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- Cold and rainy conditions have caused a near-record number of postponements to start the MLB season.
- The severe weather started on Opening Day and has continued steadily throughout April, with a whopping six games pushed back from Sunday’s slate.
- Teams will have to get creative as they attempt to make up for lost games as the season continues.
Severe weather has been wreaking havoc on baseball through the first few weeks of the 2018 MLB season.
The trend started on Opening Day when games in Detroit and Cincinnati were postponed due to bad weather. From there, things have only gotten worse, with a whopping six games this past Sunday set to be rescheduled later in the season. Additionally, the Boston Red Sox Patriots Day tradition of hosting an early game on the day of the Boston Marathon was also a victim of poor weather this year – the first time that game has been canceled since 1984.
All told, 22 games have already been forced to a later date – the second-most the league has seen through April since 2000, and with two weeks still to go.
Despite the high number of postponements, many games that have been played have still been in brutal conditions. Baseball season started a bit earlier in the calendar year than usual this year, leaving games in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and all across the Northeast to be played in cold, wet, and sometimes even wintry conditions.
“It’s the topic of every press conference we’ve had with the exception of two (games),” Royals manager Ned Yost said of the weather, according to USA Today. “It’s cold. You look at the game they had in Chicago (Saturday) with Atlanta, and it was bitter, bitter cold there.” The Royals were set to play the Angels on Sunday, but the game was postponed due to wet conditions and wind chills that would push the temperature below freezing before the first pitch.
While the postponements are a necessity given the hand many teams have been dealt with bad weather, it will leave some teams in a tight spot when they are forced to make the games up later in the season. The Minnesota Twins, for instance, have already had five games pushed back through the first two weeks of the season, including the entirety of their weekend series with the Chicago White Sox. As any baseball fan would tell you, finding three free days for two teams in the middle of summer is no easy task.
The severe weather has also hurt some teams that had already been struggling with attendance numbers, with the Orioles and White Sox both having trouble filling seats due in part to cold conditions.
There’s not much Major League Baseball can do to compete with the weather, but if they continue to reschedule games at such a high rate, teams might have to begin to find some creative solutions as schedules tighten later in the season. Get ready for a lot of double-headers.