The ESPN the Magazine "New Rules" issue (Dec 27, 2010) had a short piece in which the staff proposed different changes to rules or protocol in various sports. For baseball, their point was this:
There a few human endeavors more satisfying than playing hooky to catch a ball game. Even those too responsible to know that bliss have to have fought back the monotony of the workday by stealing a moment to check the stats of their fantasy team. So in the hopes of raising workplace morale everywhere, we propose MLB schedules include at least one day game every weekday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In 2010, only 28 days in that prescribed span were without day baseball. Essentially we're asking for about two additional afternoon matchups per team per year. Full disclosure: the players we unofficially polled didn't love this idea. Screw 'em. This one is for us.
I totally agree; like chewing tobacco and the luxury of being able to snort cocaine without getting fired, there are certain parts about baseball that I would feel happy to override players' wishes. And day games are one of them. I can't recall the exact number--I think at maximum it was three--but in 2010 there were few opportunities to get away from work and watch a "businessperson's special" afternoon game at the Stadium.
I just checked the Dodgers' schedule, which appears to have populated a bit with some times. There are no fewer six mid-week day games at Dodger Stadium next year (not all gametimes appear to have populated in the calendar; and, I'm not counting Friday April 1 Opening Day):
- Thu April 21 vs. Braves, 12:10p
- Wed May 4 vs. Cubs, 12:10p
- Wed June 15 vs. Reds, 12:10p
- Wed June 22 vs. Tigers, 12:10p
- Wed Aug 10 vs. Phillies, 12:10p
- Wed Aug 31 vs. Padres, 12:10p
Mid-week day baseball at Dodger Stadium is glorious and beautiful and patriotic. Not to mention the getting out of work part. And I'm always struck by how many people are in attendance--real attendance, that is--when I'm there. (What the hell do these people do, anyway? I also wonder this when I pass by cafes in Los Angeles and every table is filled with someone on their phone/device/laptop.)
I'm hopeful for more slates full of mid-week day games like 2011. How about you all?