Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Baseball is back, so no game today!

Call it one of the quirks of being a baseball fan – Tuesday is the day that is one of the most frustrating of the entire season.

The White Sox' place in the Chicago set-up

For Monday – for all practical purposes – was Opening Day. Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers began their season in Australia last week and the San Diego Padres had the season opener Sunday night.

AND SOME BALL CLUBS, including the Chicago Cubs, won’t get to play a “home” game until Friday – against the Philadelphia Phillies.

But everyone is up and playing at this point. Season 2014 has begun. Yet many fans got all worked up into the frenzy of Opening Day and the start of a 162-game season, only to have to experience a whole lot of nothingness on Tuesday.

It’s the scheduling quirk that many teams undergo. The day after Opening Day is an off-day. No game today.

For a sport that is meant to be a 162-game marathon in which one day’s loss can be quickly forgotten with a victory, it just seems odd. Everybody is to get all worked up over the fact that baseball has returned every day. Yet now that we’re all stoked, we get nothing on Tuesday.

THERE WON’T BE baseball for fans on either side of Chicago. The White Sox’ opening series against the Minnesota Twins (which attracted Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, along with Daley brothers Richard M. and John) skips a day before resuming Wednesday, while Cubs’ players get to recover from their 1-0 loss and enjoy the sights of Pittsburgh on their off-day before resuming play.

Now I know the official reason why baseball’s schedulers work this quirk into the season.

If weather on Monday had been so miserable that they couldn’t have played, Opening Day would have been shifted to Tuesday. Then the rest of the season could carry on as expected.

How many people still think of Wrigley Field as Cubs Park?

Be honest. Midwestern winter weather is erratic enough that it would not have been out of character for heavy snow to fall on Monday – thereby wiping out a White Sox opener. Especially with this winter, where there were parts of the country that got hit with snowfall on Monday.

HECK, IT COULD just as easily happen on Friday, putting the Cubs’ home opener off for some time.

As it turns out, many ball clubs are getting a day off from play on Tuesday, even though they’ve only played one game and are hardly in need of a rest.

Of the few games that are being played on Tuesday, they are ones in southern or western cities where winter weather could be considered a non-factor. Or in the case of the Milwaukee Brewers taking on the Atlanta Braves, a matter of a home stadium with a retractable roof.

Which is a state of circumstances we don’t have in Chicago – and thankfully so. I have always thought the whole idea of an indoor stadium, or even one with a retractable roof, is an architectural monstrosity because the scale of the structures needed to support the roof just become too big.

BESIDES, EXPERIENCING A few ballgames early on in a chill is part of the experience of being a fan. Just think of it as the balancing act that includes those summer games when some female fans will be stripped down to skimpy tops and shorts that will probably cause you to not pay full attention and get hit in the head by that stray foul ball into the stands!

So we have no baseball on Tuesday. We get an extra 24 hours to rehash the Monday games, while also engaging in overly-optimistic speculation about the pennant contenders we’re going to get in Chicago this year.

Which isn’t going to happen. The “excitement” in Chicago this year will be if the White Sox come close to being a .500 ball club. They probably will be, which isn’t much to get worked up over. While Cubs fans will want to believe that the whole world is excited that the structure now known as Wrigley Field is now 100 years old.

Only 161 games to go before we start commiserating about how miserable ’14 truly was.


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