I fully understand how the sun crosses across the sky from east to west. (It's on a track like a monorail that gets pulled by a string.) So, I don’t fault networks noting East Coast Time first. My complaint is otherwise.
Once upon a time, this matter of starting time would be presented in a “congenial” way, We'd hear an announcer say, “8 PM on the East and West Coast, 7 in the Midwest.” Now though, perhaps because it's the days of Twitter and 140 characters, that seems to take too many words. So, instead they often just say “8 PM EST. You do the math.”
But it’s now even worse than that on the MLB website.
A friend of mine, the oft-mentioned Christopher Dunn, is going to the Dodgers-Cardinals playoff game tonight at Dodgers Stadium. (He would call it the Cardinals-Dodgers game, but we hear living in Cubs Land don't cut the St. Louis ballclub that much slack. He's an otherwise good fellow, and inveterate.) I told him how lucky was that the game would be played at night, at 6:30 PM, since (for those of you not here in the Southland) it's going to be in the upper-90s today. He wrote back that, no, the game actually starts at 3:30. And he was prepared to sizzle.
Herein lies the problem.
On the MLB website, they list all of the playoff games for the day, and for the Dodgers-Cardinals game it just says, “Tonight 6:30 PM.” That's pretty clear, I think -- Tonight, 6:30 PM. Not even a "All times East Coast" at the top of the page. Just simply and plainly, "Tonight 6:30 PM." That’s why I got the starting time wrong when I wrote him. I knew the game was being played in Los Angeles, so I figured that that was the “starting time.”
Silly me, I forgot that not just the world, but all known time in the universe begins in New York City.
By the way, if you happen to be watching the game, and haven't noticed it yet, Ex-Brooklynite and therefore I assume lifelong Dodger fan Larry King is sitting in the first row directly behind home plate. (For those who tune in, he's sitting a bit off to the right, just above a blue "Postseason" sign.) I only mention this because I haven't heard the announcers mention him yet -- though I may have missed it when I turned the sound off to listen to Vin Scully on the radio. And also because he's had more camera time by the third inning that all his years on CNN.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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