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30 Games in 27 Days


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It's 30 games in just 27 days

 

BY CLARK SPENCER

 

Count the Florida Marlins among those who wished Hurricane Frances never happened. The storm demolished a crucial weekend showdown with the Chicago Cubs at Pro Player Stadium, and it cast doubts on the Marlins' late-season scramble to make it back to the playoffs and defend their World Series title.

 

By forcing the postponement of today's game with the Cubs to make it a clean sweep of the scheduled three-game series, Frances left the Marlins in a tough predicament as they try to make up the 2 ?-game gap with front-running Chicago in the National League wild-card race.

 

The Marlins are now confronted with the imposing task of playing 30 games, including three doubleheaders, over the final 27 days of the regular season.

 

''It pales in comparison to the devastation that this hurricane has had,'' said Marlins president David Samson on Saturday after the storm knocked out the power in his home. ``It was a situation that no one could control. You can't argue against Mother Nature, or get upset about it.''

 

While no make-up dates for the lost Chicago series have been announced, it is expected the Marlins will make up one of their ''home'' games in a Friday doubleheader at Wrigley Field when they head to the Windy City for a four-game series next weekend.

 

MAKE-UP GAMES

 

According to sources, the other two make-up games would be played Sept. 20 at Pro Player as part of a doubleheader and require the Cubs to make a quick, one-day excursion to South Florida in the midst of a three-city trip to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and New York. The Marlins would prefer to play a split, day-night doubleheader. The Cubs are opposed to that idea, saying they want the games to be played back-to-back.

 

''A split would be something as players that we would balk to,'' Cubs pitcher and team player representative Mark Prior told reporters in Chicago on Saturday. ``We have no intention of spending 12 hours down there, playing a 1 o'clock game and a 6 o'clock game. I would expect those games to be tight, and they could go extra innings. That could make for a long trip.''

 

The Marlins already have a Sept. 14 doubleheader scheduled with the Montreal Expos to make up for a rainout earlier in the season.

 

''We'll get through it,'' said Marlins manager Jack McKeon while trying to remain upbeat. ``We won't even think about it. We'll pick it right up.''

 

The Marlins were riding a seven-game winning streak when Frances rolled in. But the hurricane has forced McKeon's hand with regard to his starting pitching rotation. While bunkered down inside Pro Player Stadium on Saturday after being forced to evacuate his Hallandale Beach condo, McKeon said he'll have to turn to a sixth starter to get through the schedule.

 

The candidates could include Nate Bump, Justin Wayne and Michael Tejera.

 

''It's all right,'' McKeon said. ``It'll work out.''

 

RIDING OUT STORM

 

McKeon has spent the past two days riding out the hurricane inside the Marlins clubhouse at Pro Player Stadium, as have coaches Bill Robinson and Doug Davis and pitchers Josh Beckett, Armando Benitez, Rudy Seanez and Ben Howard. All were forced to evacuate their beachfront residences.

 

''We're all a happy family down here, living it up, watching TV,'' McKeon joked. ``We've even got the [clubhouse] cook here.''

 

McKeon said he and the players have made makeshift beds out of clubhouse sofas and training room examination tables.

 

'I called my wife [in North Carolina] last night and she said `I guess you're a happy man,' '' McKeon said. 'I said why? She said because `you finally get to sleep in the clubhouse. You spend all your time there anyway.' ''

 

McKeon said he is hoping to gather the rest of the Marlins, who haven't played since Thursday and are scheduled to open a three-game series at home Tuesday with the Mets, for a Monday workout.

 

''We'd like to if we can round everybody up,'' McKeon said.

 

The hurricane made it impossible to play any games. The Marlins were hoping to squeeze in one game. But those plans went out the door when the storm stalled east of Palm Beach County instead of passing quickly.

 

Samson spent the day on the phone conferring with Cubs president Andy MacPhail and Major League Baseball officials to work out a solution. Samson's power went out as he was talking to MacPhail.

 

''Our obvious preference would have been to play all our games at Pro Player,'' Samson said of future make-up games. ``But when the hurricane slowed down, Mother Nature gave us no choice. This is a devastating weather event that is causing a ton of damage. So the fact that we lost three home games, or that we have to play them later, or even play them at Wrigley Field, pales in comparison to everyone else.''

 

Looks like the Marlins won't get a choice in the matter.

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Here is a better Article

 

 

Chicago Tribune

 

By Paul Sullivan

Tribune staff reporter

 

September 4, 2004, 9:35 PM CDT

 

After postponing Sunday's finale of the Cubs series because of Hurricane Frances, the Florida Marlins are likely to play a home game at Wrigley Field on Friday as part of a rescheduled doubleheader.

 

The other two games of the postponed series are likely to be played as a doubleheader Sept. 20 in Miami, the only shared off day the two teams have the rest of the season. An official announcement is expected Sunday, as both teams and Major League Baseball negotiate details.

 

"We have no definitive schedule on when those [three games] might be," Cubs President Andy MacPhail said Saturday. "A lot of scenarios have been bounced back and forth. I can't tell you for certain which one it's going to be because there are a lot of people who have some voice in this issue, least of all the visiting club."

 

Cubs players will agree to accept playing a doubleheader Sept. 20 in Miami, according to player representative Mark Prior. Players from both teams are allowed to vote on it because of a stipulation in the collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball preventing teams from playing on more than 20 consecutive days.

 

"Under normal circumstances, I don't think there would be any way guys would agree to that," Prior said. "But given the season and the way our schedule and their schedule is ? I think [the Marlins] might have it even tougher. It's kind of a give and take. They're going to be put in a tough situation, and we're going to be put in a tough situation."

 

Cubs players, however, would not accept a split doubleheader in Miami that would allow the Marlins to have two gates. The Cubs are concerned about unnecessary time between games because they have a night game Sept. 21 in Pittsburgh.

 

"That would definitely be something, as players, we would balk at," Prior said. "We're going to be coming from Cincinnati. We have no intention of spending 12 hours down there to play a 1 o'clock game and a 6 o'clock game.

 

"Especially since I would expect those games to be tight, we can go to extra innings in one of those ballgames, and that could make for a long trip. I don't expect us to play a split doubleheader, based on time."

 

The Marlins have a doubleheader against Montreal on Sept. 14, so if doubleheaders are rescheduled for Sept. 10 and 20, that would give them two in five days (seven games overall) and three in 11 days (14 games).

 

MacPhail agreed such a scenario would be "onerous under any circumstances." Playing a twin bill on Sept. 20 would give the Cubs four games in three cities in three days, so it won't be easy for either team.

 

"It's not ideal," MacPhail said. "It's not great, but then again, you don't have great choices available to you."

 

Though Florida general manager Admin Beinfest said Friday the Marlins would not play a rescheduled home game on the road, Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to invoke the "best interests of the game" clause in the agreement if the Marlins balk. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said the final decision is MLB's to make, not the Cubs' or Marlins'.

 

"Jim Hendry and Admin Beinfest, in the end, probably won't have a whole lot to say about it," Hendry said.

 

MLB would decide whether the Marlins will have the final at-bat in any rescheduled game at Wrigley, though MacPhail and Prior agreed the Marlins should bat last in a "home" game at Wrigley.

 

"Fair is fair," MacPhail said.

 

In a rescheduled game Aug. 18 in San Francisco,, Montreal not only gave up a home game but was forced to bat first in a ruling by MLB, which owns the franchise. That gave the Giants 82 home games and a slight advantage in the five-team wild-card chase, though they split the doubleheader that included that game.

 

The idea of rescheduling two games and waiting for the end of the regular season to play the third game on Oct. 4, if necessary, apparently was shot down by MLB, which already is looking at potential tiebreaking scenarios for the wild wild-card scramble.

 

"I'm sure they're going to jealously guard the Oct. 4 open date because we now have five teams within 2? games of one postseason berth," MacPhail said.

 

The tentative doubleheader in Wrigley Field would be a "straight" doubleheader in which fans get two games for the price of one. Prior, who lost the locally infamous Game 6 of the National League Championship Series to Florida last October, is likely to get the first crack against the Marlins in starting Game 1 of the doubleheader. The rematch of the NLCS is one of the more anticipated series of the season.

 

"It's almost kind of a benefit to the fans," Prior said. "They get a free ballgame if you have tickets."

 

Copyright ? 2004, The Chicago Tribune

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They shouldn't play a DH. That's ridiculous. They should just make up the 3 games that were cancelled in Miami after the last series of the season in Philadelphia. Yea I know the Playoffs start right afterwards but they should be postponed. Because now this situation is hard on the Marlins and somehow can put a lot more pressure on the team IMO.

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Cubs screwed everything by refusing to come down Thursday. They thought they could come in after the hurricane passed.

 

If they're concerned about a split doubleheader, why not start the games at 12 and 5 instead? They do know that there are 120,000 who had tickets to this series, right?

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Well The Cubs have officailly Pissed me off about them not wanting to come down on Sept. 20th is compeltly stupid they are soooo Greedy they just want to have all 6 Games at their Home Wrigley Field and Mckean Knows it

543564[/snapback]

 

 

The way I understand it they will be coming down the 20th, for a doubleheader, just a straight one not split. I don't blame them for this. But MLB won't let them come down on the 4th.

 

Now for not coming down on Thursday is a completely different story. They should have come.

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For all the people complaining about the Cubs, WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO? The games can not be made up after the season! The season ends on a Sunday, playoffs start on Tuesday, and that Monday needs to be left open in case there is a tie. The Cubs are going to be majorly incovenienced, too. If they have to play a DH here on the 20th, that means they have to play 2 games on what was supposed to be a travel day between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, meaning they would have 4 games in 3 days in 3 cities, think of how rough that will be. This whole situation messsed up both teams, sometimes theres nothing that can be done.

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For all the people complaining about the Cubs, WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO? The games can not be made up after the season! The season ends on a Sunday, playoffs start on Tuesday, and that Monday needs to be left open in case there is a tie. The Cubs are going to be majorly incovenienced, too. If they have to play a DH here on the 20th, that means they have to play 2 games on what was supposed to be a travel day between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, meaning they would have 4 games in 3 days in 3 cities, think of how rough that will be. This whole situation messsed up both teams, sometimes theres nothing that can be done.

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And it won't be rough playing 30 games in 27 days for us right?

 

This is so stupid. Being at home, and being the "home team" in another staidum is totally different. All they want is to play all damn 6 games in Chicago. Well they got one. I hope we sweep them those 4 games. :mad :

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man thats such bs, I am assuming the Marlins are to get a good amount of money from that one 'home' game from the Cubs though or at least I would hope

543573[/snapback]

We'll be 'lucky' to even bat second if the Cubs get 82 home games.

MLB didn't arrange it for when the Mariners or Expos when their stadiums were unplayable. MLB didn't arrange it for the Orioles, Royals and Expos when they had to make up rained-out games.

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For all the people complaining about the Cubs, WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO DO?

543591[/snapback]

Come to Miami on Thursday as they were supposed to. Frances was slow moving and these storms are unpredictable, but they are safe places to stay and you could have gotten in 1-2 or maybe all 3 games in this weekend.

 

They could be offering to move one of their games against the Expos to Thursday to open a day to play. Or switching one of their later games to a doubleheader to open up another date. This is a tight wild card race and the games WILL have to be made up. No time to diddle about and hope things work out.

 

They're fighting against a split doubleheader, caring nothing about the 120,000 fans with tickets to the series (including some of their own). All while delaying to get an extra home date and more revenue.

 

You don't think the Cubs want the extra home game? Come on! This is the club that started a business to scalp their own tickets! And routinely undervalue the TV revenue between WGN and the Cubs for revenue sharing purposes.

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No one predicted Frances to stop before it got here, and it was still supposed to be here on Friday as of the middle of the week. Of course they could have played on Friday, but that didnt happen, so you have to move forward and do the best you can with a bad situation. And the Marlins have just as much say as what will happen as the Cubs do, and MLB will have final say, so both teams will just have to make the best of whatever the decision is. I just dont see the point in whining about it. Yes, it turned out to be a screwed up situation. Yes, the Marlins got screwed. As in life, stuff happens.

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Frankly I hoped we would play as many as two games here on October 4th (depending on the standings after the regularly scheduled season ends). The games would only have to be played as needed.

 

If for example the Marlins (taking the hometown team side) were a game up over the Cubs at the end of the regularly scheduled season, and the Fish won the first game (of the DH), the second game would be then not have to be played.

 

I fear a bigger problem looming. Ivan is out there, and is projected to be in the vicinity of South Florida give or take a week from now. Conceivably we could see even more disruption to scheduling. Plus later this week the remnants of Frances will be traveling north, in the direction of Atlanta and points north. Other games (Philly, Pitts, etc.) may have to be rescheduled as well.

 

While the chances may be minimal, if the weather continues to play havoc with the MLB scheduling (not just here) don't be surprised to see the NL playoffs pushed back a day or two to make room for a number of teams to complete their seasons.

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