Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Should Umpires Start Games Before the Scheduled Start Time?

I reached the Boyling Point yesterday at a CIAC baseball game and I think I might be speaking for a lot of people out there. Here is the situation, the CIAC tournament games are scheduled to begin at 3:30 according to the CIAC website and the umpires at the game yesterday called the coaches to home-plate for the pre-game conference at about 3:22 pm. Approximately 8 minutes before the start of the game with intention to begin the game before the 3:30 start time. When I asked the plate umpire “why are you starting the game early?” his replay was “because I can” and I retorted “no you can’t”

His replay “ Yes I can but I will give you a few minutes.”

It’s the “because I can” part of the statement that had me bubbling over!

Now the general rules is: When the umpires take the field at a baseball game they are in charge and I agree they should be and by the way I feel they all to the best job they can do based on there experience and abilities. But this “IN-CHARGE” should not be interrupted to allow for a  sudden change in start time, to begin a game earlier than the expected. It is not fair to the media and the fans attending the game.

SportingNewsCT.com was setting up for the live video broadcast of the game and we were scrambling to get the line-ups and make sure we were ready for the broadcast from a technical standpoint.  This means minutes are critical. 

In the end it worked out ok, but the stress involved, the wasted emotional energy and time lost to request the game to start at the scheduled start time is what had me bubbling over.

Just start the game at the time its scheduled to start.

I am advocating for the fans who leave work early get stuck in traffic, the reporters and broadcasters. We all want to enjoy the game, cheer on the teams, report and broadcast effectively.

I was at a CIAC game two years ago where the umpires started the game 10-minutes early. We were all taken off-guard all the runs were scored in the first couple of innings meaning the fans who paid admission excepting the game to start at the publicized time missed the game’s deciding runs.

One other quick note why can’t the coaches send there scorekeeper to the press box with lineups in hand.

SportingNewsct.com will broadcast today’s Bunnell vs. Notre Dame baseball game at 3:30 or who knows maybe earlier.

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