DeYoung: Keep opening games in warm weather cities

Tigers and Twins played in 30-degree weather on Opening Day
Matt DeYoung
Apr 2, 2013

Baseball’s back, and while I sat in my cozy living room watching the Tigers carve up the Twins in Monday’s season opener, all I could think was, “Man, I’m glad I’m not out there.”

The temperature at game time was 35, with a wind approaching 20 mph. When the sun began to set about halftway through the game, it became noticibly colder, with players pulling on face mask and looking like the guy from that convertible Volkswagen commercial.

All of this begs the question, when is Major League Baseball going to wise up and send all the teams south for the first week or two of the season?

Look at Monday’s American League matchups. Detroit at Minnesota. Boston at New York. Kansas City at Chicago. Cleveland at Toronto, where at least they have a retractable roof to seal out the cold.

There were some frigid outings in the National League, too, with Miami at Washington, the Cubs at Pittsburgh, the San Diego at the New York Mets and Colorado at Milwaukee.

Seriously, who wants to sit outside and watch baseball when the temperature is so cold, the fans drink beers to keep warm?

Baseball is a warm-weather sport. There are a few exciting bursts of action, surrounded by hours of inactivity. That holds true for players and fans alike.

When it’s 75 degrees out, there aren’t many places better than the ballpark for a leisurely afternoon or evening.

But on Monday, the talk before the game was that Justin Verlander, who never wears long sleeves when he pitches, was wearing long sleeves. And further, the big worry among the pitchers is that it was so cold, their hands might go numb.

Seriously?

So here’s the solution. Wrap up Spring Training and keep every team in the south for the first few weeks of the season.

Oh, I realize that there are times when the temperature climbs into the 60s (or, in the case of last year, the 70s and 80s) by early April, and there’s always the freak chance of a cold front bringing snow to Atlanta at the same time.

But let’s look at averages. The average town in the Midwest and the Northeast this time of year is cold, especially when the sun goes down.

So instead of opening the baseball season in Detroit or Minnesota or Boston or New York, let’s keep those early-season matchups in warm-weather locations. Tampa. San Diego. Los Angeles. Arizona. Heck, even Seattle, San Francisco and Oakland are better options than Chicago.

Because cold-weather baseball is about as annoying as those DIRECTV Genie commercials.

Comments

BTL2A

The average for Detroit is in the low 50's. Not great but not horrible. I dont think you can justify taking away the opening day excitement away from cities because of the possibility of cold weather.

WalmartWolverine

You seem to be the only one that is complaining about the weather on opening day. This is baseball, always will, and always have been. You probably will be in the same living room watching a game being played in the 90’s + in July, but in air conditioned comfort. How about a story then where games should be played in extreme hot weather.

trangerfan

With today's million dollar players it should be a priority to make sure you keep them healthy. How would you feel if verlanders arm gets stiff an he misses a few starts.I would rather watch opening day at home than lose a player.it's more likely they will get an injury when it's cold. But....you can't know whether it will be 50 or 30 in April of the next year when they make up schedules. And. April is rainy season down south. I was at texas n astros game Sunday nite. An it was storming outside. But I don't want my team playing in a dome so when it's 110 in July an game time is 2:05 I dress lite and drink a lot of water! And I have been to opening day in texas when it didn't get out of 40s.leave things as they are.just thankful it's time for baseball again. Hope to see those TIGERS down here in playoffs again.

rainbowjoe

Rangerfan, that's quite a leap of faith to write that you hope to see the Tigers "down here" when the playoffs begin. Expecting to see the Rangers playing ball in October is a huge assumption and laughable, especially when most of us knowledgeable folks realize the Rangers began their annual trek into oblivion just yesterday. I don't want to burst your bubble, but just accept that the Tigers will rule!

trangerfan

Ha!glad to see that along with your abominable climate', you.all still have a sense of humor. verlander can't pitch everyday.
annual trek into oblivion?? After the 4game sweep in May,the tiggers will be bouncing back home. They better worry about the ROyals taking the central!

rainbowjoe

I figured that would push your button. I'm thinking the Angels might be this year's juggernaut. They're stacked. Regardless, it is good to see The Best Game Ever Invented resuming for another season. We can make our wagers later. How can you call four distinct, wonderful seasons, "abominable weather?" It is life in the north, where real men reside. Write back in July, and enjoy the season, Ranger.

rukidding

Well said colorful Joe.

BTL2A

Of course one of the Rangers pitchers came within an out of a perfect game and they win with ease.

Perhaps a bit early to write-off a team after one game.

I'm sure people would of said the same thing about the A's last year.

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