Sept. 7, 2004
Please tell me it's not true that my beloved New York Yankees want a forfeit because the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had trouble getting to the Bronx for Monday's scheduled doubleheader!
I can't believe it, because I've always felt that owner George Steinbrenner would want to win the right way, on the field. He's from the Tampa area, so he should be well aware of the tremendous stress, anxiety and emotional burden that was involved over the weekend with Hurricane Frances.
There was no control of the situation, and the hurricane had everyone in Florida on edge. For five days, there was concern about potential damage and loss of lives. Hey, we're talking about a life-and-death situation here -- just look at what happened with Hurricane Charley last month.
You can understand why the Devil Rays management wanted to keep their players home. Come on, Randy Levine! The Yankees president can't be serious about asking for a forfeit. The Yankees are a class organization, the cream of the crop in baseball with their 26 world championships. Win it on the field!
If you didn't think the situation was dire, just look at what happened to Devil Rays designated hitter Aubrey Huff. Police couldn't even get to his house because of the severe flooding.
Tampa Bay's players had every right to be concerned about their families first. The games couldn't mean more than this serious situation, with emotions running so high. Fear for the safety for their families had to be priority No. 1.
I feel for the Devil Rays players and what they went through.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.