I woke up this morning and turned on my TV to hear Skip Bayless and Jeffri Chadiha (hope I’m spelling that right, sorry Jeffri) arguing about whether Major League Baseball needed to go the route of the NFL with their neutral site Super Bowl. Apparently longtime baseball aficionados Peter Gammons and Buster Olney are now supporters of this alteration in baseball. Well I’m not and here’s why:
Weather has always been a part of baseball
Seasons start in April to start the playoffs by October. That has happened since mid-20th century when baseball went to a 154 game season and subsequently 162 game season. April in many cities is a cold weather month. So for many teams weather is a integral factor of weather baseball gets played. If you don’t have a roof on your stadium, weather is a factor. Secondly, this isn’t the only time in which the World Series has ended in late October. Uhhh, hello, every year the World Series culminates in late October and how many times in the past 20 years has this issue (weather) been a problem? Once. This year.
Baseball, above any other sport in the world, is a game of tradition. It is known affectionately as “America’s past time” for its being created here and played since 1876, well before any of the other major sports here in the U.S.
Tradition is what baseball is about. It is what propels it. What baseball fanatics love about the sport that they live and die by. You can’t go about making drastic changes to the game that so many love in the form of when it was first conceived.
And the tradition of the World Series is that it is played in the two teams’ cities. This isn’t the NFL where one game is played to decide everything. Baseball plays series’, it’s the way the sport is played and because of that these games deserve to be played in the hometown of the two teams; in their home ballparks.
The fans deserve it
Because of its long-standing history, baseball moreso than any of the other major sports in the U.S. carries all kinds of suffering throughout the cities of its teams. Look at Boston, where the Red Sox were finally able to end their 86-year championship drought in 2004. Or in Chicago where the White Sox ended their 88-year drought and where the Cubs are now 100 years since their last pennant.
What would happen if the fans of these teams couldn’t go and watch their team win the decisive game in the World Series?
I don’t even want to consider that question. No, baseball should never change its format leave it as is and just pray that the weather will be on your side. Because as we’ve seen lately, 19 times out of 20, it is.