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.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.
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.
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.