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Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Staying awake for Game 7 ...

Might our long national nightmare finally be over? Bob Wolfley: I hope you're amused -- as I am -- when commissioner Bud Selig suggests that gosh, he'd love to start the games earlier but of course such things are completely out of his hands.

Look: Nothing happens on commissioner Bud's watch without commissioner Bud's say. Major League Baseball took Fox's billion dollars (or whatever), and in return Fox bought (among other things) the freedom to start the games at whatever time it likes. There wasn't a moment, after the deal was signed, where Selig smacked his forehead and said, "We gave them what?" MLB could have contractually bound Fox (or whomever) to start the games earlier; MLB chose not to do that, presumably because it would have cost MLB some money.

All of which is highly defensible, except for the part where commissioner Bud Selig pretends that his hands are completely clean.

Don't worry, though ... this is not completely about bashing Bud. Because I also have to ask: Should we really care? Will starting games 20 or 30 minutes earlier really make a material difference to anyone?

Yeah, I suppose that it would. It would make a difference to the many thousands of fans who retired to bed before the final pitch, or who fell asleep on the couch and missed something in those last 20 or 30 minutes. But this is not a matter of national importance. It's 20 or 30 minutes, six or seven times every fall.