The Baltimore Orioles very quietly set their game start times for 2017 over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays. There doesn’t appear to be much change in anything year-over-year, although a few oddities:
- Opening Day: 3:05 PM start vs. Toronto
- Mon-Sat. games: 7:05 PM
- Sunday games: 1:35 PM
- April 8, May 20, June 17, July 1: 4:05 PM
- August 23, 30: 3:05 PM
- May 24: 12:35 PM
- May 29, Sept. 4: 1:35 PM (Memorial Day/Labor Day)
- June 3: 7:15 PM
Presumably the 4 PM starts are done to accomodate the FOX window, which appears to be at 7 PM on those Saturdays. On the June 3rd date, the Orioles and BoSox appear to be the FOX game. The August 23rd and 30th dates appear to be getaway day games to culminate series’ and presumably the O’s agreed to earlier start times to accommodate their opponent who will be traveling immediately following the game.
MLB announced earlier this winter that we’d see more weekday matinee games – on getaway days, that is. And I for one think that’s a good thing. First off day games during the week are great for fans. I remember in the spring of 2006 my late grandfather was weeks away from dying. It was an incredibly stressful time for our family; a family friend invited my Dad and I to a Wednesday afternoon 1 PM game between the Nationals and Reds at RFK Stadium. We had a great time, not only because we burned a vacation day, but it was a great stress reliever.
But it also impacts teams in a positive manner, as they aren’t traveling during overnight hours. I’ve always heard that NFL teams view Thursday night games as almost having an additional bye week. I suspect that baseball players might see day games in a similar light. While the turnaround is harsh on the front end, afterwards you get a nice little gap in between games and it’s almost like an additional day off. Sundays obviously are this way.
Speaking of which, as of right now the Orioles aren’t slated for any Sunday Night games this year – home or away. Now in fairness, ESPN hasonly released part of it’s first half slate of games. However it would have stood to reason to me that a team which was featured in the MLB post season last year would have had at least one Sunday prime time game – more so than say Miami or Houston.
This is a small point for sure. However keep in mind that teams get national TV revenue when they’re featured in prime time games like Sunday Night Baseball. Time will tell though, maybe things will change.