Wednesday afternoon, Major League Baseball released the complete 2014 schedule, with game times and everything. There's nothing extraordinary about the schedule -- hey, we're already used to interleague games almost every day! -- but as Craig notes, there is one big, season-opening wrinkle:
The opening series in Sydney, Australia between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers will [begin] on Saturday, March 22nd at 7pm Sydney time. That means midnight in L.A. and Phoenix, 3AM back east. Which, yes, is inconvenient for some of us, but the point is to bring baseball to Australians, not satisfy people in Ohio, so there's not a valid complaint there. Not that it will stop people from complaining. The Sunday game will be at 6pm Pacific and 9pm Eastern.
Look, once Major League Baseball took the season's first pitch away from Cincinnati, all bets were off. We know that baseball's mostly a local sport, so the opener's time doesn't really hurt anybody except the Dodgers- and Diamondbacks-loving kiddies. I do feel a little sorry for my 10-year-old self, catapulted into Scottsdale in 2014. When he gets home from school, and his mommy tells him he can't stay up until 3am to watch the game, he will be a very sad 10-year-old.
But remember, it's not like the kids got to see the openers in the good old days. They were in the afternoon. On weekdays. In April. We were in school, and missed them anyway.
I suppose I'm missing something obvious, but since tradition's been defenestrated long ago, why not try something else completely different? Why not open the season on Sunday afternoon, with all 30 teams playing? Wouldn't that be a far better way to kick off the season than the current piecemeal approach, with two teams starting Sunday night, most of the rest on Monday, and yet a few more Tuesday?
I try to resist the impulse to complain about the schedule, because Major League Baseball really does the best it can. But this isn't a complaint. It's just a friendly suggestion: Turn Opening Day into an actual single day, and choose a day when everyone who loves baseball can enjoy it. I'm sure there's some good reason why this hasn't happened already. I just can't, for the life of me, think of it.