The Cleveland Guardians should make every Sunday home game an 11:35 a.m. start
I’ve now tasted an 11:35 a.m. Sunday start at Progressive Field, and it’s all I want moving forward.
The Cleveland Guardians’ series finale against the Oakland Athletics Sunday started at the eyebrow-raising time of 11:35 a.m., thanks to being the game of the week on the Peacock streaming platform.
And while the start time was met with some confusion and righteous anger of how to proceed if one doesn’t actually have Peacock, I do have to admit that Sunday start times rule and should absolutely be the norm moving forward.
The minor leagues have been no stranger to weirdo start times for years, and Major League Baseball has begun to dabble with different starts in recent years. Even the Guardians have begun starting their weeknight April and May games at 6:10 in the effort to get more people to Progressive Field.
But the 11:35 a.m. game time is a beautiful thing that shouldn’t be such a rarity. For one thing, I have small children and we brought them to the game Sunday (everyone knows the world should revolve around parents with two toddlers). On what would end up being a sunny and pretty toasty June day, things didn’t get uncomfortable for them until about the seventh inning. To that point, the sun wasn’t even really able to cook most of us inside the stadium.
Best of all, the game ended at a far more reasonable time that would allow anybody to enjoy the rest of their Sunday afternoon, whether it’s heading somewhere else downtown or giving the kids more time to nap at home and gifting a parent with a sweet, uninterrupted hour to perhaps read a book or just stare at the wall in silence.
It was a delightful novelty, getting to enjoy a weekend major-league game that started before noon. Despite a condensed, maybe more hectic morning for some people, I think it was actually a far more relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere for most of us, which is really what these Sunday games are all about.
One figures too that the Guardians players themselves might not be all that opposed to more 11:35 a.m. starts, especially when they have to leave for a nine-game road trip right after. But it also gives players more of an afternoon to spend with their own family; it’s a win-win for everybody.
This is more or less me simply trying to manifest another 11:35 a.m. start somewhere down the road in the hopes that it really starts to catch on as a concept. There is no need for these Peacock exclusives to be the only 11:35 a.m. game in town, and if the Guardians were really trying to get creative in bringing more fans down to the ballpark, this would certainly be another great tool in their arsenal.