In spite of the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene, which already has caused several teams to cancel games this weekend, the Yankees and Orioles are sticking to the rather ambitious schedule of getting in five games over the next four days, including a day-night doubleheader Saturday to make up for a rainout here earlier in the season.
According to the Yankees, it is the fault of the Orioles, who refused an offer to play a doubleheader Friday night in anticipation of a rainout of at least one of Saturday's games and the distinct possibility that Sunday would be a washout as well.
As late as 6:30 p.m. ET Friday, the two teams had yet to come up with a contingency plan.
"We're hoping to hear as soon as possible," said Curtis Granderson, the Yankees' player rep. "We reached out as early as Wednesday and still haven't gotten any word one way or the other. We've been making the effort to do something, to make some kind of change. It seems like everybody else in sports is making adjustments; why can't we do it here?''
Joe Girardi seemed a bit miffed by the Orioles' apparent refusal to budge from the regular schedule, which virtually assures them of five large crowds this weekend, a rarity for a team that is averaging about 21,000 fans per game this season, less than half the capacity of Camden Yards.
"We were hoping we'd play a split doubleheader today and we tried,'' Girardi said. "You would've thought you would've known by now. I don't really understand why we didn't play two today. Other teams moved games; the Orioles didn't want to do it.''
The Yankees are particularly disturbed by potentially losing one of their last two off days this season, which occur Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, the day before and the day after a weeklong West Coast road trip. Just before first pitch Friday night, with no resolution having been reached, the Yankees released the following statement, attributed to Granderson:
"Given the advance notice and the fact that other teams have adjusted their schedules ahead of time, we are perplexed at the current options we are being presented with in regards to making up any games postponed due to Hurricane Irene. The proposition to take away our only full off day in the final month of the season is not an option, even though the Orioles' front office and the Commissioner’s office think this is an adequate solution. It's a shame that the decision has now come down to possibly having to play four games in two days or having to come back to Baltimore for another makeup game.''