Sunday, September 21, 2008
Updated: September 22, 1:05 PM ET
Report: Astros lash out about games in Milwaukee; Selig explains in ad
ESPN.com news services
Houston Astros players are still upset about having to play the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee following Hurricane Ike, and it doesn't sound as though they'll be ready to move on any time soon.
"Major League Baseball has always valued the dollar more than they do the individual, the players and their families," Lance Berkman said, according to the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. "That's illustrated in things like playing through a lightning storm in Chicago [on Aug. 4].
"The most important thing is getting the game in so you don't lose the gate and you don't lose the revenue. That's A-No. 1. And then if in the course of that you can work it around where players aren't affected, that's a distant second. That's one reason why players try to exploit the system to the max because they know they're being treated the same way. That's a sad part of the game."
The Cubs won both of the games played at Milwaukee's Miller Park, including a no-hitter by Carlos Zambrano. Major League Baseball moved two games of the scheduled three-game series to Milwaukee, saying the third game would be played in Houston on Sept. 29 if it were needed to determine postseason play.
But that olive branch wasn't enough for the Astros' Doug Brocail, who said it was obvious the name on the jerseys played a role in the decision.
"The thing is we had days at the end of the season that we could have played a single game plus a doubleheader if need be," Brocail said, according to the Chronicle. "And to make us go up and play at North Wrigley like we had to on no sleep, it was absolutely ridiculous. If it was New York or Boston, it would have been played at the end of the season.
"I truly believe that, and I think 99.9 percent of our teammates believe that. But no, we're the Houston Astros."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig took out a full-page ad in Sunday's Chronicle, explaining the process behind the decision.
"In making the decision to play there, I recognized the advantage the Cubs would have in playing in such close proximity to Chicago and had there been a better option, I would have taken it," the ad read. "All of us involved in the decision regret the frustration the Astros and their fans felt about playing two games in Milwaukee.
"As Commissioner, my job is to balance many competing needs, while also finishing the season on time so the Postseason can begin as scheduled. Hurricane Ike disrupted many things, including the baseball schedule and I regret its impact on Astros fans. I have heard your complaints and I understand the impact this storm has had on the lives of Texans and Houston-area residents in particular.
"Allan H. (Bud) Selig
"Commissioner of Baseball"