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Get rid of the off day after Opening Day

The Tigers are one of many teams that schedule an off day on the day after Opening Day. They need to end that practice.

Leon Halip

It's time to kill the buzz kill. Baseball fans wait all winter -- a particularly brutal winter in the case of Tigers fans this past off season -- for baseball to resume. Opening day is like a big holiday in Detroit. One of the most anticipated days of the year, surpassed by very few other days on the calendar. But right after opening day, there's a day off. What a buzz kill!

The reason for having a day off on the day after opening day is that the club doesn't want to deal with the possibility of a postponement due to weather conditions, and then they've sold a packed stadium full of tickets for an event that isn't going to be Opening Day after all. In the event of a postponement, the club's policy -- as with all teams -- is to issue a "rain check".

In fact, that has to be where the term "rain check" comes from -- from rained out events. It doesn't come from when you see a pair of Nike socks on sale at K Mart and they run out of them, so they give you a rain check to get them when the new shipment arrives at the store. No, the term has to come from Opening Day baseball in places like Detroit.

So you get this rain check and take it to a ticket window and you can swap it for any other game the rest of the season, as long as there are seats available. The problem is, you bought a ticket for "Opening Day" and there is only one of those. It's the first possible game that you can go to after a brutal winter has made your life miserable for several months. Getting a ticket for a later game would be like K Mart giving you a voucher for a pair of Hanes gold toe socks instead of the Nike ones that you wanted. It's just not the same thing!

If the Tigers had a game scheduled on the day after opening day, and the real opening day was rained out, or snowed out, all the people who had tickets for opening day would have to try and get a ticket for the next day's game. But not all of the same seats would be available, and not even enough seats would be available. It's a logistical nightmare. So they go with plan buzz kill.

But if they have an off day on the day after opening day, they simply honor the opening day tickets a day later, and the problem is solved. So, that's what they do, and we get buzz kill on the day after opening day.

I have a better solution. How about we just make the first game that is played the official "opening day" game. Anyone that has a ticket for opening day gets the seats for the first game of the season. Those who have- or had- tickets for the next game are the ones that will have to get a rain check.

This solution makes sense for a number of reasons. First, baseball is more important than the Julian Calendar. Just because your ticket says "March 31" doesn't mean you should have to go on that exact date. Your ticket is for opening day, whatever date that is. You didn't buy the ticket because it's March 31st. As for those unfortunate fans who have tickets for game two- there was always a risk that your game would be postponed. It's a risk you take when you buy a ticket to an outdoor event in Detroit. So you get bumped. Take a rain check.

Waiting all winter for baseball to start, then giving us one game, then a day off without baseball just sucks. It's like getting your present on Christmas, and then you can't play with it the next day. Enough of that. It's just time to kill the buzz kill.