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Viva the unbalanced schedule: getting in the Dodgers-Nats game regardless of the conditions

May 6, 2014, 9:50 AM EDT

Rain AP

I know baseball loves the unbalanced schedule because it gives them a boatload of Yankees-Red Sox and Dodgers-Gians games to broadcast, but it also makes for some super crappy games like the one we saw (read: no one saw) last night in D.C. between the Dodgers and the Nats.

The Nats beat the Dodgers, 4-0, but not after a 3-hour, 17-minute rain delay emptied the stadium and chased off starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. The game ended at 1:21 a.m. — long after the Metro stopped running, which would’ve required fans who actually wanted to sit through rain to leave early — and the whole evening lasted 6 hours, 16 minutes from first pitch to final out.

The grounds crew should probably be lauded for keeping the field in playing shape, but this is one that, were this not the Dodgers’ only visit to D.C. thanks to the unbalanced schedule, would have been suspended or postponed. Instead we got a game no one saw.

  1. goskinsvt - May 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    There were probably 150 people left at the end of the game in the stands. It was kind of fun on TV to hear individual fans cheer/jeer. Not to mention that awesome Brian Wilson doppelganger.

    • koufaxmitzvah - May 6, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      I have a feeling, a lot of weirdo beardos will be following Brian Wilson around.

  2. twinfan24 - May 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    While also not a fan of the schedule, MLB won’t care because they and the teams got their money from the tickets regardless of whether or not fans actually attended the game. If there are 20 or fewer of these instances a year, they won’t care because that’s not enough to cause an actual uproar by the fans.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 6, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Soft Nats fans! The Vet was hopping big time at 4:40 AM – also after 6 hours of rain delays

    Vet-itude, baby!

    P.S. – I am patting myself on the back for working this game into replies on back-to-back days :)

    • recoveringcubsfan - May 6, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      You’re all wet, chum: that game started on a Friday. Monday night in DC, people with jobs have to go home and get some sleep. Not a real comparison. Kudos for making the same reference twice, though.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 6, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        Come on now – this is HBT. Can’t let facts get in the way of a good narrative ;)

      • natstowngreg - May 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        The Narrative must be preserved at all costs! The lamer The Narrative is, the more deserving it is of preservation.

        If I had stayed to the end, it would have been a rather lengthy walk (some of it, through areas that are not the nicest) on a wet night, or an expensive cab ride (if I could have found a cab at that hour). Maybe the transit options in Philly are adequate in the middle of the night; in Washington, they are not. The viable alternative was to pay for 3.5 innings of baseball, go home before Metro closed, and watch the rest on TV (falling asleep before the game ended).

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 6, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        @nattown –

        “Maybe the transit options in Philly are adequate in the middle of the night;”

        Interesting aside – they announced over the PA during game 2 that SEPTA (Philly’s transit authority) would soon be shutting down for the night – 2 AM or something. But by the time Game 2 was over, they were open again for the next day!

    • rich7041 - May 6, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      [mlbvideo id="13062877" width="400" height="224" /]

      19 innings, rain delay, ends at 3:55 a.m. AND fireworks!

      • rich7041 - May 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        dammit:

        http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/8878972/v13062877/nymatl-4-am-fireworks-follow-marathon-mets-win

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Yup, I remember that one as well….

  4. emdash01 - May 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    I don’t know, in a way it’s kind of part of the charm of baseball – weird stuff happens. Games played after midnight in front of a crowd of a few hundred where you can hear every individual fan’s voice is weird fun occasionally.

    • danaking - May 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I sat through nine hours of a Pirates-Orioles doubleheader last Thursday. I agree with you. It was a weird kind of fun for the several hundred of us still there at the end (12:53 AM). It’s a rarity unique to baseball, plus, there is a way around it. Last year two teams got rained out of the last game scheduled during the visiting team’s only appearance in that city. (I think it was San Francisco at Cincinnati. Let’s say it was, for example’s sake.) The game was made up as part of a doubleheader in San Francisco, with the Reds wearing their home whites and batting last in the first game. Even the players seemed to think it was kind of cool.

      Keeping Metro open late wouldn’t be an issue if the Lerners weren’t so cheap.

      • emdash01 - May 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Often Metro closing is a problem, but probably not much of one in this case – I doubt too many more people would stay for a rainy, cold weeknight game on a Monday night when there’s no guarantee it would even be continued that night.

      • someguyinva - May 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        I’m not sure it’s fair to blame the Lerners here. As I understand things, while the owners have to pay to extend Metro service hours on any given night, it’s not like the decision to do that can be made on the same night, with no notice. It has to be planned out ahead of time, so that staff can be assigned, etc.

        They couldn’t have just called Metro last night at 8:15PM or whatever and said, “Hey, keep the trains running tonight until who knows when, will ya?”

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - May 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Who cares? We get Yankees Sox this weekend, every weekend! MORE YANKS SOX PLEASE! This is a league of 2-4 teams, didn’t you know? Screw everyone else.

  6. sdelmonte - May 6, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    I like the unbalanced schedule. I like that you play teams in your division more than elsewhere. I just miss the old days when the season would be three seasons against your own division and two against the other division.

    The solution to last night? Doubleheaders. It’s a three game series. Surely they could have played two today. Or tomorrow.

    • largebill - May 6, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Concur, that teams should play more against their own division. Problem is caused by adding interleague nonsense to the unbalanced schedule.

  7. 18thstreet - May 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Is there any reason why they couldn’t do a 4:00 start yesterday?

    • someguyinva - May 6, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      I’m going to guess that the reason they couldn’t start at 4 yesterday is the same reason that applied last year to the NFL opening night kerfuffle in Baltimore. Both teams had to travel to Washington for the game (Nats were in Philly Sunday) and rules say you can’t play a day game in those situations.

      Besides that, it rained more than the forecast called for, I think (40% chance of showers), and so even if baseball typically did flexible scheduling to account for weather forecasts, this wasn’t a forecast that might’ve warranted that.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        I believe the rule is you can’t play a day game if you had to travel AND you had a night game the day before. I think.

        In any event, teams are so reluctant to do anything with the schedule these days….bottom line is no matter what they did, it all comes back to Craigs point, blame the balanced schedule/inter-league play

      • someguyinva - May 6, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        You may very well be right on the rule, DPF.

        The unbalanced schedule ain’t great, but the Dodgers have had awful weather luck on this current trip; they were in Minnesota last week and had to play a doubleheader on Thursday due to a rainout, and they’ve been riding their bullpen hard during the trip.

        I’m not sure calling the game last night and doing a day/night doubleheader while they’re still in town would’ve been good for LA. Coming back today for two probably isn’t realistic, and the Dodgers have a home game on Thursday, so they likely want to get out of town soon after the 12:30 PM game on Wednesday.

  8. trbmb - May 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Budfuddled Selig has a committee looking at game scheduling and long term weather forecasts to ensure that the fan experience in MLB is protected. The committee will perhaps be heard from in 6 more years.

  9. hojo20 - May 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Just man up and play in the rain.

    • thetoolsofignorance - May 6, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      and let a wet baseball slip out of a pitchers hand and kill a batter distracted by rain dripping off his helmet. That would be better, right?

    • recoveringcubsfan - May 6, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      It wasn’t some drizzle or even a shower. It was several hours of hard rain, plus some lightning. The field was slop by the third. Masculinity ain’t got nothin to do with it.

  10. johnnysoda - May 6, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    The unbalanced schedule makes tons of sense. It’s a lot easier for teams to travel more frequently to cities that are closer to them then to have to travel across the country all the time. If the Dodgers had to travel to D.C. twice, for example, it would likely be at more expense to them (and the same if the Nationals had to go to Los Angeles twice a year).

    Also, in-division games have more appeal, IMO. I know, down the stretch, I’d rather see the Yankees play teams they’re battling against in the AL East than watch them play the Mariners for the third series in a year.

  11. thetoolsofignorance - May 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    the schedule needs to be like it is. I’d rather see divisional and rivalry games played than an even number of Astros games played against anyone. That said, I missed the conclusion of this game and woke up to find a loss. While that was a bitter feeling what with Puig down with injury not improving my mood at all, I still think lashing out at what was a weather affected game and ranting about the scheduling doesn’t make sense either.

    When Puig comes back and resumes crushing his enemies and while driving their women before him (at 101 mph in a 50 zone) I might then have stronger feelings about the schedule. Until then, oh well.

  12. recoveringcubsfan - May 6, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    How is it that no one called out the pic of Boehner (it’s pronounced boh-nur, thanks).

  13. mikhelb - May 6, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Seattle has only one visit to NY and still they rescheduled a game… but… I also do not like the way schedules are done, every season there are at least oke or two trips per team traveling non-stop and with no rest from the east coast to the west coast (or viceversa), or from Toronto all the way to Tampa.

    And 18-19 games in their own division? Ugh, schedules should be balanced with teams playing the same amount of games against their American/National League counterparts, and another bunch of interleague games.

    Maybe reduce the amount of games from 162 to 150 or 154 to intercalate more rests and avoid long trips before facing the next day an intradivisional rival.

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