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Score One For Bud Selig and Baseball

by Ryan Hudson

Just four days after the NHL dropped the ball (puck?) with their Game 7 television coverage, Major League Baseball got one right, and provided a refreshing change for the fan at home. No longer will you have to pop NoDoz and chug Red Bulls just to stay awake for a World Series game: first pitch will now be before 8pm EST.

The long-overdue idea will start this fall on Fox as its weeknight World Series games — as well as its American League Championship Series games — will have first pitches at 7:57. Last year, on average, World Series games' first pitches came at 8:28. In recent years, some have come as late as 8:38.

Commissioner Bud Selig and Fox Sports President Ed Goren say Game 3 of the Series, scheduled for a Saturday night, could even start a few minutes earlier (the sides continue to work out details). Postseason games on Sundays, partly because of Fox's NFL coverage, will keep the old start times.

This relatively big step -- baseball hasn't had a weeknight World Series game start before eight o'clock in 34 years -- could be the first move toward an even bigger change: day games. For now, the threat of lower TV-ratings, and college football, stand in the way, but it's something Selig has wanted for some time.

What's this all mean? Games will now end around 11:30pm. Leave it to baseball to make national news for a move that effects the game by about 30 minutes.

NHL Finds Another Way to Mess It Up - RCS Blog
MLB, Fox turn back World Series clock with earlier start times - USA Today
Selig mulls World Series changes, not to home comforts - Reuters