|09-07-2004, 02:00 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Topeka, KS
Still another reason to hate the Yankees
NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay's hurricane-delayed trip from Florida had fans waiting up to eight hours for a day doubleheader that became a single night game and had the New York Yankees asking unsuccessfully for the commissioner's office to award them a forfeit victory.
Gates at Yankee Stadium opened at 11 a.m for what had been a doubleheader first set to start at 1 p.m. On Sunday, the start time was pushed back to 3 p.m., and because the Devil Rays were late leaving Tropicana Field on Monday due to Hurricane Frances, the commissioner's office told the teams to play one game at 7 p.m. and said it would decide later on when to reschedule the second game.
The Devil Rays arrived at 6:05 p.m., and the Yankees won 7-4 as Alex Rodriguez, moved to the No. 2 slot for the first time since October 1999, hit a three-run double for his first bases-loaded hit since July 2003. New York remained 2½ games ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East.
While the Yankees asked to be given a forfeit win for the unplayed game, commissioner Bud Selig has no intention of doing so.
"Given the stage of the season we are in, and the exciting pennant races, it is critical that we do everything to decide the championship on the field," he said in a statement.
About 20,000 fans appeared to be on hand when Orlando Hernandez (7-0) finally threw the first pitch to Julio Lugo at 7:02 p.m., and about 30,000 appeared to fill the seats later on. The Yankees said 44,422 tickets were sold.
"The rule states that if your team is here and ready to play, and the other team isn't here and not ready to play, there should be a forfeit, and we believe there should be a forfeit," Yankees president Randy Levine said.
Tampa Bay's home games against Detroit on Saturday and Sunday were postponed, and the Tigers returned home after Friday night's game. Bob DuPuy, chief operating officer of the commissioner's office, said the Devil Rays were asked to investigate leaving Friday night or Saturday.
"There were plenty of opportunities to get out of Tampa on Saturday. The airports were open until 3 or 4 o'clock," Levine said after Yankees officials checked with airlines.
Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said the team never intended to leave for New York until Sunday night or Monday.
"We decided, and we made the right decision, we'll stick by that decision, to stay with our families," he said. "We wanted to stay in the Tampa Bay area, wait out the storm with our families."
DuPuy said Devil Rays owner Vincent Naimoli had told the commissioner's office over the weekend that his team was trying to make arrangements to leave Florida but couldn't.
Do the Yankees have no shame or compassion for Florida residents?