Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene, Orioles screw the Yankees

The New York Yankees are getting royally screwed, first by Hurricane Irene, then by the Baltimore Orioles.

In anticipation of the deadly storm, the Yankees asked the Orioles to play a doubleheader on Friday, the one day of the weekend sure to feature good weather. The Orioles flatly refused, citing their 11-day road trip that just ended. But they could have accommodated the Yankees by playing the doubleheader and then using Saturday, guaranteed to be a washout, as a full day of rest.

I think the real reason the Orioles refused the request was that didn’t want to lose the gate money by scheduling a Friday afternoon game that many working folks would have been unable to attend on short notice, which would be understandable under normal circumstances. The Yankees always bring in big money for other teams because Yankee fans travel so well. But this is a rare emergency situation and the Orioles should have been more flexible. However, as Mariano Rivera reminded everyone, this isn’t the first time Baltimore has made a foolish decision in the facing of an oncoming hurricane.

Even Curtis Granderson, who is one of the nicest and most diplomatic guys in baseball, was extremely annoyed by the Orioles’ unilateral decision to steal a Yankee off day next month when the Yankees have already lost several days to make-up games. But he seemed equally pissed off at Major League Baseball for allowing the Orioles to dictate these unacceptable terms and he’s absolutely right.

Teams all over the East Coast were changing game schedules due to the danger posed by the approaching storm. The Orioles should not have been allowed to be the exception. This is an extraordinary circumstance and Major League Baseball should have ordered a doubleheader to be played on Friday. If Bud Selig doesn’t have that authority, then he should fight for it in the contract negotiations this offseason.

I hope that the Yankees are successful in their appeal of the decision in which they hope to play the game only if needed at the end of the season (I doubt Selig is going to let the Yankees have an extra home game, even if they are willing to split the gate with the Orioles). That way, if that one game doesn’t decide the American League East, then it won’t have to be played at all and the Orioles will lose the revenues that come from hosting the Yankees. That would be true justice for a very selfish decision.

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