Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baseball endangers players with forced game

Major League Baseball did a real disservice to the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles and the unfortunate fans holding tickets for yesterday’s game by forcing the teams to play in such treacherous weather conditions.

Bud Selig & Co are very lucky that none of the players was injured running the bases, playing the outfield or chasing pop-ups, normal parts of a baseball game that become extremely dangerous because of the soggy tracks and grass and steady, and at times heavy, downpour. I watched last night in a state of complete dread, terrified that one of the Yankees or Orioles was going to slip or pull a hamstring chasing a ball. If someone had gotten hurt, Selig would have been crucified for ordering the teams to play in those conditions.

I know baseball wanted to get the game in, but ordering the teams to play in that type of weather is just inexcusable because it put the players in serious jeopardy. I know that the baseball calendar is running out of days and there aren’t a lot of good options, but baseball should have allowed that game to be postponed and played at the end of the season if it mattered in the division race. But Selig apparently refused to consider that possibility, probably out of fear it would wreck the new postseason scheduled designed to make baseball’s television partners happy.

I wish Selig would have shown the same consideration for the fans, who were forced to wait out horrid conditions. I’ve been at Yankee Stadium when it’s raining and it’s terribly cold and uncomfortable and if you’re holding tickets for seats in the upper deck there’s really no place to go to get away from the bad weather. The Yankees tried to make it up to their fans by offering free tickets for next season, but those hearty souls who endured 7+ hours of hellish conditions should have been given an extra bonus for sticking around to root for their guys (free food, Yankee gifts and a personal apology from the baseball powers that be).

If MLB officials were really worried about the impact of these rainouts, they wouldn’t schedule so many games in the Northeast during rainy months. If they were smarter about the scheduling, the Yankees wouldn’t be forced into a situation where the best option is to play a game in weather conditions that carry a serious risk of injury. Bad judgment by a commissioner who should know better.

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