Game four of the 2018 National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers was an instant classic. It took 13 innings for the hometown Dodgers to knock off the Brewers, with Cody Bellinger responsible for the game-winning two-out single that brought blockbuster trade deadline acquisition Manny Machado home from second. The tightly contested contest represented everything both the fans and the league would want in the NLCS. The only issue–not enough people got to see it transpire.
Due to game three of the American League Championship Series starting just after 5 PM Eastern, the Brewers-Dodgers match-up didn’t get underway until after 9 PM. Because the latter game went into extra innings, it didn’t end until 2:25 AM Eastern. When you take into account the fact that the game took place on a Tuesday night, it’s fair to assume that many fans across the country weren’t able to catch the compelling postseason contest. As Chris Russo argued on his Sirius XM show, late start times have long been an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Russo’s rant was the antithesis of ill-advised; among other things, he stated, “TBS wants to have part of the [Astros-Red Sox] game leak into prime time, so they can’t start at 3 in Houston in Game 3? Nonsense! Think about it. If you’re a Milwaukee Brewers fan living in Wisconsin, you went to bed on it. It’s 1:25 there. School night.” Obviously, Russo isn’t the first individual to call for earlier postseason start times; a quick Google search reveals a multitude of similar opinions, such as this one from a trio at NBC Sports Boston. As someone who had to miss a lot of phenomenal sports action when I was younger due to the late start times, I wholeheartedly agree with Russo. It’s unfair to block out kids and adults who have to wake up early for school and work, respectively, from watching the best match-ups of the season. I understand that time zones make finding that perfect time slot for each game difficult, especially when there are multiple games in one day. Still, it’s not acceptable for postseason games in any sport to start at nine or later and we as sports fans need to begin expressing our displeasure much more than we already are.
- Bucholtz, A. (2018, October 20). Chris “Mad Dog” Russo blasts late start times, “gahbahge” channels TBS and FS1. Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://awfulannouncing.com/sxm/chris-mad-dog-russo-blasts-late-start-times-gahbahge-channels-tbs-and-fs1-and-his-own-employer-mlb-in-unhinged-rant.html
- MLB postseason start times could be hurting the sport. (2018, October 19). Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/video/mlb-postseason-start-times-could-be-hurting-sport