Monday, February 11, 2013

Mets and Yankees 2013 home openers will be for first time in history the same day and same hour, April 1 at 1:05pm

2/10/13, "A Baseball City to Be Divided on Opening Day," NY Times, David Waldstein

"For Mets and Yankees fans, this opening day will be like no other. Owing to a whopper of a scheduling quirk, the teams will open their seasons at home on the same day, at the same hour, for the first time, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

At roughly 1:05 p.m. on April 1, barring poor weather, a Yankees and a Mets pitcher — probably C. C. Sabathia and Johan Santana — will unleash their respective first pitches of the season on mounds less than 10 miles apart....

“Nobody is particularly happy about it,” said Katy Feeney, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president for scheduling and club relations. “But it’s unlikely to happen again anytime soon.”
Normally, the Yankees and the Mets do not play at home at the same time, on opening day or otherwise. There have been the occasional series when both have played in New York at the same time, including last season.

According to Feeney, the simultaneous home openers resulted from several factors. First, this is the first year with two leagues of 15 teams each and the first year there will be an interleague game nearly every day, causing some scheduling difficulties. That trend starts with the Los Angeles Angels visiting the Cincinnati Reds on April 1 for the first interleague opening day game. 

The Mets-Yankees situation was also caused by a change in the date of the All-Star Game, which is normally the second Tuesday in July. This season it is scheduled for July 16, the third Tuesday of the month, and when every other factor was taken into account, the only way to make it all work was to have the Mets and the Yankees play at home on the same day, Feeney said. 

The last time two New York teams opened their seasons at home on the same day was in 1956, when the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers did so. In those days, with three teams in the city, it was much more common. And so on April 17, 1956, the Dodgers lost to the Phillies, 8-6, at Ebbets Field and the Giants beat the Pirates, 4-3 at the Polo Grounds."...

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