Hurricane Irma pushes Tampa Bay Rays series against Yankees to neutral site

Big League Stew

Once again, Major League Baseball is doing some shuffling to get out of the way of a hurricane. The Tampa Bay Rays series against the New York Yankees, scheduled for Monday-Wednesday, has been moved to a neutral(ish) site with Hurricane Irma due to hit Florida.

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We say neutral(ish) because it’ll be played in New York City, just not in the Yankees home stadium. Instead, the series is being moved to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays will play as the home team. Here’s more from The Times:

The Rays and MLB has been talking for several days about different options, including playing the games in Yankee Stadium or at a neutral site, with Baltimore considered a top possibility. But based on stadium and hotel availability, the Mets Citi Field turned out to be the best option.

MLB and the Rays had planned to wait until Saturday to make a decision, hoping the forecast would provide clarity. If it looked like the storm would not cause major issues in the Tampa Bay area, the Rays were looking to still play at the Trop, pushing back the opener until Tuesday and then playing a doubleheader on Wednesday. But with the projections now showing the storm may impact the Tampa Bay area, they made the call on Friday.

Citi FIeld will host a series between the Rays and Yankees with Hurricane Irma set to Florida. (Getty Images)
Citi FIeld will host a series between the Rays and Yankees with Hurricane Irma set to Florida. (Getty Images)

This means a couple things. First, we’ll see some DH action in an NL park, which we don’t see very often. In fact, it appears to be the first time we’ve seen the DH in an NL park during the regular season since 2010, when the Blue Jays played their home games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia due to the G-20 summit. The Astros recently had their games moved from Houston to Tampa Bay after Hurricane Harvey, but that was an AL-to-AL move, so no rule changes.

This also means the Rays should be careful not to get whatever bad juju is hanging around the Mets clubhouse this season. Protect your pitchers with bubble wrap, guys.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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