The upcoming Yom Kippur sure has been a day of atonement for event planners. After an official protest from Congressman Anthony Weiner, Major League Baseball and ESPN have switched back the starting time of the final regular season Yankees-Red Sox matchup September 27th, that originally had been moved to after sundown on the high holy day so that it could reach a wider television audience. The brouhaha over the conflict comes on the heels of both the Jets and U2 having to scramble their schedules for the same reason.
Bud Selig and ESPN announced the moved after Weiner wrote a public letter saying:
"There's no reason why the largest Jewish community in the country should be punished for a last-minute scheduling swap...Because the game was moved, it now runs into direct conflict with the religious requirement for players, such as Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox...There is the contract, there is the major league rule book, but then there is a higher authority that was dictating a lot of this for fans...For some of us the chance to avoid listening to Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips would be a sign that the big guy upstairs was rewarding us for a year well lived, but those who bought tickets to the game may not be so pleased with the higher powers."
After the change was made, Weiner said, "(Selig) said he agreed, and that he had heard from his own rabbi, that this was a problem...This was basic thing that they can do to be sensitive, and the right thing was done."
ESPN will still televise the game, which is back to its original 1 p.m. start time. For all of the hype surrounding the scheduling, right now it appears the most meaning it could have is if the Red Sox slip in the next few weeks and could be pushed out of the wildcard spot by the Yankees, currently 6.5 games up on Boston for the division lead and 10 games ahead of Texas for a wildcard spot.
Some fans however are looking well past that contest and have their sights set on a possible Bombers return to the World Series. The Post reports that with the high numbers of season ticket holders taking up a smaller seating capacity at the new Yankee Stadium, only 735 tickets would be available to the general public if the team makes it all the way. (Right now the Yanks are the favorites of Vegas oddsmakers with a 17/10 line to win the AL Pennant.)
The small number of tickets available looks truly miniscule when compared to the amount for sale in 1996 when 15,000 tickets were up for grabs for fans willing to camp out overnight in the Bronx. Of course, there's always stubhub, where season ticket holders are already putting potential World Series tickets up for prices starting at $500 for as far ahead as a potential Game 7. But the division playoffs for the outfield and bleachers are currently going for under $100.