MLB fans deserve and need April baseball games

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On Tuesday, the MLB Players Union rejected the latest and greatest offer from MLB owners to end the lockdown that began Dec. 1 of last year. The rejection and failure to agree on a new deal will result in the cancellation of matches for the 2022 season, including Opening Day and other matches scheduled for April. The canceled games will mark the second time in the past three years that MLB games scheduled for April have been canceled, and despite the negative stigma surrounding the first month of the season, baseball fans need baseball to ‘April.

Most people think of MLB’s opening day as the games’ only major event in late March or April, but the return of baseball every day means something extra for fans who love the game. t a new season, every team has a chance to bring hope and excitement to their fans, whether a team won more than 100 games or less than 60 games the previous year. Atlanta Braves fans and Baltimore Orioles fans can share the same level of excitement for their teams in the first weeks of April that won’t exist three months later in July.

One of the biggest problems MLB baseball has faced over the past decade is growing the sport to younger audiences, especially elementary school kids. Baseball games in April are vital due to spring break across the country, which allows the younger generation to take a week off from school, with baseball games every day. Since 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current lockdown, MLB has failed to take advantage of the week-long window opened by Spring Break. Gone is the opportunity for elementary school students to tune in to catch a one-day game they likely would have missed had they been at school.

Another reason no game in April is unfair to baseball fans is the alternative it offers to NBA basketball and NHL hockey. While the quality of MLB games won’t be the best in the first month of the season, fans will still be watching due to the combination of warmer weather and the soon-to-be-coming summer.

Canceling and reducing the total number of regular season games in 2022 will also limit potential breakout opportunities for unknown players. Every April, there is at least one pitcher or position player who takes advantage of an opportunity presented to him at the start of the season. Last season for the Chicago White Sox, designated hitter Yermin Mercedes won the American League’s April Rookie of the Month award for a historic performance in the first month of the season.

From a local perspective, the loss of the April games is extremely disappointing for Cubs and White Sox fans. Both teams’ fanbases make the effort when possible to attend games in cold, humid weather at both Wrigley Field and Gauranteed Rate Field. Going to games in cold weather in April has become a tradition in Chicago, as Cubs and White Sox fans are constantly shown bundled up in blankets or sipping hot chocolate during early-season home games.

The cancellation of April games is particularly unfair to White Sox fans, as the team is currently in the middle of a league window. The South Side Chicago baseball team has made the playoffs in the previous two seasons, but the majority of White Sox fans were unable to attend games in April of those seasons due to the postponement of the season. in 2020 and heavy restrictions on limited participation last season. Many baseball analysts have picked the White Sox as potential World Series contenders in 2022, but fans of the team will wonder if a season will ever happen.

No MLB game in April as a result of pandemic restrictions and the lifting of mandates will have a negative financial effect on the business enterprises that rely on Chicago baseball. Wrigleyville bars have always benefited from the extra revenue generated by Cubs games and fan traffic in and around the ballpark before and after games. For bar businesses already financially crippled over the past two years, they will not get the revenue needed if the 2022 season had started on time.

The 1994 MLB strike cost fans the end of the 1994 season and that year’s World Series, and they never forgave the owners and players. Whenever a deal is reached to allow the 2022 MLB season to begin, baseball games will be played, but fans might not be there. Ironically, fans would put up with cold temperatures and unfavorable conditions to watch the game they love, but not attend games in more ideal conditions as a means of reimbursing MLB for costing them games in April.

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