Originally Posted by FlightRick
Something else I've wondered about: do fans of west coast teams get annoyed when their boys have to play out east, with local start times of 4 in the afternoon (and on weekends/get-away days, 10 in the morning)?
I know it's no big deal to adjust when the Reds play out west, since I usually don't hit the sack until after I've watched Ferguson, anyway... but how frustrating would it be to know that -- if your team is playing in a different time zone -- your best case scenario is getting home in time to see the 8th inning?
I'm assuming "pretty frustrating." I'm also assuming this is why my dream of a slightly more balanced schedule (not totally balanced, but also not 18 games intra-division and only 6 inter-division, since that now seems a lot more unfair given the 2 wild cards) will never be realized. For local TV contracts to have value, the teams have to play as few games as possible 3 time zones away. I'm sure there's a nominal effect on eastern time zone teams playing "late" games, but it's gotta be downright crippling to ratings when west coast teams play "day" (or "morning") games.
Oh yeah. I've spent time on the West Coast and it honestly made me wonder how people follow baseball closely, especially in the days before DVR (not that I'm a huge fan of watching recorded sports anyway).
I've talked about him quite a bit here lately, but probably the biggest baseball fan I know is a Baltimore transplant living in Seattle. He's looking at potential early afternoon games (for him) for the Orioles during the playoffs. He doesn't know what he's going to do.
I agree with you on the scheduling; it's one of many reasons I'm in favor of radical realignment (split the leagues down the middle of the country). It might lessen nationwide familiarity with teams across the board, but certainly no more so than pre-internet fandom, and I feel it would strengthen individual fanbases.