SBD/April 5, 2016/MLB Season Preview

Indians Panned For Waiting To Postpone Season Opener Despite Freezing Temperatures

Temperatures dipped below freezing shortly before the scheduled game time
The Indians’ decision to wait until 1:18pm ET to postpone yesterday's 4:10pm season opener against the Red Sox due to frigid temperatures "was a case of terrible timing and mishandling, even if it was the right move for players and umpires," according to Marla Ridenour of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The team had "known for days how cold the opener was going to be," and they "could have postponed it on Sunday, or even early Monday morning." The temperature at 12:51pm "was 31 degrees with a wind chill of 19." Two hours later, the wind chill had dropped to 17. The Indians "emailed out their explanation, but made no team official available to give details of their thought process." Meanwhile, the Indians for today's 1:10pm rescheduled game on what was previously an off day "will be lucky if they draw 15,000," and it "could be more like 5,000." The Indians "hadn’t postponed their home opener" since '07, when their entire series against the Mariners was rescheduled (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 4/5). Thousands of fans were "huddled outside Progressive Field in winter gear when the game was postponed about two hours before first pitch" (ESPN.com, 4/4).

RAISE THE ROOF: In Boston, Michael Silverman writes when yesterday’s game got canceled for the "ridiculous rationale that there was a chance more precipitation was moving in that would make the Progressive Field field too slick, too cold and too windy to play, the decision could hardly be labeled a shocker." Attendance is "lower than average that first month than it is during the summer months." So the Angels, Dodgers, Rangers and Rays "do not, logically enough, always want to be stuck with undesirable dates." But "common sense has to play into it at some point" as to why two AL East teams with domes -- the Rays and the Blue Jays -- begin their seasons "playing against each other." That logic "defies any explanation." Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said that MLB should "at least alter the schedule so that the foes are in the same division." He said, "Ideally if you’re going to play cold weather, you’re playing teams in your own division, that’s one thing we’ve always asked" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/5).

NOT HOT IN CLEVELAND: In Boston, Nick Cafardo writes yesterday "was a perfect example of why" MLB "shouldn’t try to play openers in Cleveland, or Detroit, or Boston, or Minneapolis, or New York, or Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh, or anywhere where the risk of cold makes it ridiculous to play a summer game." But when circumstances such as this occur -- with postponements in Cleveland and N.Y., and two long rain delays in Baltimore -- "you ask yourself, why does MLB schedule openers in cities where it could be cold?" Red Sox DH David Ortiz: "What do you expect when they make us come to Cleveland." Dombrowski said that it is "because teams based in warm climates feel they would have a revenue disadvantage by hosting so many games early and then having to hit the road during peak attendance periods during the summer." Yankees GM Brian Cashman yesterday was asked if he had any ideas on scheduling, and he said, “Not really, scheduling is hard." Cafardo writes creating the MLB schedule is a "lot harder than it looks." It has been put together by Pennsylvania-based Sports Scheduling Group since '05. (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/5).  
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