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What Happened to Memorial Day?
Posted by Jeff Erickson at 5/26/2008 10:48:00 AM
View more posts by this author

 

Maybe I'm conjuring up false memories, wistfully looking back on a concept that didn't exist, but how is it that not every team is playing today? There are only five NL games, and six AL games. Almost all of the NL Central is off - STL, HOU, PIT and CIN are all off. SD played at home yesterday and is at home on Tuesday, but off today? And why isn't ESPN broadcasting *any* baseball games, let alone a slew of day games? Instead, they're broadcasting Lacrosse (ok, it's the NCAA finals, that's legit), the best of Mike & Mike, and an early Sportscenter? Really? I thought that they were a major partner of Major League Baseball.

Memorial Day is a national holiday, and generally considered the start of summer. This is baseball's day to start taking over the national consciousness. Every team should play on Memorial Day, Fourth of July (last year, there wasn't a full slate of games on the Fourth), and Labor Day. There's a lot of odd quirks about the schedule, and probably bigger gripes out there, but this just seems like a missed opportunity.


Comments....

I have to agree. I am off work today and there are "zero" games televised. Nothing on ESPN, nothing on TBS, nothing on FOX. I guess I have to switch to DirecTV and pony up $200 bucks to see any games on a national freaking holiday. This is just another example of how MLB has lost touch with it's fans. Not everyone can pack up the family and truck off to a game. Heck, there are only a handful of day games today anyway! What a joke.
Posted by Marcusphi at 5/26/2008 11:28:00 AM
 
I thought that myself wondering what the hell was up. I remember that everyone played on Memorial Day, mostly tons of day games. It was very odd. I watched the Braves/D-Backs and caught the end of the Brewers/Nats. The Yankees/O's were on. This was all on the dish. This is a national holiday and there should have been ball over the place to watch. You are most correct. This was a missed opportunity. I guess I can go watch Judge Judy and the local news now. Real bummer!!!
Posted by mr crunch at 5/26/2008 2:03:00 PM
 
Not only is a chance to play, but also a chance to truly salute our military heros. While the Padres did have on their military unis, they should be playing today with free entry to all members of the military.
Posted by RHudson02 at 5/26/2008 2:44:00 PM
 
Couldn't agree more Jeff. I had to drive 2 1/2 hours to Altoona to catch a Double-A game today. Jack Wilson, incidentally, looked fine -- he DHed, singling, walking and stealing a base -- and will almost surely play against the Reds on Tuesday.
Posted by jtopper at 5/26/2008 5:16:00 PM
 
Baseball likes to shoot itself in the foot when it comes to marketing itself. It is a big reason why it lags behind the NFL in popularity. You are right on Jeff.
Posted by skinsnut at 5/26/2008 6:34:00 PM
 
It's not just baseball. Why do NASCAR and the Indy 500 BOTH have their races on Sunday. Couldn't NASCAR do it Monday?

Do people just not watch sports on Monday of Memorial Day? There must be some sort of market research that shows this otherwise why would they all avoid it?

But the odd thing is that it's not like Thanksgiving or another holiday where people are doing something that day. I guess everyone is too busy driving or flying to watch sports?
Posted by schoenke at 5/26/2008 9:57:00 PM
 
I agree with Jeff big time on this one. All MLB teams should be required to play on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. 'Nuff said.
Posted by TheGuv at 5/27/2008 6:58:00 AM
 
As recently as the late 60's, you would see full MLB slates (including many doubleheaders) on Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July. Not only that, NBC would air a nationally-televised game on those days. This started falling apart after (a) Memorial Day and Labor Day moved permanently to Mondays in the early 70's, and (b) MLB labor agreements started guaranteeing that a team could not play on more than "X" consecutive days without a day off. Once the season gets started, almost all off days on a team's schedule, barring the All-Star break, happen on Mondays or Thursdays; over the years, MLB, more and more, has decided it was easier to put schedules together if they treated Memorial Day and Labor Day as "normal" Mondays, and ditto for the Fourth if it fell on a Monday or Thursday. They don't _have_ to schedule that way, of course, but that's why that trend has developed. As for having no TV games on Memorial Day afternoon ... no excuse for that (although it did give me time to watch the Northwestern women's lacrosse dynasty continue by beating Penn for their fourth straight national title).
Posted by sixsigmagus at 5/27/2008 7:38:00 AM
 
send your letters to Bob Dupuy, MLB's chief operating officer. It's a sad thing--what is a holiday without a game, without the voice of Ernie Harwell or Chuck Thompson or Vin Scully or Jack Buck on your little crappy AM radio, a folding vinyl chair, a six pack of some regional beer that no one makes any more (Carling's Black Label, National Bohemian, etc) and going to the office Tuesday morning with a sunburn. That's Memorial Day. Same with the Fourth of July. or the Thursday 12:15 start! bring it all back!!!
Posted by SaltLakeCityBuzz at 5/27/2008 8:00:00 AM
 
I guess having the Extra Innings package as I do, you lose touch on these sort of things. For me it was a glorious weekend watching Koufax and Drysdale..err Kershaw and Billingsley pitch well in back-to-back games.
Posted by vtadave at 5/27/2008 10:00:00 AM
 

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