Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Time to consider warm weather territory for future World Series?

October 19, 2009

BASEBALL/Last weekend’s wintry conditions in the Bronx made ear flaps and balaclavas essential gear for some players and contributed to a reel of American League Championship Series fielding bloopers worthy of the old Keystone Kops.

Temperatures dipped into the low 40s and winds whipped a cold rain through Yankee Stadium, only a few degrees short of bringing a flurry of snowflakes.

The Yanks won the first two games of the best-of-seven series against the rattled Angels of Los Angeles, who were thrilled to return to their warm, sunny home for the next set of games in their showdown for a World Series berth.

The World Series is already scheduled to run into November, and with New York and the Philadelphia Phillies of the chilly U.S. Northeast closing in on berths in the Fall Classic, snow-outs could be in the offing at the championship of “The Summer Game.”

It might be time to consider using a neutral, warm weather site for future World Series.

As one who has roared lustily from the bleachers in World Series past I would mourn the passing of games played at the home stadium.

BUT with club owners insistent on retaining the 162-game schedule, and committed to getting the most lucrative postseason TV deals they can, replete with unnecessary off-days, it is hard to imagine a significant scheduling roll-back that would put the World Series back into the early days of October.

At last year’s Reuters Media Summit, MLB president Bob DuPuy was asked if regularly scheduled day-night doubleheaders during the season — with separate ticket sales so as not to affect the owners’ haul at the turnstiles — couldn’t help lop off a couple of weeks worth of games.

He said it was interesting, but might not fly with season-ticket holders of the teams.

Might be a different story if the snow flies at the World Series.

PHOTO: Los Angeles Angels Kendry Morales is seen before playing the New York Yankees in Game 2 of Major League Baseball’s ALCS playoff series in New York, October 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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