (as has been demonstrated with empirical examples). An 8 p.m. start allows plenty of time for home fans to get to the park but creates incentives for fans to leave early because they don't want to be out late on a literal or proverbial school night.
But on a Saturday? Why would Seattle, whose high temperature on Saturday was 70 degrees Fahrenheit and could provide a reasonably comfortable fan experience at any time even when not giving consideration to its retractable roof, pick 7 p.m. as a start time for any reason other than muscle memory?
The MLS's Seattle Sounders had a home game at 2 p.m. local time. Soccer is one of the easier sports in which to estimate when a game will end, and fans attending both the Sounders and Mariners game could reasonable assume that the soccer game would end around 4 p.m. local time. CenturyLink Field, the home of the Sounders, is 0.2 miles away from Safeco Field, the home of the Seattle Mariners. According to Mapquest, whose estimates on such matters generally err on the side of conservative, the walk between the two venues takes about five minutes.
By starting the game at 5 p.m. local time, or 7 p.m. Central, the Mariners could easily have encouraged Sounders fans to make it a full day of local sports. They could have given fans from outside of Metro Seattle a much easier drive home by putting their drive at 8 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. They could have encouraged increased patronage of local bars and restaurants after the game. That the start time would have allowed early-bird Cardinals fans to go to bed at a reasonable hour is merely a pleasant side effect.
More fluid, situation-based scheduling of sporting events will be a major part of my campaign for President of the United States, but this is not a political blog, so I will save that for another venue at another time. For now, though, here is a recap of the weekend on Viva El Birdos.
Ben Markham had an unfortunately very timely post about the Cardinals' bullpen. Later that day, the Cardinals announced that Trevor Rosenthal has been demoted from the closer role in favor of a closer-by-committee of Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, and Jonathan Broxton.
The new young'ns
The red baron regrettably made me give consideration to my own mortality by commenting on how young recent draftees of the Cardinals are. First rounders Delvin Perez and Dylan Carlson were born when I was in fourth grade, and I'm one of the younger writers on here. If you are my age or older, you will probably feel sad reading this, but if you are a fellow whippersnapper, you should enjoy it.
Craig Edwards promised on Friday that the Cardinals should destroy the Mariners. This did not happen on Saturday, as the Cardinals lost a 5-4 game to the M's, as recapped by IHeartBoog. As for Sunday, the Cardinals won 11-6 and Lil Scooter expressed excitement in the Cardinals' acquiring St. Louisans 50 cent drinks today at Mobil On the Run, and to a lesser extent the fact that the Cardinals won.
Have a great week. Many of you will have abbreviated weeks next week thanks to Independence Day, so just survive this one. And also watch as the Cardinals prepare to destroy the Kansas City Royals, probably.