This is blindingly ignorant of not only the reality of Hurricane Florence bearing down on the mid-Atlantic states, but this D.C.-area forecast for Thursday:
A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 84. Northeast wind 6 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
So let me get this straight. Even though the hurricane has slowed a bit and might not make landfall till Friday, and landfall will likely be well south of Washington, weather conditions are likely to deteriorate in the D.C. area Thursday and make it difficult or impossible to play the makeup game.
A number of different options exist for Major League Baseball:
- They could play the game on October 1 in Washington
- They could play the game at Wrigley Field
- They could play the game in Milwaukee
- They could play the game at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago
So far, MLB has made none of these choices. Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, on a radio show earlier today on 670 The Score, gave this update:
Crane Kenney says the Cubs are trying to persuade MLB to reschedule Thursday’s makeup game in DC to later in the year. If that can’t work, they’re hoping to change Friday’s game time to later in the day.— Bernstein & McKnight (@Bernstein_McK) September 11, 2018
That’s really not the best option either, as noted above, weather conditions in Washington might be bad enough that the Cubs would have to sit around all day there waiting to play, through possible delays, and though the Cubs do have the right by city ordinance to reschedule a game for as late as 4:05 p.m., it’s getting kind of late to do that.
Then, late this morning, came this announcement from the mayor of Washington:
This morning, I signed a Mayor’s Order declaring a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) September 11, 2018
Join us now as we provide updates on the District’s preparations ➡️ https://t.co/dKMepiDVsk pic.twitter.com/58Ug5iFale
This order is in effect now. But MLB still thinks it’s okay for the Cubs to fly into D.C., even though first responders will have responsibilities other than a baseball game, and stadium workers and other Nats team employees might be busy with preparations to keep their families safe from the approaching storm.
What MLB appears to be doing here is slavishly saying, “OMG WE HAVE TO KEEP THE POSTSEASON SCHEDULE INTACT NO MATTER WHAT!” In other words, October 1 is reserved for tiebreaker games, and putting the Cubs/Nats game back to that date might rip holes in MLB’s precious postseason schedule.
To which I say, “Weather happens. Get over it.” If there’s rain during the postseason, guess what? They reschedule games, as they did with Game 4 of the Cubs/Nats division series last year, which was pushed back 24 hours.
I’ve noted several options for playing the makeup game above. The Brewers might complain if the Cubs got a home game at Wrigley Field out of it, but I would simply remind them that they got THREE extra home games in 2017 when a Brewers/Marlins series was moved from Miami to Miller Park due to Hurricane Irma. I didn’t see the Cubs complaining about that, even though at the time that series was moved, the Brewers’ position wasn’t all that different from where they are right now: second in the N.L. Central, 2½ games out of first place.
If you sense I’m a bit revved up about this, you’d be right. I just find it mind-boggling that the powers that be in the sport I have loved for decades cannot make a simple decision like this — moving the game to a neutral site or October 1. They already botched handling of almost the entire series in Washington last weekend.
Do what’s right, Rob Manfred. Move this game out of Washington this Thursday. And do it soon.