How Bud Selig And MLB Got The World Series Schedule Wrong

Jared Wickerham

It should not surprise you that Mr. Hotel Rooms messed up his sport's signature event.

In case you have forgotten, one of the reasons Bud Selig created "This Time It Counts" was to assure MLB that it could get hotel rooms reserved for World Series dates well in advance. If you think I am making this up, check out this 2007 interview with Bud:

We can't wait until September 30th or October 1st to determine where the World Series is going to be played. You have thousands of hotel rooms to book and a lot of other things and right now we take a chance. But at least you know it's going to be in a league and our people can work on that.

Never mind that until late last week, it was possible that World Series games would be played in Los Angeles and Detroit instead of Boston and St. Louis. And never mind that the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association manage to get enough hotel rooms for their finals, despite using a similar playoff structure to MLB.

Now, we learn from Business Insider that MLB managed to schedule four of the World Series dates opposite NFL football games, when it could have been much better:

If the World Series goes seven games, four of the games will compete head-to-head with an NFL game, a fifth game will go up against college football games, and game seven would compete with a major holiday in which people leave their houses at night (Halloween).

That's a formula for a ratings disaster.

On the other hand, if MLB had started the season and the World Series just one day earlier ... only one game would have gone head-to-head with the NFL, one game would go up against college football, and game seven would have been the day before Halloween.

Yes, that's right; with the current schedule, baseball goes up against the NFL on two Thursdays, a Sunday and a Monday, and against college football on Saturday. If they had started today -- Tuesday -- only one date (Sunday) would have been up against the NFL, with Thursday and Monday being travel dates. Did Bud and MLB forget that the NFL is now playing every Thursday?

In addition, starting today would have lessened the time in between the end of the league championship series and the start of the World Series to just two days instead of three; the last possible date for the LCS would have been Sunday, if the ALCS had gone to seven games. Instead, this now has made the Cardinals sit around from Friday to Wednesday and the Red Sox from Saturday to Wednesday.

Nice work, Bud. Hope you got a good deal on the hotel rooms.

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