This AM I checked to see when the playoff games were taking place. Before I did so, I said to myself, “They’ll be staggered, and the Rays will be in the middle of the work day—making them impossible to watch.” Ding, ding, ding! Prize winner! That game starts at 12 ET.
However, it didn’t stop there. It’s not just Rays and Guardians fans that are screwed. The Cardinals and Phillies start at 2 ET (1CT). Philadelphia fans who work 8-5 might get home in time for extra innings, maybe. Tough luck Cards fans.
The Blue Jays fans get to see perhaps the second half of their game that starts at 4 ET. That’s 1 PT, so tough luck to Mariners fans who haven’t seen their guys in a playoff game in 21 years.
The prime time game is the Mets and Padres. It’s typical network thinking—prime time for NY and CA teams. Its start is 4 hours after the previous game so no pesky tendency of people wanting to watch the end of one game before tuning in to another.
Even though I find the Mets/Padres the least compelling of the 4 matchups, I expected they would get a prime time slot. The real issue is why schedule all three other games as day games in a work day? Why make it so only New York fans get to see an entire game (even Padre fans miss the start with a 5 PT first pitch)?!
Here’s a thought, MLB: start two games at 5 ET and two at 8 ET. Put the west coast teams in the 8 ET slot. Let fans pick which game to watch/do split screens/flip during commercials, whatever. 6 fan bases would miss the start of games due to commuting times, but nobody gets totally screwed. Overall viewership would increase. Right now 7 fan bases miss part of the games they want to see and 5 probably miss the whole game.