It’s a Friday, August 23, and the Giants aren’t playing a game today. That is, if I’m being honest here, kinda weird. I can’t remember the Giants being off on a whole lot of Fridays, which is traditionally a day when 100% of baseball teams play 100% of the time.
So I looked it up. I went back through Giants schedules to check how many August Fridays they’ve had off lately. Then not so lately. Then, because I was on a roll, I went back to 1958, when the team moved to San Francisco.
The last time the Giants had a Friday off in August was two years ago, because of a rainout in Washington. They made it up in a doubleheader that they split two days later — the Giants won the first game behind a nice start by Chris Stratton and three hits from Joe Panik, and then lost the second on an 11th inning Howie Kendrick grand slam off of Albert Suarez.
Zooming back in time 23 years, the Giants did not play on August 12, 19, or 26 in 1994. That’s because no one was playing Major League Baseball at the time, because of a strike when owners tried to unilaterally impose a salary cap and make several other changes to the economic structure of the game. Players did not like those changes, owners insisted the changes were necessary, and so the entire stretch run of the season was wiped out.
Setting our Wayback Machine for another 13 years in the past, the previous August Friday that the Giants didn’t play on was August 7, 1981, also because of a strike. This one was because owners insisted that any team that lost a free agent should be free to pick a player off the roster of the team that signed the free agent. Eventually, the owners and players settled on a different form of free agent compensation, and the season resumed.
And that’s it for August Fridays on which the San Francisco Giants did not play a game. Since moving to San Francisco in 1958, there have now been seven Fridays in August when the Giants didn’t play: two because of rain, four because of labor actions, and one because of a weird-ass schedule. This is not the first instance of the 2019 schedule being weird-ass, and it’s a bizarre own goal to not play on a day when literally everyone expects you to play.
One of the joys of baseball is consistency. They play every day, you know they play every day, and, even when the entire team seems to have been flown in from a tropical island that does not know what sports are, there’s a comfort in that. Putting that aside because the Giants and A’s must each get exactly two home games per year against each other is silly. I mean, what are we supposed to do on our Friday night now? Interact with other human beings like normies?
Baseball didn’t think about us, the Internet Baseball Nerds, when they made this schedule, and that is truly a shame.