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“The Schedule Makers”

Nov 8, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT

schedule planner

A computer does the MLB schedule now. Until 2005, however, a husband-wife couple did it. By hand. And, apart from being impossibly cute, they are apparently brilliant.

Grantland’s 30 for 30 series meets Henry and Holly Stephenson in this 12 minute short. And it’s brilliant too. And funny. And toward the end, kind of sad.

Just a wonderful mini-documentary. Check it out.

  1. johnnysoda - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Funny, ’cause I’ve been trying to make my own 2015 MLB Schedule by hand. I’ve done seven teams so far…and believe me, it’s not easy. I salute these people.

  2. Panda Claus - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Schedules made by hand up until 8 years ago. And we wonder why MLB is slow to bring in replay?

    • clydeserra - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:35 PM

      the thing is, as a west coast team fan, you can tell the difference. The schedules now really suck. Long travel, those idiotic home/road serieses. Not seeing a team until september, then seeing them the next series.

      Bring them back

    • anxovies - Nov 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      Baseball in its essence is a very human game. The people who are pushing for robot umpires and reviewing every questionable call should realize that.
      The fiasco of Mariano finishing up in Houston rather than New York or Boston is an example that shows that everything can’t be quantified by a machine.

  3. shaggylocks - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I always wondered who those jerks were who scheduled games during the blizzard of ’82!

    • charminultra - Nov 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Yeah, because those “jerks” control the weather.

      “Since when can the weather man predict the weather, let alone the future.”

      • shaggylocks - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Hey, at least they made up for it with those great match ups at the end of the season.

      • shaggylocks - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Okay, two things:

        1. Thanks for missing the obvious joke. Yes, they can’t control the weather. Thanks for pointing that out. I’m not being serious.
        2. At the risk of ruining a joke by explaining it, did you even watch the video? They talked about how, during their very first season, people complained about the game schedule after the whole east coast had to deal with a blizzard. I thought my comment wouldn’t need explaining and would be an obvious reference to that, but I guess, judging by the thumbs up to thumbs down ratio, that I was mistaken.

      • maikoch - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I got your joke shaggylocks, but never underestimate the number of mouth-breathing numbskulls that populate the comments section of this site. largebill, stlouisbaseball1, and historiophiliac alone would be enough to send any respectable neurologist into retirement.

  4. stex52 - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Fun to watch. That lady has an amazing intuitive gift. I think they had fun with it.

    • cur68 - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Yep. They made me smile. I loved how much was unsaid but alluded to as they described dealing with teams and the competing groups. They managed to do, for years, what eluded massive organizations and institutions. They did it so well that when RIvera finished his career in Houston it was obvious that those two sweet old people had had nothing to do with compiling that schedule. A computer probably makes that schedule way faster and as balanced as it would be possible to be but without a shred of understanding how it related to the on-field drama or the history that was unfolding. I’d had no idea that it was a pair of people making the schedule until 2005. But, looking at how things unfolded last season, I can see plainly that it was a computer doing it. It did it without heart or understanding of emotion.

      Lord knows, computers make my life easier. I owe many things to having one and being able to use one. But I would never let one manage a human schedule. There are too many random and chaotic factors to account for and there isn’t a computer in the world that can do that.

      Bud and his “Human Element” is just so much misapplied crapola. We don’t need “human element” when it comes to getting calls right. For that a computer would actually be the best thing. But we DO need a human element when it comes to getting the schedule correct.

  5. garlicfriesandbaseball - Nov 8, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Reblogged this on Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog and commented:
    Wow! What an amazing story. I’ll add more to this later, just couldn’t wait to get it to you ~

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