Road trips are rough on major league teams, particularly when making the big leap from Eastern time to Pacific time or vice versa. It’s also an issue for us baseball fans, who have to show nimble ingenuity to catch the broadcasts of our favorite teams.
This week it’s been a trade-off for me: the San Francisco Giants were at Citi Field in New York for a series with the Mets. I didn’t catch a single pitch of yesterday’s day game, which came smack in the middle of a busy work day for me out here in California.
The Cleveland Indians, however, were in Oakland for a series with the Athletics, and I managed to catch a few innings of one of the games on TV the other night. It was nice to see the Tribe live.
I spent most of the 80s in Central time in Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska. I have to say on balance it was easier to follow the Cubs’, Brewers’ and Royals’ road trips from there than it is to keep up with East Coast or West Coast teams from each respective time zone.
In my native Eastern time, I could gorge myself on all the Eastern and Central teams but the teams out west were a bit of a mystery.
The narrowest perspective came when I lived in New Jersey and worked in New York City. There was one team at the center of the universe, the Yankees, with occasional acknowledgment of the Boston Red Sox. (I can’t recall clearly, but I believe there was a National League team in the New York metro area.)
While the Internet has made baseball a full immersion experience around the clock, there’s still an advantage in living out West. The results come in from across the map as I watch or listen to an evening game. And newspaper coverage is more complete than it is in the east, because so many games finish after East Coast deadlines.
If I had to pick purely for baseball reasons, I think I’d keep my TV and transistor radio right here in Pacific time.