Tigers and Lions avoid scheduling conflict that affected Ravens, O's

The Ravens and Baltimore Orioles have long since moved on from their scheduling conflict last September that prevented the Ravens from hosting the regular-season opening game, an honor reserved for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

However, the situation is back in the news again after the Detroit Tigers today moved the first pitch of their originally scheduled 7:10 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8 against the Kansas City Royals to 4:08 p.m. to accommodate the Lions' "Monday Night Football" opener on the same night against the New York Giants.

Like Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, the Lions and Tigers' stadiums are adjacent to one another, creating parking, traffic and other logistical concerns if the games were to go on at the same time. However, the Tigers changing first-pitch time should alleviate some of those concerns.

The Tigers' willingness to move the time of the game has led to more criticism directed at the Orioles for their failure to do the same a year earlier. What's been left unsaid is that the situations are not the same.

If you recall, the reason why the Orioles didn't want to move the game was more a baseball and competitive issue than a financial one. Both the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox - the opponent on Sept. 5 at Camden Yards - played the previous day at night and on the road. The Orioles were in Cleveland while the White Sox were in New York.

Neither team - nor the players' association - had any interest in arriving back in Baltimore in the early morning hours on Sept. 5 and then playing a 1:05 p.m. game that same day, especially in September when pennant races heat up.

However, the Tigers' situation is different because they are home for an afternoon game on Sept. 7. Their opponent, the Royals, will be on the road but they are playing an afternoon game in New York. So both teams will already be in Detroit the previous evening, making an afternoon game the next day not as big of a deal.     

The Orioles and White Sox ultimately were willing to play a late-afternoon game on Sept. 5, but the logistics didn't work out so the Ravens opened up on the road against the Denver Broncos. And the Orioles are still hearing about it to this day.    

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