As I've said many times -- well, on the rare occasions when it's come up -- when the commissioner does something unblemished by selfishness or commercialism or rank public relations, he deserves credit for it. Like (via Bob Nightengale):
- Major League Baseball, trying to avoid having long underwear as part of its players' postseason apparel, is planning to start the 2011 season in earnest on Friday, April 1 - three days earlier than the traditional Monday opener.
It would be the first time a majority of teams start the season on a Friday since 1905, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The regular season would end Wednesday, Sept. 28 with playoffs opening on Sept. 30 or Oct. 1. The World Series is to start Wednesday, Oct. 19, a week earlier than the past two years. It would virtually assure the World Series would not be played in November.
"Anything we could do to finish in October,'' commissioner Bud Selig told USA TODAY, "is what I wanted to do. It shows how serious we are in doing this. I feel very good about it, and am pleased at everybody's reaction.''
Says Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association: "Starting the season midweek, as we understand it, will allow for a much better postseason schedule than if we had the season begin on a Sunday night. We think that's a positive step.''Is it unkind to wonder, if this is such an excellent idea -- which it is -- why it took them so long? Yes, it is. Not to mention pointless. At least until someone's able to get all the parties to explain themselves.
This is a good thing.
It's not a great thing. The difference between the weather on November 4 and the weather on October 27 is not, generally speaking, going to be a whole lot different, and there's a reasonable chance it will actually be better on the 4th.
It's not the best thing, either. Essentially, they're trading potentially lousy weather in a few postseason games for potentially lousy weather in a few dozen regular-season games. The measurable benefit of this trade is negligible and perhaps non-existent. The best thing would a shorter season, with fewer games or more doubleheaders or (ideally) both. But that's a non-starter because it means a significant loss of revenue. In case you haven't noticed, neither Major League Baseball nor the Major League Baseball Players Association is in the habit of voluntarily losing revenue.
It's a good thing, though. Baseball's not meant to played in November, in the snow and the sleet and everything else that letter carriers don't notice but baseball players do. Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.