Cheap Seats

Take me out of the ballgame

I was really looking forward to going to the ballpark Tuesday night. After a long road trip -- one which gave Cardinals fans a reason for more optimism they had when the team left town a week and a half ago -- it was exciting to think of watching some competitive baseball.

But Mother Nature wasn't having it. And I understand completely that neither the Cardinals nor I control the weather.

What I don't understand is why the club decided to reschedule the game for 1:15 today as part of a day-night doubleheader.

Did the team really think that the majority of fans who sprung for tickets to a Tuesday night game can get off work to be there for a day game with 15 hours notice. The reason those people are in the seats is because they have a little thing called a "job" which allows them to afford the ever increasing cost of going to a ballgame. And most jobs -- not all, but most -- take place during the daytime hours.

The Nationals only come here once a season thanks to Major League Baseball's weighted schedule -- which is a gripe for another day. So there was some urgency to getting the game in during this visit.

But the obvious answer was to play the game Thursday night after a businessperson's special in the afternoon. It would give people a chance to plan ahead. And it would give people who have jobs to which they must report during the day a chance to see the game without missing work.

Why not? Because Major League Baseball has rules that prevent its players from having to work too hard. That's why they have day games the last day of the series -- so the players can get on a plane in the afternoon and be in their comfy mansions by the time the sun goes down. It would be unfair to expect them to play until 10 p.m. then get on a plane and be back in Washington at 1-2 a.m. when they have to be at the ballpark by the crack of 5 p.m. the next day.

So, to make sure 25 ballplayers aren't inconvenienced, the Cardinals will hose 40,000 of their loyal, ticket buying fans. I've already checked with the club to tell them I can't make the game today and would like a refund. I was told no refunds, but they'll give me a voucher for a different Monday through Thursday game. No thanks. I would rather sit in my season ticket seats than in their nosebleed freebies for a game.

I'll be interested to see how many people make it to the Wednesday day game. But I bet it is whole lot less than the official attendance, which is based on the number of tickets sold -- not the number of people who actually show up.