Get the pitchforks…

I’ve been fairly cross ever since the start times of all the Royals games were finalised. Most of them are fine, but Opening Day is at 21.05 CDT. Nine in the evening. Nine. It’s absurd. Opening Day is a day game, it’s right there in the name. At home the usual start time is 15.10, but even on the road it’s always in the afternoon. Except this year. This year the game won’t even be over until after midnight.

This may sound like some pointless whingeing, and to an extent it is, but it’s not merely an aversion to change. Opening Day is a holiday and for me it is second only to Christmas (and that’s a close second). It’s a celebration of the start of spring, of the start of the proper summer sports. (Usually the County Championship starts after the baseball season, plus I live in America, so Opening Day is the more significant marker.) It is far more important and relevant than Easter. And like any holiday it is a day of traditions. I accept that sometimes it isn’t feasible to celebrate in the same way every year (eg, it is not possible to barbecue in the rain) but some things are more central than others. The fact that the game is in the afternoon is one of those. One doesn’t even get a day off work for a 21.05 start. Imagine being forced to wait until teatime on Christmas Day to celebrate and one will get a good sense of the disruption.

Of course, I’ve known for ages (and been rather cross) that the game will not start until late, but the reason I am especially cross today is that I found out why. ESPN, who I dislike anyway, decided to broadcast it nationally, necessitating that it start after all the other games. Effectively, ESPN have ruined one of the best days of the year. I need to find a pitchfork and a flaming torch.

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