(AKA How to stop missing your team’s games!)
Thanks to the wonders of MLB.TV, pretty much every game can be seen live over the ‘net. The only handicap in Britain is the time difference factor.
Night games start in the early hours of the morning over here, so these are often out of bounds when you have to get up to work the following day (no problem for tax-dodging students mind you!). However, over the course of a month, you can normally take in a fair few games for your favourite team at a reasonable hour. During April, Oakland played 25 times (including tonight’s match against the Royals which I’m half-watching as I type now), and nine of these started no later than 21:05 in Britain. That’s not a bad return on your subscription, particularly if you watch plenty of other games along the way.
For me, the most annoying thing about the time difference is not the games that you cannot easily watch, but the games that you could have watched had you worked the time difference out correctly! Last season I missed several games in this way, and I decided that it wouldn’t happen again.
I now draw up my own schedule of fixtures for Oakland at the start of each month. Just by spending ten minutes working out the British starting times for your team, a year of frustration and swearing can be avoided (depending on how your team plays I suppose)! Each team’s schedule can be found on their respective official sites through MLB.com. Don’t forget to check whether the starting times are listed as Eastern time, Central time or Pacific time. Which time zone is used is obviously dependent on the time zone of the team you are looking at. Therefore if the Mets (ET) are playing the Giants (PT), the game would be listed as 13:00 on the Mets site, and 10:00 on the Giants site. Eastern time is one hour ahead of Central and three hours ahead of Pacific.
Here is a list of time zone conversions to help you construct your own schedule:
(fd) = the following day.
Generally, teams will play day games at the weekend and on a Thursday (on account of at least one, if not both teams needing to travel to another city that day for their weekend series). Different teams have different traditions and practices. The Cubs for instance only play a small number of night games at Wrigley (and didn’t play any until 1988).
Once you’ve sorted your schedule, you should never needlessly miss another game again (in theory!). I even go so far as to highlight the game’s on my A’s schedule that I know I will be able to watch live. And if you ever need a time zone conversion quickly, just head over to www.timeanddate.com, and click on Time Zone converter.