MLB absolutely despises, detests, and hates Cardinal Nation. Even that might not explain the completely irrational decision to schedule game 3 of the NLDS between the Cardinals and Nationals at 1:07 pm (ET) on Wednesday. On MLB Network. Maybe they are concerned about all the millions of baseball fans in the Czech Republic and Oman who want to see the game at a decent hour. Maybe MLB just doesn’t care about the defending World Series champions.
Consider the television schedule for Wednesday (all times Eastern, because only that time zone counts)
- Cardinals @ Nationals at 1:07 pm (MLB Network)
- Giants @ Reds at 4:07 pm (TBS)
- Orioles @ Yankees at 7:37 pm (TBS)
- Tigers @ Athletics at 9:37 pm (TNT)
Of course, the Yankees at Orioles contest yesterday was scheduled earlier than the Nationals at Cardinals, because obviously it makes sense to schedule the central time zone game before the east cost game. Obviously. Naturally, this is all about capturing the most viewers possible in prime time, but it’s also about castigating the rest as outcasts on a digital media island. In what sensible reality does a playoff game on a Monday start at 4:37 pm (again Eastern) in St. Louis, Missouri?
Congratulations on an historic playoff run in 2011 and winning the World Series, and oh by the way you get to play a bunch of day games at odd times with shadows encroaching ominously on the field. When I think of October baseball, I think of cold nights with the lights on and lots of fireworks. When MLB thinks of the Cardinals and October baseball, I guess the powers that be envision day games with low ratings.
Perhaps Cardinal Nation should appreciate the backhanded compliment here. MLB and TBS know that Cardinal fans will watch the Cardinals in the playoffs at 2:00 am (naturally Eastern time). The fans would gladly throw up tents in Ballpark Village just to wait for the gates to open at midnight (also Eastern). And while the baseball gods would smile upon such an event as evidence that Cardinal Nation is as gritty and scrappy as the players, the programming masters at TBS would likely just turn to some Tyler Perry sitcom rerun which isn’t really very funny at all. I’m not sure what is set to air on TBS or TNT Wednesday around 1:00 pm (yeah, it’s Eastern), but I’m sure it’s quite important and will certainly have a higher rating than the greatest reality show on the planet.
The icing on this half-baked cake is the fact that the Cardinals game against Washington will be aired on MLB Network. Everyone has that, right? Of course not, but why would you want to watch the game at home? Just head over to the nearest sports bar or restaurant to catch all 2 innings of the game that you can see on a lunch hour. Better yet, make a dental appointment, show up 3 hours early, and beg the administrative personnel in the office to turn on the game. That’s assuming that they have MLB Network which most people don’t seem to have. Maybe your best bet is to simply catch the game on MLB.tv, or at least you can catch the audio. That’s great as long as you have unlimited data on your smart phone or a great WiFi connection. If not, then welcome to the land of the dismissed, ignored, and outright scrooged.
I speak here for a small number of Cardinal fans, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much the Washington Nationals and their fans are being jobbed here. Imagine that you live in a city that hasn’t seen postseason baseball since 1933 when a completely different team played there in a completely different era. Then imagine that your city has a team with the best record in NL and some of the most exciting players in all of baseball. They make it to the NLDS, and when the first home game finally comes to your city, it’s set to start during the end of your lunch. If taking in a playoff game were to be an obstacle course, this would make the Army, Navy, and the set designers for American Ninja Warrior proud.
Many thanks to TBS, Bud Selig, MLB, Bud Selig, MLB Network, and Bud Selig for ruining a playoff game for substantial portions of 2 separate fan bases at once. You’ve outdone yourselves. In light of the NHL lockout and NFL replacement referee debacle, you would be hard pressed to commit an even larger derp. You succeeded. This is the TOOTBLAN to end all TOOTBLANS. Nice work, nincompoops.
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