The Yankees will have a scheduled off day today as the nation relaxes and enjoys the final weekend holiday of the summer. Across the country people will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and throwing the ball around. It is the final summer holiday and as the official sport of summer, baseball should be in every park. However, the schedule makers, in their infinite wisdom, disagree stating the most famous baseball team in history, a team synonymous with the sport itself, should not play today.
Off days are a precious commodity to a major league baseball team, especially one fighting for its playoff lives as the Yankees currently are. However, this is no reason that this off day could not be rescheduled. The Yankees are coming off a road trip that ended in Toronto, not California. The trip back to New York is one of the shortest in the majors. There is no reason the Yankees could not have either stayed in Toronto another day or started a new series in New York today. The schedule is littered with such occurrences. The off day could be rescheduled for Thursday or even Tuesday. There is no law that mandates off days only occur on Mondays or Thursdays, despite nearly every off day during the season coming on a Monday or Thursday.
As it stands, instead of millions of Yankees fans being able to enjoy a Yankee game, either in person or on TV or radio as they enjoy their Labor Day barbecue, there will be no game today. Baseball fans regularly fill stadiums on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day so there is little argument that a Labor Day crowd would be anything less than another great draw. All teams should be playing on every holiday over the summer. The summer holidays are all uniquely American celebrations and out National Pastime should continue to be ingrained as an unequivocal component of those holidays. A summer holiday without baseball is like Christmas without Santa and Major League Baseball needs to mandate its schedule makers to ensure that the Yankees, and every team, plays ball on each and every one of them.