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April 8, 2007 at 5:35 AM

Sunday games cancelled

NEW UPDATE: (6:35 a.m. PDT)
Check that doubleheader time. They’ve just bumped it up an hour, so the Monday doubleheader will begin at 1:05 p.m. (PDT).
UPDATE: (6:05 a.m. PDT)
Looks like tomorrow’s doubleheader will begin at 2:05 p.m. (PDT). That talk about money below? Not just speculation on my part, it appears. Why else would a team force the Mariners to play three games in 22 hours? To get a bigger home gate of course. Anyway, that’s MLB’s business. I’m just getting tired of finding things to do in Cleveland. Please, no more Rock and Roll Hall of Fame suggestions. The Mariners, by the way, have a noon workout scheduled at Jacobs Field. Not sure whether they’ll be indoors or outside. Right now, they’re just going to dress for it and take things from there.
GAMES OFF ALREADY
The good news is, the Mariners will take their .667 winning percentage into Monday. The bad news? Plenty of it, since they just called off today’s scheduled doubleheader. No, it has not stopped snowing. It’s still pretty darned cold out, and frankly, I hope Major League Baseball gets a new schedule maker and figures out that it simply cannot allow northern teams to play this many home dates so early on in April. At least, the ones without a covered stadium.
I mean, why exactly are the Blue Jays playing a series in Florida right now when they have a retractable roof and could be staging some of the early April home games? Why aren’t the Twins and White Sox in Minneapolis instead of Chicago? Why didn’t they flip-flop this series to have the September games played here instead of in Seattle, and shift this weekend’s games to Safeco Field? I’m sure there are reasons, but it is just utterly ridiculous to have the Indians beginning a 10-game homestand in this city at this time of year.
Want to avoid this mess in the future? Use all the covered ballparks up until mid-April — or at least April 10. Anything north of, say, Baltimore. If the teams without them don’t like it, they can always go buy a roof. It’s not like they will lose any home games, they’ll just have them backloaded, like a savings plan.
This situation now has the potential to seriously disrupt Seattle’s first month, and by extension, the entire season. There are pitchers who have not thrown in a game situation since last Monday.
Want to guess why MLB is reluctant to wait until April 10 or 11 to stage a home opener here, or at Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium or some other place? Hmm, could it be money? Is someone afraid the novelty of a home opener (and the packed house it can generate) will be lost if the season is already 10 days deep? In this age of lucrative television contracts, that’s simply not a good enough excuse. I mean, it isn’t as if the one higher-than-normal gate is going to make-or-break a team’s finances. It shouldn’t, the way teams threw money around this winter. Funny though, the Indians sure acted like that was the case the way they begged, scratched and clawed to try to get Friday’s game in.
Might be the last game they ever do play in the way this is going. I’ll keep you posted. Needless to say, they will likely try a doubleheader tomorrow. You’d think, anyway. Though the Mariners do have a day game in Boston on Tuesday. That would mean three games starting within 25 hours of each other. So, who knows? What a mess!

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