Guess which one may have the widest-ranging repercussions on the baseball schedule?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the havoc U2's summer tour wreaked on the 2010 baseball schedule.
Well, with U2 now having had to postpone 16 dates on the North American leg of its world tour this summer following Bono's emergency back surgery, tour promoters are talking about rescheduling the dates for 2011.
Which means, as for those postponed concerts in Angel Stadium (June 6-7), the Oakland Coliseum (June 16), Toronto's Rogers Centre (July 3) and Florida's Landshark Stadium (July 9) ... uh-oh.
The 2011 baseball schedule has already marched on with or without U ... 2.
"It's way too late in terms of blocking dates for the 2011 schedule," says Katy Feeney, one of baseball's long-time senior vice-presidents and a point person in the scheduling process. "The first draft should hopefully be in clubs' hands by mid-June.
"People need to tell the promoters to cool their jets. I'm sorry Bono had back surgery, but it's way too late. To block dates right now is nearly impossible."
Because of the sheer magnitude of the stadium stage show, U2 requires roughly 10 days to set up, play the show and then break everything down. With the Angels, Blue Jays, Athletics and Marlins all requesting specific road dates in 2010 so they could host U2 (and make gobs of money in the process), baseball officials had to work overtime on this summer's schedule.
Because of all of the moving parts, the trickle-down affected other clubs as well.
For example: The Dodgers agreed to flip-flop home dates of their interleague series this summer with the Angels, who needed a long road trip to schedule Bono and Co. Consequently, the Dodgers were rewarded with an extra weekend homestand -- they now have 14, where most other clubs have 13. The Angels agreed to lose a home weekend series in the swap, giving them 12 instead of the normal 13.
So the Angels are on the road from May 31-June 13 in Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland and in Dodger Stadium ... to make room for a band that now needs to reschedule.
Because the concert promoters work with the individual clubs, and not directly with baseball, Feeney isn't quite sure of the band's makeup plans. But the Athletics already have checked in with her about rescheduling their U2 show next summer, and it is Feeney's understanding that the concert promoters are hoping to keep the same or similar dates in the baseball parks, only for 2011 instead of 2010.
But the rough draft of the 2011 schedule -- which must be presented to the players' union by July 1, by the way -- is already finished. And it does not include 10-day dark periods in Angel Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum or anywhere else.
"Maybe somebody needs to go and tell them to scale down their stage," Feeney suggested. "We've scheduled around several other bands over the years -- the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and nobody has needed that kind of time.
"If Bono's doctors are telling him to stop jumping around, maybe he could just play sitting down."
Maybe a few day-night doubleheaders would work for U2?
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Through the storm we reach the shore
"You give it all but I want more
"And I'm waiting for you"
-- U2, With or Without You