Red Sox games may start a bit earlier in 2023
It’s been a long time since Major League Baseball games were primarily played in the light of day.
Night baseball has been around since the 1880s, but the shift from daylight to night lights began in earnest in the 1930s. Fenway Park finally installed lights in 1947.
Since then, Boston Red Sox fans have gotten pretty comfortable with a schedule mostly comprised of 7:10 PM starts, but that longtime constant may be changing in the near future. The day after the final game of the regular season, Red Sox President Sam Kennedy detailed how the organization is discussing possibly bumping up the first pitch for the squad’s nightcaps. Per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo, Kennedy said that he and his team have been speaking with not just the front office but Alex Cora and the coaching staff as well, in regards to starting night games earlier. Kennedy’s belief is that by having games start earlier it will allow Red Sox Nation to enjoy them better:
"“We’re looking at start times in the context of what’s best for our fans, what’s best for the baseball operation. We’ve had lots of discussions with players and (Alex Cora) and his staff and baseball operations. We are looking at potentially some different start times next year.”"
While Kennedy didn’t give any exact times that the team could be looking at, Cotillo speculated that either 6:10 or 6:40 could be on tap for the Red Sox in 2023.
I’m all in on starting these games earlier. I know for some, that 7:10 is something to live and die by, but the idea of having the first pitch even a half hour earlier is a dream come true. Listen, I’m a guy that has to get up early for work in the morning, cut me some slack with these 11 pm end times!
Remember when they had those random 6:30 starts a little while back, it was awesome! We had things wrapped, good or bad, before the 10 pm news, it was beautiful. Now, I’m obviously biased as I’m thinking solely for my own benefit here, I know not every Red Sox fan has the schedule I do. For some, that 7:10 start is the definition of being able to make it to the game or not due to work. But this isn’t just about us working stiffs, we have to think of the children. The children!
How many times have you tuned into a game and seen the camera catch kids snoozing away on their parent’s laps? If we can get some earlier starts next season, those poor sleeping kiddos may actually get to stay up for the whole game. What a concept! Not to forget the youngsters at home that are sent up to bed with the game only in the early innings because we’ve got pitchers using every second of the clock before hurling.
As far as the players are concerned, the bump in time could alter their preparation but it’s not significant enough to truly throw anyone off. Surely, losing that half hour to an hour isn’t worse than traveling time zones or having a game delayed due to weather. With enough notice, anyone and everyone from players to fans can adjust to the new times and schedule.
Still, nothing is set in stone, and Kennedy himself made sure to be clear that these are just preliminary talks within the organization. Even with the likely increase in ticket costs and with a miserable season sprinkled on top, the Red Sox CEO believes Fenway Park will be crammed full when Opening Day rolls around in 2023.
"“We do not anticipate a big drop just by virtue of the fact we’ve got the most loyal fans who have supported us over these past two decades,” Kennedy said. “We’re appreciative of that and we anticipate the fan support, but obviously it’s our job to improve over this off-season.”"
The Red Sox ownership group gets crushed pretty frequently, quite a bit by myself as well, but I feel that this move could be a positive one for all involved. Earlier games mean that younger fans have a better chance of not only attending but seeing the entire game but it also benefits the players. Being able to finish play even the slightest bit early means that the rest and recovery period can begin that much sooner. If the Sox do decide to start games earlier in 2023 it really does feel like a win all around, and I’m in favor of it.