Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opening Day Scheduling

Ah, Opening Day! The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. Games getting canceled because of snow …

Yup, it happens every year, doesn’t it? So far this year, we’ve got games in Cleveland and New York cancelled (for cold, though, not snow). Huh! Who ever saw that coming?

At the Jake

Now, Cleveland I might be able to understand. They were playing the Red Sox, for crying out loud. And, sure enough, the weather was worse in Boston (28 to 30).

But do you know who the Yankees were playing? The Marlins!?!? So, not only was it a balmy 78 in Miami, but the Fish play in a friggin’ dome!

And, while I’m on the subject of domes, did you know that 3 dome teams – Toronto, Seattle, and Houston – start the season on the road? In fact, we’ve even got 2 dome teams (Toronto and Tampa Bay) playing each other. 

To return to Cleveland and NYC, though, did you know that 4 other teams were kind of in the same boat? In particular, I’ve got Pittsburgh at 41 and Cincinnati at 45.

On the other hand, I’ve also got some travelling teams with some pretty nice temperatures:
  • San Francisco – 64
  • Washington – 65
  • Colorado – 73
  • Los Angeles – 76 

I’m not so sure about those middle 2, but Los Angeles? Los Angeles?!?! And, just to add insult to injury, would you believe they’re actually playing San Diego?!?! 

Now, none of this is very encouraging, but is there perhaps a way to make all this concrete, to see how bad it actually is?

Yup, those are palm trees

A Better Way

Well, the first thing we’re going to have to do is come up with something to compare all this to. So, our first set of home teams is going to have to be those with domes (or retractable roof):
  • Toronto
  • Tampa Bay
  • Milwaukee
  • Seattle
  • Arizona
  • Houston
  • Miami
That’s 7. We only need 8 more.

Milwaukee - a balmy 38 outside 

So, let’s round things out wiith the home teams with the highest temperatures:
  • Texas – 83
  • Los Angeles (2 teams) – 76
  • Atlanta – 76 
  • Oakland – 71 
  • San Diego – 69
  • Washington – 65
  • San Francisco – 64 

Now Let’s Compare

So, there’s a couple of ways we can go about this. We probably first, however, need to eliminate any of the dome games. Temperatures are going to be perfect there, right?

Now, let’s look at the average temperature for those remaining home games.  And that gives us:
  • Current – 61
  • Better way – 73

That’s 12 whole degrees!

Next, how about if we take a look at the difference between the temperature in the visitor’s city and that in the home team city. I figure, in aggregate, that will give us some feel for how much sense the whole scheme might make. In other words, I think it can give us the best take on whether we’re meeting our overall goal of avoiding colder cities and playing in warmer ones.
  • Current – 136
  • Better way – 195

That’s a difference of not quite 60 degrees.  Divided over the 9 games that would  actually be played outdoors, that’s a difference of 9 degrees per game.

So, what am I missing? Why am I not in charge of scheduling for Major League Baseball?

It's probably this guy, right?