The Giants, for the first time since America entered World War 2, had a scheduled off day on the Fourth of July this year. That’s weird!
The Giants weren’t the only team to have yesterday off, because that would be extremely challenging from a logistical point of view and would involve one team playing a doubleheader against two different teams. Also off yesterday were the Astros, Orioles, Mets, Diamondbacks, and Rockies. When asked about it, Bruce Bochy said the last time he had July 4 off was 1974, before he became a professional baseball player.
Now, the team has been off on July 4 a couple times since 1941, but not because they were scheduled to be. In 2013, they didn’t play on July 4, but that was because their game in Cincinnati got rained out. In 1981, there was a strike during the middle of the season, and so naturally there were no games.
Neither of those scenarios is anything like this one, though, where Major League Baseball took a look at one of its most historic franchises, then took a look at a day that a huge number of people would have off to celebrate the most American country in the history of the world, and then said, “Eh, whatever.”
But this wasn’t even the only patriotic holiday the Giants had off this year. They also didn’t play on Memorial Day, along with the Braves, Phillies, and Cardinals. While on the one hand you could say it’s an act of generosity to prevent someone from watching the 2019 Giants, on the other hand, like, come on. The Royals played on both days, and the Royals were way worse than the Giants last year and aren’t any better than that this year.
Off days on holidays are a missed opportunity to bring in people who aren’t necessarily able to watch baseball most days. For a while, I worked swing shift, from 3:30 to midnight, and so during the week I barely got to watch any baseball games at all. The Giants played on these two holidays while I was doing that, so I was able to watch them, which was nice for me, because I could pretty much only watch day games during the week.
I’ve switched my schedule since, so it’s not an issue anymore, but any casual sports fan in the Bay Area yesterday wasn’t able to watch the Giants, and so remained a casual sports fan instead of having the chance to become a little bit more of a casual Giants fan. Casual Giants fans bring the Giants and Major League Baseball in general money, which one would assume they would appreciate.
So here’s my humble proposal, MLB: Every team should play on all the big national holidays, even the teams that are perpetually tripping over their own feet and possibly aren’t 100% sure what baseball is.