Right Field

What Are They Thinking About at ESPN and the Little League World Series? [UPDATED]

And no, I’m not talking about the way ESPN turned yesterday’s tribute to Cristina Taylor-Green (the Little Leaguer killed in the shooting spree in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was wounded) into an Obama campaign spot — because, you know, we’d never want our sports coverage to go political, right?

I’m talking about the weather — specifically, the way the LLWS reacted to Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Irene. Yesterday, the championship game scheduled for today — which will pit the Japanese squad against the U.S. champion, Huntington Beach, Calif. — was moved earlier, to noon from the originally scheduled 3 p.m. slot. I thought it was odd when I first heard it. Williamsport, where they’re playing the LLWS, is in north-central PA. The worst of the storm (the eye of which is well east of W’port) is supposed to be the early part of Sunday. Then, this morning, I checked the local weather. It is supposed to rain until around 3 p.m., at which point they anticipate partly sunny skies. So it seems they have moved the game from the best part of the day to a rainy part of the day.

Am I missing something? I’m not trying to be a wise guy. I just wonder why they changed the schedule in a way that ill-serves the game. And given how manic they are about injuries (it’s amazing how much pitch counts have changed the game since back when I was a lad), why move the game to a time when the conditions will make injuries more likely? I usually assume that television is to blame for all stupid scheduling in sports, but in this case the game was already scheduled to be televised at 3 p.m., so the last minute switch is guaranteed to hurt ratings. So I just don’t get what’s going on. 

UPDATE: Never mind — they’ve moved the game back to 3 p.m. Bulletin here.

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