Weather It’s Good or Bad

When the baseball season began in April, weather was a major story. In Cleveland fans filed in to Jacob’s Field to watch the Indians host the Seattle Mariners. The game was called due to inclement weather. That usually means that rain showers caused the game to be rescheduled. In this case it was snow that postponed the game. The teams attempted again to play only to be thwarted by the weather. The extended forecast did not look promising either causing the Indians to move one series to Milwaukee where they could play under the cover of a retractable dome. Many people questioned what the schedulers at Major League Baseball were thinking when they proposed that Cleveland host a series in early April. Now we fast forward to Sunday October 21, 2007 and the Boston Red Sox are hosting the Cleveland Indians in game 7 of the American League Championship Series. This is one of the latest dates scheduled for the ALCS and with the format of the World Series it would place game 7 into November for only the second time in Major League Baseball history. The only other time baseball has been played in November was in 2001 and this was due to the delay in the season as a result of the tragedy on 9/11. So really, this season is the first time that Major League Baseball willingly chose to play baseball in November. The question is, whether weather will play a role in this year’s Fall Classic.

Let me preface this in advance by saying we probably would not be having this discussion if there had been a reversal of two events that occurred during this season. First, if the National League could have somehow shut down Ichiro Suzuki at the All-Star game and erased his two-run inside the park home run at AT&T Park in San Francisco then they could have won that game thereby giving the National League home field advantage in the World Series (please don’t get me started about how stupid it is to tie home field advantage in the World Series to an exhibition game whose starting line-up is voted on by fans from large market teams). Home field advantage would have allowed the National League to have games 1, 2, 6, and 7 at their ballpark while the American League would have games 3, 4, and 5 at their location. The second event that would have eliminated this discussion is if Trevor Hoffman would not have blown the save while playing the Milwaukee Brewers on September 29. If Hoffman would have converted that save opportunity then the San Diego Padres would have eliminated the Colorado Rockies and moved on to the play-offs. Assuming that the Padres would have successfully beaten the Phillies in the NLDS they would have faced the Diamondbacks in the NLCS. The result would have been that both representatives from the National League would have been in warm weather climate (although had San Diego advanced there may be discussion of whether the games could be played there due to the wild fires ravaging that area).

Neither of these events did occur. Instead the Colorado Rockies watched the final game of the ALCS from Coors Field which was blanketed in 4 inches of new snow. Yes that’s what I said, 4 inches of new snow. As is the case in the Rocky Mountains at this time of year it is always possible to get snow. Most of the time the weather warms up and the snow melts but there have been years where snow landed the end of October and stayed on the ground until spring. In this case though it has warmed up and today’s forecast is for sunny and a high temperature of 67 degrees. The Rockies boarded a plane and headed to Boston where the forecast for game 1 of the World Series calls for a high temperature of 57 degrees and rain. In Denver the game day forecast for tomorrow is sunny and 71 degrees. The same can be said for Denver weather on Thursday when game 2 is scheduled. Meanwhile in Boston the forecast for Thursday is 55 degrees and hazy. The series then shifts to Denver for the middle three games. In Boston the extended forecast shows temperatures in the mid-60’s with partly cloudy skies. Meanwhile in Denver the forecast for game 3 is a high of 54 but by game time it should be in the high-40’s. It seems as though the cold weather will follow this series from city to city throughout. The weather could very easily become the primary story of what defines this World Series. I have my own theory as to why the frigid weather is following these two teams. I think it is the Baseball Gods way of saying, “it will be a cold day in baseball when the Diamondbacks are swept out of the play-offs”.

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