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Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 10/23/2004

Baseball causing some late bedtimes

If you've recently found yourself experiencing a lot of sleep-deprivation, it's probably due to one of the following:

● It's hard to fall asleep knowing the Buckeyes are nearly a month into the Big Ten football schedule and are still seeking their first conference win.

● You're constantly flicking the TV remote control, looking for a Red Wings game or a Blue Jackets game, or any National Hockey League match, for that matter.

●Your body's clock is anxiously awaiting Daylight Savings Time, and it just can't fall asleep knowing that once all the watches and clocks are turned back an hour it will be able to catch up on some well-needed rest and z-z-z-z-z-s.

● Major League Baseball's prime-time TV playoff schedule has had you staying up long past Ted Koppel has signed off and gone to bed.

The latter applies to me, now that MLB's playoff format has unofficially become midnight madness.

Night after night I found myself clicking off the set long past midnight following another thrilling game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Whether the games lasted only three hours or nearly six, the 8:20 p.m. starting times just don't make sense, particularly for the Yankees and Red Sox, two teams that play in the Eastern time zone.

Frankly it's a shame, considering baseball has long been recognized as the ultimate daytime sport and has always seemed best suited for play during the day.

The outcome of these games shouldn't be determined after midnight unless there are extraordinary circumstances, such as an extended rain delay. Furthermore, television networks such as Fox and ESPN shouldn't dictate when the first pitch is thrown at a Yankees-Red Sox game. It seems as if a greater premium is put on TV ratings than the product itself.

Is Curt Schilling or Mariano Rivera better throwing fastballs after 10 p.m. or 10 a.m.? Is Alex Rodriguez or Manny Ramirez mentally sharper and their hand-eye coordination better after midnight or after noon? After playing most of the season in temperatures normally above 70 degrees, does it make sense to start games at night in the fall knowing that the temperature could dip below 40?

Why does baseball usually begin the season with day games, yet close it out in the fall by putting us to sleep at night? Whatever happened to the daytime baseball playoff games I recall listening to in 1976 on my Bicentennial transistor radio with an earplug while sitting at my desk in grade school. Like my old transistor, daytime baseball playoff games are a thing of the past. Too bad.

None of it really makes any sense.

Of course, the networks, and apparently Major League Baseball, aren't oncerned about sense as much as they are about making dollars.

WTVG-TV, Channel 13, the local ABC affiliate, has found a sports reporter/anchor to replace Dave Chudowsky, who is moving on to the Ohio News Network in Columbus in December.

Channel 13 news director Brian Trauring said the station has hired Jason Brown, who has worked most of his career in the Charlotte area.

He's spent his last eight years in Charlotte, but started his career working in Mansfield at locally owned WMFD-TV. Brown is an Ohio University graduate. Trauring said Brown's starting date has not been determined.

Channel changing

t●Fox Sports Ohio is attempting to supply NHL fans with a hockey fix of re-runs of memorable Columbus Blue Jackets games. The next airing will take place on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. Ron Tugnutt records the first Blue Jackets shutout in a 2-0 victory over Montreal on Dec. 18, 2000. The replays of various Blue Jackets games will air throughout November and December.

t●ESPN will air Sports Illustrated at 50 on Monday at 9. It is a look back at the impact of Sports Illustrated on society over the past 50 years.

Also, ESPN Classic has joined forces with CBS' 60 Minutes for a new show looking back on significant sports figures and moments.

The debut of 60 Minutes on Classic airs Tuesday at 8 and will look back at the 30th anniversary of the "Rumble in the Jungle." Additionally, ESPN Classic will devote 12 hours (noon-midnight) on Oct. 30 to the memorable and historic clash between heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which occurred Oct. 30, 1974, in Zaire.



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