This week, MLB baseball commissioner Bud Selig made the decision to move the start time of World Series games to just before 8pm est. That is a full forty minutes earlier than in previous years. This is a brilliant move and it probably came at large expense considering the TV networks call just about all the shots in professional sports. Can’t be certain how Bud got it done, but it is great news, especially for young baseball fans who have probably never witnessed a live celebration as players run on the field going nuts as they enjoy the spoils of victory. There is nothing like watching grown men behave like 12 year olds spraying champagne and crying like infants. I remember watching those celebrations as a kid when the Yankees won in 1977 and 1978 and thinking how great it would be to see my beloved Orioles do that some day.
The time change was a move that had to be made, especially after the absolute debacle of last years WS games involving the Phillies and the Rays. With the combination of rain delays and late starts, several of the games were not decided until after 1am. Think about that for a minute (or, take several, like the World Series), a baseball game being played until one in the morning. Just ridiculous. The Fall Classic has become a punch line for the sporting world and baseball is losing fans faster than Britney Spears. Bud “the buffoon” Selig received a lot of criticism and rightly so, as he negotiated the deal with FOX to start games at almost 9pm. This was not the first stupid move for Bud and more than likely it will not be the last. Do you remember the tied All-Star game? That of course led to the uber-stupid idea to institute the rule that the league that won the Mid-Summer Classic would receive home field advantage during the World Series. Huh?
Trying to stay positive, this new time change means baseball and Bud have finally seen the light. Trying to appease the networks was damning the game and stunting its growth because the younger generation were actually being prevented from becoming true baseball fans. How could any kid under the age of 14 be expected to stay up past midnight to see the conclusion of a game? The ratings were also a mess and networks had serious regrets about even airing the games. Can you imagine? The World Series had become an albatross around the necks of television executives and they were looking at ways to extricate themselves from the contracts because the Neilsen ratings were so poor. Now we will see if the earlier start time will really make a difference. Personally, I think it will. It pains me to type this, but Bud Selig deserves kudos for making this happen. Now if he could just figure out a way to get rid of Tim McCarver!