Buck Showalter has told a version of the story several times since he took over as O’s manager.
He said his players should always remember that, while they are playing a West Coast game in a place like Seattle, somewhere back in Baltimore some fans are watching at 12:30 or 1 a.m., hanging on every pitch, rooting on their team and missing sleep with another workday looming. Now he can amend that to 3:30 or 4 a.m.
This week, maybe more fans than ever were watching at those hours with the O’s in a pennant race and with so much riding on every pitch.
For someone like me that works in the sport, a West Coast game is just another game. Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., I’m almost always up covering a game, writing about a game, watching a game, hosting a radio show or sometimes trying to do all of that at once. Bedtime comes at an hour that most of the working world cannot relate to.
So, how did the fans that do have more “normal hours” in their life handle the late-night West Coast games?
Did you still watch every pitch? Did you make any changes to your schedule to accommodate the late starts? Did you just cut out sleep time that will never be made up?
Maybe you just can’t watch at that hour, no matter how important the game is. Life does go on during baseball season, I try to remember sometimes.
Somewhere around, maybe it was the 13th or 14th inning the other night, a friend texted me to say what a shame it was that as such an important game continued on, so many of the fans back home would have to miss the ending. I thought about that, and it was disappointing, but surely true.
Anyway, no more of that the rest of this season. The regular season, anyway. Some of those October games can go pretty late, but I’m sure that would be a good problem to have.
How are you holding up O’s fans? Any good stories of staying up until 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, or at least trying to?