Monday, May 19, 2008

Urge to kill updated

Tybalt complained about the MLB schedule last summer. Specifically, the August 2007 long weekend was "the first time since 2002 that the Jays have played three home games on a summer long weekend." I don't think the many people who complain about the MLB schedule realize how incredibly difficult it is--go ahead, try scheduling something like the Intercounty Baseball League and see how far you get--but that won't stop me from taking a look at the 2008 long weekends.

Since, you know, today is the first one.

Everything except the 2008 line below is from his original post. This year, the Jays were out of town entirely for the May weekend, at home on Sat/Sun but not Mon/Tue of the Canada Day weekend, at home only on the August holiday Monday and not the weekend, and not even playing on Labour Day. What's with playing Canada Day out in Seattle?

Year  5/24  7/01  8/01  9/01

2008 road half half road
2007 road road home half
2006 half half road half
2005 half* road half* half
2004 half road half half*
2003 half half road half
2002 half half home home

(* : played at home on the weekend and had an off-day on the holiday.)
("half" means some games on the weekend but not all three days.)


Dave Till said...

I was thinking about this too: some years, the Jays have played at home on Memorial Day and away on Victoria Day. Which makes no sense at all.

Someone once claimed (as I recall) that the Jays don't particularly want home dates on holidays, as their turnout might be embarrassingly low. Thus proving that baseball isn't popular in Toronto, yadda yadda, etc. I don't think I buy this theory, but I've heard it said.

Maybe the schedulers think that the Jays would have an unfair advantage if they got too many home dates on holidays (since American teams, for obvious reasons, can only play at home half the time on American holidays).

Paul D said...

Everytime this comes up, someone mentions just how difficult it is to schedule sporting events. "Try scheduling just 8 teams!". I really don't think it's anywhere near as hard as people make it out to be. Yes, if you or I tried to do it, we'd fail. But if you get someone with a background in combinatorics and a good software program, and you're done. Steal someone from the airlines or something.

Rob said...

I was going to jokingly say "the IBL is 9 teams!" but the ninth is Stratford. So yeah, eight teams.

My point wasn't that whoever is hired by MLB can't possibly solve the scheduling problem. It's not difficult for someone who knows what they're doing. It's more or less CO 370 on steroids. (If this is the same Paul D, I may not need to explain what CO 370 is.) My point was the majority of those people who bitch about the schedule can't do any better.

The IBL is a bad example and would actually be pretty easy, now that I think about it. 20ish home games. Longest travel is a few hours on the 401. No multi-use parks that will be in demand for trade shows or Wrestlemania Random Roman Numerals. So that we could do.

Paul D said...

This is the same Paul D, so I understand your point about CO 370 (which I think I took, although I'm not quite sure).

You seem to have a pretty high standard though. If my flight is delayed 4 hours, I'm going to bitch, even though I have no idea how to fly a plane or direct airline traffic. Should not having that knowledge prevent me from doing so? Or, because I know nothing about cars, am I not allowed to complain if my car breaks down 2 months after I buy it?

Rob said...

But you *expect* a flight to be on time and a car to last longer than two months because you have some document (plane ticket, warranty) that, at least in theory, guarantees those things will happen. Your reasonable expectations weren't met, so you justifiably complain. A comparable baseball situation is buying tickets for a 1:07 pm start only to get there and find that it's delayed to 5:07 because they forgot to cover the infield during the morning rain (or funding a crappy stadium that never gets its roof fixed and ends up sitting in ruin by the Pie-IX metro).

Put another way: I wish VIA had a better Montreal->Toronto schedule, because I either have to leave work really early on a Friday or take the milk run and arrive at Union after midnight. They could improve their schedule and make me happier, sure, but I also recognize that such a change isn't as easy as I want it to be and probably negatively affects the experience of some other passengers. So my expectations are unreasonable, and I think bitching about that is unjustified. Mostly, though, I'm just tired of people complaining because they feel like it (and yes, I'm off to clean the many windows in my glass house).