Posted September 05, 2013

Hey Rex: You’re wrong about Orioles-Ravens scheduling conflict. Here’s why

Baltimore Orioles
Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan is in over his head when suggesting the Orioles should give up a home game for the NFL’s Ravens. (AP)

The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens are going to open the 2013 season on the road because the Baltimore Orioles, with whom the Ravens share a parking lot, have a homestand that weekend. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who was a Ravens coach from 1999 to 2008, a period that included the team’s first Super Bowl win, is outraged by this fact. Here are his comments from a conference call tied to the release of the NFL schedules on Thursday:

“I understand the Orioles are playing a game at home. Well, who really cares? You’ve got 81 of them things at home and maybe you could’ve done the right thing and given one up and played 82 on the road and 80 at home. I really don’t think people are going to care about that game. You have a chance to have the defending world champs open the season at home where they rightfully should. I think that’s unfortunate. . . . The defending champion, in my opinion, should always open at home. They’ve earned that right. To think that something couldn’t have been worked out, that’s disappointing. If baseball had a 16-game schedule, you might understand it. But when they have 162 games, I think you might just, out of common courtesy, say, ‘You know what, maybe I’ll play this one on the road or whatever.’”

The Ravens and Orioles did explore alternatives that would allow the Ravens to open at home, including a baseball-football doubleheader or a Wednesday opener for the Ravens (who will now open on Thursday, Sept. 5 in Denver) while the Orioles are wrapping up a series in Cleveland. The logistics of the former proved untenable, and the latter was scrapped because Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Ryan won’t find a sympathetic ear around these parts. After all, the World Series champion Giants opened on the road this year, and I can’t see why it matters where the Super Bowl champion plays its first game. It’s not as opening on the road robs the Ravens of a home game. They’ll still play eight in Baltimore. In fact, they’ll be home the next two Sundays, against the Browns and Texans, and I doubt their fans will be any less enthusiastic to great their defending champions on Sept. 15 than they would have been on Sept. 5, even if Peyton Manning and the Broncos stomp them in Week 1 like they did when they met in Baltimore in Week 15 of last season (a 34-17 Broncos win). Ravens coach John Harbaugh already said, when this conflict first hit the newswire last month, that it didn’t matter to the team where they played, that the home opener was more of a symbolic gesture for the fans.

By comparison, the revenue the Orioles would lose by playing a home game on the road, or even by moving Thursday’s game into a doubleheader later that weekend, is both real and significant, never mind the travel logistics of actually playing a single game in a unique location, be it in Chicago against the White Sox on Thursday or in New York against the Yankees on Monday, per Ryan’s unthinking suggestion. There is also the matter of how it would impact a potential pennant race for either the Orioles or the White Sox. Last year the O’s entered play on Sept. 5 tied with the Yankees atop the AL East and with the A’s atop the wild-card race, all three with identical 76-59 records. Baltimore went on to wrap up its first playoff spot since 1997 by just three games. Asking them to surrender a home game this year when they could be in the playoff hunt again is nonsensical.

Major League Baseball released its 2013 schedule last September, before the second week of the 2012 NFL season. There was no way to know then that the Ravens would win the Super Bowl. There are only a few baseball and football teams that still have physical conflicts like this one (Oakland’s A’s and Raiders, and Toronto’s Blue Jays and the CFL’s Argonauts share stadiums, and Kansas City’s Royals and Chiefs, and Philadelphia’s Phillies and Eagles share a parking lots). The MLB schedulers could make sure the A’s, O’s, Royals and Phillies always play on the road during the weekend after the first week of September, but I don’t think, given all the complexities of the Major League Baseball schedule, that it’s reasonable to expect the schedule makers to plan around potential outcomes in another sport, particularly given how unlikely this sort of conflict is and, at least from this baseball fan’s perspective, how petty and absurd it is.

62 comments
modsuperstar
modsuperstar

The stupid thing about this is they could have easily solved this with money. If you want them to lose a home game, pay them for it. Then they could just schedule a double header for an earlier series and avoid the conflict. If the NFL was too cheap to come to an arrangement, then really its their own fault.

DeanSiedlecki
DeanSiedlecki

Scheduling a NFL opening games on Thursday, rather than Sunday is all about a money grab by the NFL...they double their advertising revenue.....STOP Thursday games, except for Thanksgiving!!!

philhege
philhege

"Schuling" conflict? Are the SI headline proofreaders on strike?

scBlais
scBlais

John Harbaugh is the Ravens coach not Jim.

David15
David15

To paraphrase Buck Showalter; don't speak about things you don't understand, Rex.

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

Rex you coach the Jets, why would you are about the ravens schedule.............

turntwo
turntwo

No wonder the Jets are pathetic.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

If I was this Bozo I'd be more worried about losing my job than a rival losing its first home game.  #PlanetDoofy

WillBradbury
WillBradbury

This guy is a football coach? His lack of understanding of basic principles of business is amazing. He hits all new levels of stupid. I hope he pays more attention to his last year of coaching than what the Orioles and the Ravens are doing.

Ziggy1
Ziggy1

The NFL could put MLB in their place by simply scheduling a Giants/Cowboys or Green Bay/49ers game on a sunday night during the World Series. No contest, football wins!

GeoffreyHolland
GeoffreyHolland

the truly stupid thing is that he thinks the Orioles should give up a home date COMPLETELY. That's what makes him an eeediot.

6marK6
6marK6

Maybe if the Ravens played on Sunday, instead of Thursday, this would not be a problem. However, why Rex Ryan is weighing in on this I have no idea.

Jason46
Jason46

Wow.  I had to sign up for an SI account just to comment on this, what may be the dumbest post in the history of the magazine.


The Orioles have 81 home games.  The SUPERBOWL winning Ravens have EIGHT.  Obviously Harbaugh can't complain about it--he needs to maintain a good relationship with the other people in Baltimore.  And the commissioner can't complain too loudly about it because he has to deal with owners and Selig.  So this is one time Rex Ryan was right to open his mouth.  He had a connection.  He's absolutely correct.  And it's a travesty that the ridiculous Orioles were able to browbeat the NFL into giving up a long standing tradition.  Absolutely ridiculous, indeed.

cornrigs
cornrigs

Jim Harbaugh is the 49ers coach.

JasonAndrzejewski
JasonAndrzejewski

Sounds like Ryan would still not shut up even if he were actually a decent coach and won a ring himself

rexandme
rexandme

Actually Ryan is right on this account.  The Orioles were self-serving and had it wrong.  They should have deferred the date to the Ravens.  We all need to remember that the stunk for the 12 years before last year.  Baltimore is still a football town first.  Deal with it.

dfriedrichs
dfriedrichs

Sounds like a whiney high school football coach to me.

Mike26
Mike26

MLB is fighting to be #3 in American sports....THAT'S why Rex is correct.

Not4nutten
Not4nutten

It's the end of the baseball season and Rex wants a team to move a date for a Football Home Opener? Yea and The Super Bowl will be played on The fourth of July!!! Get Real!

DanDippel
DanDippel

When did the team winning the Super Bowl have to start playing on Thursday? Move the game to Sundays like the old days and then you can open at home.

burnettij
burnettij

Uh, Rex.  What league released its schedule first?  What league didn't bother to read the other league's schedule before scheduling their game?  And by the way, why should the Orioles defer to the Cleveland Browns, er, Baltimore Ravens?

DanielWhelan
DanielWhelan

you would think rex would have his hands full trying to turn around the laughingstock that is Jets football before sticking his fat face into a differant sports buisness

CarlLehning
CarlLehning

What happened when the Bucs won the Super Bowl?  They opened the next season at the Eagles.  There was no scheduling conflict that year and the Bucs still got screwed out of the home opener.  Get over it Flabasaurus Rex.

Bahia
Bahia

Rex's best times were and will always be in Baltimore.

Walkersportsjock
Walkersportsjock

As much as I hate the Fatosauraus Rex I agree with him.  As a fan of both teams I think its absolutely ridiculous that they won't move the O's game. There is going to be less than 1500 people in that stadium. I'm sick and tired of billion dollar industries like the NFL and MLB crying about their precious travel arrangements.  Go F yourself Selig. Be a man and acknowledge that your sport is horrendously boring.

Cliff, how much revenue is going to be lost when no one is in the seats?? It's Peyton by the way, not Payton. Go back to being jealous of sexy Rexy.

jakee4025
jakee4025

Rex Ryan ran his mouth off about something he's not qualified to talk about? I'm shocked.

The Ravens could have opened at home on that Sunday, but preferred to open on the road, to maintain the extra break between Week 1 and Week 2. The Ravens aren't being beaten up for "not doing the right thing." All involved parties had an agenda, including the NFL, who used a religious holiday to cover the fact that they don't want to give up Thursday TV ratings and move to Wednesday.

If the scope was limited to the Orioles and Ravens, I'm sure a better solution would have been reached. However, the Orioles, White Sox, MLB and MLBPAA all have legit reasons for changing the schedule to accommodate the Ravens.

Dave C
Dave C

@Jason46 Seriously???  Who are you really??  Rex's other fat brother?  

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

@Jason46 You should have not signed in.  The Orioles released their home schedule for 2013 with plenty of advance notice.  I am an NFL fan over everything but Ryan and the NFL are wrong here.

6marK6
6marK6

@rexandme Doesn't the MLB schedule games? And why are the Ravens playing on Thursday?

wshifflette
wshifflette

@Mike26 There are 7 days in a week.  Pick another day NFL.  Play on Sunday.  The Os scheduled this game week 2 of the NFL season

Mike26
Mike26

@burnettij Rex had some reasons, here's another:  MLB is #3(4?), NFL is #1. 

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Walkersportsjock Let me guess.  You came up with 1500 by pulling it out of your hoop.  The Orioles averaged over 27,000 per game last season.

jakee4025
jakee4025

@Walkersportsjock As a fan of both teams, you call one "horrendously boring" and grossly understate even the smallest attendance at Camden Yards? 

 The White Sox and Orioles "precious travel arrangements" are part of their precious collective bargaining agreement. How likely do you think it is that the NFL - the institution that locked out its players and referees recently - would successfully negotiate around its own collective bargaining agreement for the benefit of a team in another sport?

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

@Mike26 @CarlLehning Maybe your OTHER personality is telling you Carl and Flabasaurus are debating while the rest of us just see one guy commenting on a clown's misguided comment on something he shouldn't.

BeholdTheWolverine
BeholdTheWolverine

@JoeCabot @Walkersportsjock And the Ravens Home average attendance was 71,278.  Which is more likely to be full?  The first Ravens game, or some end-of-season joke in Camden Yards?  Baseball is a dying sport, and how ironic would it be if the Orioles had a playoff game that had to be switched to an Away game because the Ravens had a home game that conflicted with it?  Stupidity abounds in Maryland.  

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@BeholdTheWolverine Gee, a larger attendance number in a stadium that can seat many more fans.  Outstanding work Columbo.   Baseball is a dying sport?  Where did you come up with that one?  From last year's attendance numbers, which were the fifth highest in the history of MLB?   You seem to be using the same logic as the earlier poster that wrote that there will 1500 attending an Orioles game at the end of the year.