Sunday, October 19, 2008

What time is it?

I know, it's hardly an original lament. We hear the same thing every year. But it doesn't make it any less true: Why are playoff baseball games played so late???

Now, I'll freely admit that I don't generally care about playoff baseball that doesn't involve the Yankees. And no, it's not because I'm bitter. It's just that if the Yanks aren't playing, I don't care. But for some reason, I've found myself tuning into the Rays-Red Sox series every now and then. (It's probably the Red Sox fan in my office -- I'm not rooting for Boston, here.) While I wasn't looking, the Red Sox tied up the series and forced a Game 7. And just a few minutes ago, I flipped on the game: Rays up 3-1, top of the 8th.

So what's the problem? It's nearly 11PM on the east coast and nobody is watching this game. Or, more to the point, as that familiar lament goes, "A whole generation of fans are sleeping through the playoffs." Why, on a Sunday, does a playoff baseball game not start until after 8:00? Last I checked, Tampa Bay and Boston were both on the east coast. So are the Phillies, whose fans (living in Philadelphia) have a vested interest in the outcome of this series.

Is it the NFL? This is a Game 7; Boston, America's sweethearts; Tampa Bay, the lovable underdogs from outta nowhere. If they can't generate more interest than a Colts-Packers game in October, then the problem is bigger than what time the game is played. But even if you want to avoid the NFL, why not start at 7PM? Or even earlier, figuring that all the NFL games will be over long before the baseball game got interesting?

I'm now sitting here, Tampa Bay one out from going to the World Series. It's 11:38 PM. Who's watching with me?