David Brown is at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where he files this report about the status of this weekend's Cubs-Astros series in Houston ...
We now turn to the weather and Cubs mananger Lou Piniella, who has been tracking the progress of Hurricane Ike via a TV in his office at Busch Stadium. What's going on, Lou?
"I had the hurricane on my desk," Piniella said Thursday afternoon. "I just wanted to see. Unless its [trajectory] changed, it's going right to Houston [on] Saturday morning."
To wit, the first two games of the Cubs-Astros series — Friday and Saturday — have been postponed. If the storm abates by late Saturday, the Cubs could fly to Houston for a Sunday doubleheader at Minute Maid Park. Both teams are scheduled for off days Monday, so a day game could be played before the Cubs would return to Wrigley Field to face the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
Or the Cubs and 'Stros could find a backup site. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he expected a decision on that option to come Friday. Options reportedly do not include St. Louis or Milwaukee, cities which might give the Cubs too much of a home-away-from-home-field advantage.
In a story written Thursday on Houston Chronicle's website, the Cubs were portrayed as feeling "displeasure" at the series not being moved to a neutral site by now, but Piniella, Hendry and players were only worried about being made to fly into a hurricane.
"I don't think you put players in danger, you don't put families that are going to the ballpark just to play a baseball game," said Piniella, whose team instead will fly home to Chicago, rest Friday and work out Saturday afternoon.
The storm already is making a mess of Galveston, a coastal city in Texas, which governor Rick Perry urged residents to flee. Singer Glen Campbell helped make Galveston famous in a megahit song from yesteryear:"Galveston, oh Galveston," Campbell wrote, "I still hear your sea winds blowin'."
Also in the Chronicle, Jack Colley, chief of the Governor's Division of Emergency Management, described the storm as hitting like a tidal wave. "This is a surge tsunami," Colley said.
Piniella has his doubts about going to Houston, even later in the weekend.
"We're going to ... be prepared to go somewhere," Piniella said. "Assuming the airports are even open. You never know. I'm not a weatherman, so I'm not going to get too involved in the scenarios."