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Series contests should return to day play

In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting than a World Series game. It’s both an opportunity for the best teams and players to showcase their talents on baseball’s biggest stage, and an opportunity for moments to occur that will be remembered by baseball fans forever. Unfortunately, many people east of the Mississippi River are asleep when these games take place.

The last World Series day game was played between the San Diego Padres and the Detroit Tigers in game two of the 1984 Fall Classic. Since then, every World Series game, and the majority of other postseason games, have been played in primetime.

And it has gotten worse. With the changing times, in media and advertising television has evolved into a corporate mess, where all programming revolves around the network’s efforts to make money. What this does is slows down sporting events by altering the contests being broadcasted, and extending the commercial breaks in between.

Today, about 85 to 90 percent of postseason games are played at night. Most of them begin at 8 p.m. in the east, when primetime programming begins. Coincidence? I think not. Ratings also play a large role in sporting events these days. Some games have even began as late as 11 p.m., for television reasons. Also, most games that are listed to start at 8 p.m. do not usually begin until closer to 8:30 p.m.. The first half hour is used for a pregame show. Pregame shows equal sponsors buying time which equals money.

Then there is the issue of game pace. It seems that every time the announcer has a chance to take more than three consecutive breaths, a commercial break is taken. Most World Series games that begin between 8:20 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., do not end until after midnight in the east. I believe that this is one of the reasons for the ratings of this year’s Fall Classic being among the lowest ever.

We have two teams, both from California and both in the pacific time zone. Tonight’s game four between the Angels and the Giants will begin around 5:30 p.m. locally and 6:30 p.m. in the Rockies.

Most children in these two time zones will be in bed by the 7th inning. Then we move to our and central time zones where many young children will be asleep by the time the national anthem is played. No wonder the ratings are low. Half of the county is too exhausted to stay up into tomorrow morning to watch the end of a game, no matter how close or important it may be.

The same complaints have been by football fans in regard to ABC’s Monday Night Football broadcasts. These broadcasts do not begin until 9 p.m. because of ABC’s primetime schedule.

The games do not begin until around 9:15 p.m. It is almost 1 a.m. in the east when the local news comes on. However, the complaints about Monday Night Football are minimal because Monday Night Football was founded on the basis of primetime entertainment.

Something I have always looked forward to is the day when I have children of my own. Hopefully, they will have the same interest in baseball that I have. I look forward to taking them to the ballpark and sharing some of my experiences during childhood.

However, I’m not sure they will be able to experience the excitement of a World Series game until these games are played during the afternoon.

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