October 27, 2013

Early mornings are no friend to Red Sox fans

World Series games start at 8 p.m., forcing the faithful to sacrifice sleep for baseball.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Robert Gignac, an assistant meat department manager at Hannaford’s Falmouth store, is tired but undeterred after dragging himself to work following World Series games.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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In 2007, the team played a total of 14 games in an average of 3 hours, 47 minutes. That average was brought down by a brisk 2-hour, 27-minute Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The Sox won 4-0 behind a complete game shutout.

In 2004, when the Red Sox broke a decades-long curse by winning their first World Series in 86 years, the average length of the 14 playoff games was 4 hours, 7 minutes. Game 4 of the epic American League Championship Series against the team’s archrival New York Yankees lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes. Game 5 lasted 5 hours, 49 minutes. Both games went into extra innings and ended in Red Sox wins.

The longest World Series game ever played was Game 3 of the 2005 series between the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros. It lasted 5 hours, 41 minutes.

Chip Desmond, who was among a dozen workers repaving a section of Pleasant Street in Brunswick on Thursday morning, said he stayed up to watch Game 1 even though he had to be on the job at 7 a.m. and had to get up by 6 a.m.

“It was worth it, because they won,” he said. “It’s a little harder to stay up when they lose, you know?”

Desmond, 27, said he’s still young enough to go a few nights without the obligatory eight hours sleep, but “back-to-back late nights are hard.”

“If all the games are in the three-hour range, I’ll be happy with that,” he said.

While Challenger, Gray & Christmas asserts that sporting events contribute to a less productive workplace, there are other schools of thought.

OfficeTeam, a staffing service, released a survey earlier this year before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament suggesting that employees’ strong interest in sports can lead to better morale and, in turn, better job performance. Of the 1,000 managers surveyed, less than 10 percent said the tournament has a negative effect on workplace productivity, while 16 percent of managers said the effect was positive. The remaining 75 percent noticed no impact.

Patrick Coughlin, an environmental consultant who lives in Brunswick, watched Game 1 through the eighth inning, even though he’s not a die-hard fan and had a presentation at 7 a.m.

“It actually worked out good. I was going over my notes while the game was on,” he said. “If it hadn’t been on, I might have just gone to bed.”

But in the lunch crowd in Portland’s Monument Square on Friday, the reactions were mixed.

Lee Morin, a 35-year-old Scarborough resident who works in finance in downtown Portland, said the World Series’ late night schedule unfairly caters to the West Coast fan base.

“I can’t stay up late to watch those late games,” said Morin, eating lunch at the Public Market. “You just can’t have a professional life and be a fan of a professional sports team. If I worked second shift or third shift, I’d be all over it.”

For Dave MacElhiney of Westbrook, who watched the first two games of the series, getting up for work isn’t the struggle, it’s getting up on his daughter Porter’s schedule.

“I’m at work at 7:30 a.m., but I have a 3½-year-old who is an early riser at 5 to 5:15 a.m.,” MacElhiney said. “If they were less interesting games, I would be falling asleep during the game, but it was kind of edge-of-the-seat both games.”

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:


Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:


Twitter: @scottddolan

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