In Praise of Day Baseball
April 9, 2014
Beating the Yankees is sweet. Tuesday's game was particularly so for me as it came during a glorious stretch of daytime baseball.
I love day baseball. I appreciate listening to the more common Sunday afternoon games throughout the season, which provide a welcome counter to my recurring summertime chore of cutting the lawn. But I adore the sounds of the comparatively rare weekday baseball broadcast that break up the grind of an afternoon at the office as if they were a baserunner staring down a shortstop on a would-be double play ball.
Day baseball became a special occasion at my previous job. My buddy and I developed a routine whereby one of us would make a special two-word announcement to the other early in the work day: "Day Baseball." Think of it as a more concise version of the GEICO hump day commercial, sans a talking camel.
The day baseball announcement meant we would each be following the game as part of our workday responsibilities. In a best-case scenario, we would end up at an offsite "meeting" to watch the final innings.
Such was the case on Sept. 13, 2012. It was late enough in that surprise 2012 run that each game did in fact matter. The O's scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning; the Rays tied the game in the top of the eighth; and by the time extra innings hit, we were talking business at the nearby Carolina Ale House.
The moment was meaningful, and so, too, was the game as it officially ended the O's run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
Another day baseball game that comes to mind, this one for the wrong reasons, was a Thursday afternoon match-up on July 30, 2009. It was the final game of Brad Bergesen's promising rookie campaign. A Billy Butler liner in the seventh inning struck Bergesen in the shin and ended his season prematurely. I enjoy listening to day baseball enough that I did so for a team that improved to 44-57 with that win.
(Excuse me while I take a moment to shudder at the pre-Buck Showalter days in Baltimore.)
Due to some odd schedulemaking, the Orioles had daytime tilts on Sunday in Detroit and on Monday and Tuesday in New York. It was reportedly brutal for the players, who found themselves road weary and sleep deprived headed into the season's second week. For the fans - or at least this fan and anyone like me - it provided two wonderful days of listening to baseball at the office.
Here are the remaining day baseball games on the 2014 schedule that fall during the work week. (Note: the O's also have a day game with the Red Sox on Friday, July 4.)
Wednesday, April 16 vs. Tampa Bay, 12:35 p.m.
Monday, April 21 at Boston, 11:05 a.m.
Wednesday, May 14 vs. Detroit, 12:35 p.m.
Monday, May 26 at Milwaukee 2:10 p.m.
Wednesday, June 18 at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 22 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Boston, 1:35 p.m.