And a pleasant good afternoon to you, wherever you may be.
Possibly near a TV or radio if job security and good standing in the classroom permit it.
Look at a bright side to Wednesday afternoon's NL Championship Series Game 5, where a full sun and 86-degree temperatures made it seem like a summer setting in October at Dodger Stadium — a midweek post-season contest was recorded as bringing a non-sellout 53,183 inside the tent.
But baseball has yet to fully understand the ramifications of selling itself out to television — in this case, TBS agreeing to the MLB's wishes to have this one during the daytime so that Fox could have the night-time rights to ALCS Game 4.
Old-school thinking that day-time baseball in October is as God intended may be pure in its intent. Smuggle in the transistor radio, sneak out to the break room for a glimpse of the TV. How American is (or was) that? Now you're all grown up, and life just doesn't work that way does it? Refresh that webpage, check the iPhone for text updates, as discretely as possible.
Again, how is a 1 p.m. PT Dodgers-Cardinals game in L.A. optimizing exposure for the sport? Fifteen minutes before the first pitch, the stadium was barely half full, and those baking in the sun weren't all that inspired by a scoreboard prompting them to get up, wave a towel or “make noise” as they had the two previous nights. As Zack Greinke squirmed out of a first-inning jam, there might have been more sound, but the sight of rows of empty seats, especially in the shady upper reserved levels, had to be obvious to someone. If only they considered a bobblehead giveaway promo. The lines outside the gates would have been epic. “Really, this is a holiday, you shouldn't be working today,” said Fred Roggin, hosting a pregame show that started in an empty Dodger Stadium Lot G outside of center field at 9 a.m. on KLAC-AM (570), trying to make the best of it as callers offered up excuses they could use to their employer in an attempt to at least stay home and watch. Fans interviewed in the stands an hour before the game up on the video boards were also joking about the call-in-sick lines they ended up using so they could be here.
The stadium clean-up crew that worked through the night to get the facility ready before the doors opened at 11 a.m. might have appreciated the sentiment before they went home prior to the first pitch to catch some sleep.
Wednesday's not-ready-for-prime-time broadcast exposes another gaping hole in the MLB's not-ready-to-reach-the-young-demographic strategy.
And since it affects the Dodgers, on this day, at this time, now it's our issue.
Is there some kind of compromise that can be discussed to appease viewers as well as the networks trying to recoup their ginormous rights fees?
What if the ALCS flipped over to this 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET window, based on logistics, while the NLCS went to the 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET window on occasions like this.
What if the games on the same day even overlapped to some degree, as they did in the NLDS and ALDS. Especially if those in the home markets have a better chance of dealing with work and school schedules.
The 1971 World Series was the first to go all prime-time, and that ship has already sailed — except for the logic in trying to bring day games back on the weekends.
West Coast starts will always be an issue not made in the shade. MLB tried this year to spread the postseason out more, from 28 to 31 dates between the first wildcard to Game 7 of the World Series. It didn't do much in the way of improving start times, though.
Daytime games in the post-season are great for nostalgia's sake, not so much for its future stake. You'd think baseball could take another enlightened look at this, as new leadership in the MLB commissioner's office assess where the game not only has been, but where it's going.
Ready to come up with a feasible solution that doesn't penalize those who commit to work and school?
That'll be the day.