Hurricane Frances has had a bigger impact on the Bronx than anyone could have predicted.
Originally scheduled to play a five-game series with a doubleheader Monday, the Yankees and Devil Rays have met just twice thus far this week, with New York winning both games.
Due to the Hurricane in Florida, Tampa Bay was unable to fly into New York in time for the opener of Monday’s doubleheader, forcing the teams to play a single game, which New York won 7-4.
The Yankees put in for a Devil Rays forfeit in the opener, but commissioner Bud Selig shot down the idea almost immediately and New York withdrew the request. New York won Tuesday’s game 11-2, as the doubleheader was rescheduled for Wednesday.
But remnants from the huge hurricane hit New York, forcing the postponement of both games until Thursday. More heavy rain is in the forecast, however, and even if the teams get the doubleheader in, they still need to make up one game.
The Yankees would like that game pushed back to the end of the regular season and made up only if necessary, but the commissioner’s office wants postponed games made up during the course of the season.
“They know our preference on it. Given the circumstances the last few days, it’s not like there’s been a lot of dialogue,” New York general manager Brian Cashman said. “There’s a lot of things that could have been done differently, but we’re not there, we’re here, we’re just going to try to go forward.”
This is Tampa Bay’s last scheduled trip to New York this year and the clubs don’t have an off day in common.
That means New York could wind up playing two teams on one day at Yankee Stadium, including a makeup game against the Devil Rays. The only remaining day the Devil Rays are off and the Yankees are home is Sept. 23, when New York hosts Toronto.
That comes in the middle of an 11-game homestand for Tampa Bay.
Cashman said no decision had been made yet.
“I don’t know what you could have done. You can’t mess with the weather,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “That’s the danger of that last trip in. We’re running out of time now, so it’s going to be inconvenient whenever it is.”
The Yankees may have benefitted from Wednesday’s washout as they were scheduled to start struggling right-hander Esteban Loaiza in the opener and rookie Brad Halsey in the nightcap. Now, Torre can send veteran right-hander Mike Mussina to the mound for the opener Thursday.
“It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it?” Mussina said Wednesday. “It’s raining today, it might be raining tomorrow. We might have three games left, who knows?”
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