Major League Baseball got lucky this season — there were no freezing temperatures or even snow that has marred plenty of series over the years to open the season. But this was because of God’s plan, not anything the schedulers did. Once again, they leave something to be desired.
I have written about this in the past — how domes and warm weather stadiums sit empty while teams flock to places like Minnesota and Boston to play baseball in early April. This year was no exception. Three domes were vacant (Toronto, Miami, Seattle), while teams that play in Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles (Angels) and San Diego were on the road. In all, games were played in eight cities where cold weather was a real possibility. With 15 series, that’s, more than half.
I know it is very difficult to schedule 30 teams for 162 games, but playing in that many cold weather cities is just dumb, especially when there are some easy fixes. For example, the Mets opened at home against the Braves. Those two teams will visit each other three times — why not flip this series?
MLB seems to want to schedule teams to play within their division to open the season. That is a great idea, but try as you might, it will leave some teams, especially in the Central divisions, literally out in the cold. But there is a way to minimize how often that will happen.
With five teams in each division, one team will have to play outside the division. And with 15 teams in each league, there will have to be one interleague game. Just make sure those games are played in warm weather or domes.
Here is a mock schedule I dreamed up:
Red Sox@Blue Jays
The “x” denotes games that could be impacted by cold weather. There are only three of them, as opposed to the eight in this year’s actual schedule.
So it is possible to do. All it takes is some common sense. And MLB needs to gain some of that, because history shows the weather will not cooperate every year.