As a life-long resident of Michigan and fan of the Detroit Tigers, I have seen enough games rescheduled due to the predictable chill of Michigan weather.
With my experience, I would like to take the opportunity to schedule the Detroit Tigers for their early April games.
It is actually rather easy to figure out a way to schedule the Tigers so they can actually play their games and keep the fans and the players happy.
Let’s take a look at the Miami Marlins‘ early April schedule. Keeping in mind that the Marlins play in a covered stadium, the team can play in any conditions. But, the Fish do not make their 2017 debut in their home stadium until Tuesday, April 11.
Delay Opening Day at Comerica Park
If this works for the Marlins, it can work for the Tigers. To keep the games on the air, the Tigers need to play somewhere south of Indianapolis until the second week of the season. And, this should be totally possible. The same should go for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox schedules, simply because what happens in Chicago usually happens in Detroit a few hours later. So, scheduling the Tigers and White Sox to play each other in the first week of the season was a huge mistake.
It would be perfectly acceptable for Tigers fans to watch a few away series games played prior to the home opener. The Tigers could get their California games out of the way in early April. Or, they could play in Tampa Bay, Houston, or even Kansas City. Instead, by scheduling the first series in Chicago, the White Sox and Tigers have to deal with rescheduling games. Anyone who knows the weather in Michigan or the Chicagoland area should have known better than to schedule these two teams in early April.
Plenty of Southern Stadiums
There are 30 teams in the major leagues and there are seven teams with stadiums located in areas that are known for frigid weather in the first two weeks of the season. While the Milwaukee Brewers have the beautiful domed field, the other six do not. The Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tigers, and Chicago teams have serious potential for weather-related issues.
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Lots of Detroit Fans in the Sunshine State
Therefore, my suggestion is to keep these teams south for at least two full series. There are 23 other stadiums that could be used. If I had a say in the scheduling, I would permanently arrange for the Tigers to open against either the Marlins or the Rays for their first series. As many Michiganders are in Florida for Spring Break and many snowbirds have yet to return to the north, there would be plenty of Tigers fans in attendance in those two domed stadiums. Then, the Tigers could move north to play the Kansas City Royals or the Baltimore Orioles.
By the time those first two series are in the bag, the weather in Michigan tends to become a bit more stable. Opening Day could be a sure thing and the Tigers would be less likely to be injured playing with cold muscles in frigid temperatures.
It seems like an easy fix to a constant problem. Keep the northern teams south for a few series so baseball can be played.