By Drew Modjeski
Opening day for the MLB is one of the most exciting days in sports. Especially this year as all 30 teams opened up their season on the same day, March 29.
However, after the excitement wears off, fans are forced to sit through the rest of April, and this year some March, baseball.
Games played in the snow, rain and cold that makes any fan in attendance question why they are there.
For the Chicago White Sox and Cubs, playing in divisions located in the weather fortex known as the midwest makes the first month even more pointless.
Four of the White Sox’s first 15 games were postponed due to weather. That includes three games in a row away at Minnesota after the region got record snowfall anywhere from approximately 17 to 20 inches of snow in mid-April.
The Sox’s played a game after two inches of snow fell, and the field crew cleaned it off before gametime. That game, against the Tampa Bay Rays, was only attended by approximately 975 people even though nearly 10,400 tickets were sold for the game.
That same day on the North Side the Cubs canceled their home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates because of the snow.
Similar to the Sox, the Cubs have had four of their first 18 games postponed due to weather.
One game against the Atlanta Braves that the Cubs decided to play was filled with sloppy play due to bad weather. Even though the Cubs won 14-10, Manager Joe Maddon was furious with the decision to play saying it was the worst weather elements he had ever played a game in.
Besides from the weather being filled with rain and snow, it has also been incredibly cold. The average temperature in Chicago over the first half of April is a high of 45 degrees. Historically, the average temperature is somewhere in the mid 50’s.
The worst part of baseball before May is that it is completely unnecessary.
The White Sox and Cubs both have 30 games scheduled to be played in March and April.
If the MLB pushed back the start of the season till May then both the Cubs and White Sox would play 132 games instead of the usual 162 games. 132 games is still a lot to play in a season and would be a just test to see who deserves to play in the playoffs.
Another added bonus for pushing the start of the season to May is that players would get more time to rest and recover from any injuries the previous season.
The season ends in late September and if a team makes it to the playoffs, they play well into October. With pitchers and catchers reporting for training in mid-February, and the rest of the team joining them later that month, players only get four to five months to recover from playing nearly everyday for six months.
White Sox starting pitcher, Carlos Rodon, underwent shoulder surgery last September, and was said to miss around six to eight months because of the injury. If the season started in May, then Rodon would only be missing from the Sox starting rotation for about one to two months instead of three and a half months.