I was originally going to rip the Detroit Tigers and the rest of Major League Baseball. The Red Sox and Tigers still played after a 4 hour pre-game rain delay on Saturday. That left me baffled and frustrated.
How could an MLB team make their fans pick between two undesirable options? On one hand, a fan could choose to head home after paying for their ticket, wasting their money. The other option is waiting in the park for the game to start, which might not even be played that day.
Having their loyal fans make that choice is nothing sort of disrespectful. This could be many fans only game the entire season. Not to mention, the Tigers are not exactly World Series contenders, at 28-55 before play.
I was going to write how inconsiderate the Tigers and other MLB teams are to their own fans during rain delays. Organizations never refund purchases and also have no problem starting games late at night. They never once consider how their decisions worsen the fan’s viewing experience. Then I heard something interesting from the Tiger’s broadcast.
They said that anyone who bought a ticket to the game would receive a free ticket to a 2019 Tiger’s game. So I immediately needed to edit the topic of my article.
I will give Detroit credit for this awesome gesture as not every team would do this in the same situation. (*Cough Cough, John Henry, Cough*) It appears the Tigers will reward fans who left or stayed with the same deal of a free ticket. Good on the Tigers for paying back their most devoted fans.
However, this game highlights an area MLB needs to improve in, weather delay guidelines. Too many times fans are the ones most impacted by lousy weather. The customers either have to sit through the rain or go home without getting what they paid for. MLB needs to put the fans at the forefront when considering weather delays.
After tonight, it is clear MLB should set a limit on how long a rain delay can be. There simply has to be a cutoff. 4 hours is way too long to be waiting for a game that might be played on a later date. How long the delay can be is debatable, but it is clear MLB needs a set time limit.
There are other guidelines MLB should think about. For example, teams could do what the Tiger’s did today and compensate fans who bought tickets to a delayed or canceled game. MLB needs to remember that the fans should be the number one priority during weather delays, not the players, managers, or owners.
However, this is coming from the same sport who refuses to try and make the game more enjoyable for their customers. (Who doesn’t love watching Marcus Stroman take two and a half minutes in between pitches?) This move, however, seems so obvious even Major League Baseball would see the benefits and make the change. Right!?
Photo Courtesy of Detroit Tigers official Twitter
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