For the 2nd time this year, some Major League Baseball fans took to social media during the 4th of July weekend to point out that four MLB teams had the holiday off. Members of the media were further outraged when it was discovered no baseball games would be played in New York City or Philadelphia, two places of importance in making July 4th America’s Independence Day. To those in the stands and in the press box, I say, “SHUT UP” and join the 21st century, where business overrides traditions and holidays are just another day on the calendar.
Baseball fans were shocked in late May when only 24 of MLB’s 30 teams took to the diamond on Memorial Day, a date when fans probably know if their teams are contenders or pretenders. This past weekend, as baseball reached the halfway mark in the 2022 season, four teams had the 4th of July off, including the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. New York baseball fans were further saddened when they saw the New York Mets fly to Cincinnati for a three-game road trip after Sunday’s game, leaving the city with only a food eating contest as its holiday competition.
Unlike Memorial Day and Labor Day, which are always observed on Mondays, July 4th moves around on the calendar from year to year, with our nation’s birthday landing on Monday this year. Because of this simple fact, it is not surprising that four baseball teams had the holiday off this year, since, with so many games to be played in so many cities, travel days are required, with Mondays and Thursdays being the most common.
Think about it: If it is normal for teams to play three games series on the road or home against a team, and there are seven days in a week, unless they are playing a rare four-game series, there will be a day off during the week. With teams normally playing three or four-game series that end on Sunday, Monday becomes the most likely days of the week for teams to have off … even when that Monday is a national holiday.
As someone who lives in New York, it is also not a surprise that the Mets were shipped out of town for just three days before returning home this coming weekend. Why, you ask? Because the last thing the city government wants is a baseball game being played at 1:00 PM and letting out tens of thousands of fans just as they are about to close highways on both sides of the East River ahead of a firework show expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people. Nor would those in the NYPD want to have the Mets playing a night game in Queens, just as much of the holiday traffic is returning to the city while that same fireworks show is still taking place or just ending. For even a city like New York, one big event at a time is preferred, and on the 4th of July, only one is desired, which is why the city’s MLB teams are asked to take a trip or a day off on holidays.
For the older MLB fans who still think they will see teams with doubleheaders on holidays like they did in the 1960’s, please join the 21st Century and understand that unless there is a game to be made up or some other scheduling issue, all doubleheaders are part of history. Fans are lucky to see “straight” doubleheaders where only one ticket is needed since franchises want “split” doubleheaders that see the stadium opened, emptied between games, and then reopened for the second game.
As for the patriotic holidays in which Americans are suppose to fly the flag, moms are to make apple pie and the family will attend a baseball game, those days are over to everyone. Younger families are more interested in traveling than being tied down to a baseball game, and government officials are more than happy to lighten the load on their police and fire departments who are probably dealing with people hurting themselves with illegal fireworks and burning themselves on grills.
In short, Major League Baseball is already working on the 2023 schedule, and they know which cities don’t want their teams at home during three-days weekends, because those cities know when their baseball fans go out of town. So, I hope you enjoyed the holiday this year, because I am sure the players and front offices of four baseball teams enjoyed feeling like normal Americans for one day when they could enjoy the holiday as well.
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Stop Getting Mad When MLB Teams Don’t Play During Holidays | TooAthletic.com