Goatriders of the Apocalypse

The calm before the storm

I received an E-mail from my neighbor yesterday, who just so happens to be a sports writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, and as usual we exchanged stories about what's been happening in our lives and we discussed the Cubs.

Anyway, they wrote something interesting that I forgot about until now...

"The Brewers open here against the Cubs instead of up there in the domed stadium--not to mention it's the earliest start date to a season ever. And the Brewers play six times in Chicago in April while the Cubs don't go up there until July. Just ridiculous. I think if the Cubbies struggle this year, it will be because of an overloaded home schedule in April and few games in the warm summer months."

Not only do the Cubs play Milwaukee six times in Chicago in April, but they play 16 of their first 28 games at Wrigley and they have road games at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Colorado and D.C. That means every game that the Cubs play in April is potentially subject to cold, rain, or a mixture of the two.

I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of cold-weather baseball. It screws with everyone's timing and rhythm.

By my count (and you could probably add or subtract a few here), 16 of the 30 MLB teams play in either a dome or a city with a temperate climate. I've heard that the schedules are randomly generated by computers, but perhaps it is time to stop doing what is "fair" and start using common sense by scheduling more home games for these 16 teams at the beginning of the season.

I'm sure the schedule-making process is a lot more complicated than I'm making it sound and I’m probably being over-dramatic about this, but I really hope the weather doesn't screw up the Cubs in the first month.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Cubs only have 10 home games in June and 10 home games in July. What the crap is that about?

Schedule makers

I know I've commented here before about how difficult making the schedule is, and how I don't think giving the makers static is fair.

Let's just say: it's nice in DC (right now) at least, so hopefully we don't have to worry about that.

MLB Schedule Making....

...differs wildly from that of any other sport, thanks to the most powerful and wildly unrealistic union in America.

Whereas with any other sport, the primary consideration in schedule making, other than the basic structure due to divisional alignments, is stadium availability. If for example a team's stadium is being rehabbed or would otherwise be inappropriate for the beginning of the season, the schedule makers have the latitude to tailor the schedule accordingly.

In the MLB, the primary considerations in schedule making are travel arrangements and off days. A team can't travel more than such and such days, and can't play more than such and such days in a row, etc. Therefore we get stuck with the Cubs opening with the Brewers in March, when a perfectly fine dome sits 100 miles away.

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