Let me start this by stating the obvious -- hindsight is 20/20.
With that stated, it’s amazing that there hasn’t been more outcry over the Phillies organizations total mishandling of the Phillies-Marlins series as Hurricane Irene swirled towards the Philadelphia region.
Where is Ed Rendell saying that canceling games before a single drop of rain began to fall is the “Wussification” of baseball? Where are fans hammering the Phightins for moving games to times that made no sense to weather forecasts?
The mishandling -- especially considering the Phillies waited so long to cancel the day game Saturday (a game that was already moved from Sunday afternoon as part of a day/night doubleheader) -- was likely to do with money. Even with rain already falling before noon the Phillies opened the gates to the ballpark taking in concession money and parking money from fans just wanting to see the best team in baseball.
“They ignored the weather in my opinion and Hurricane Schwartz’s opinion,” said Sports Final’s Howard Eskin.
Eskin is right about Saturday. But the Phillies boggling of the entire Irene event started on Thursday when the team decided to move Sunday’s game to Saturday afternoon.
The Saturday night game was doomed no matter what with Irene closing in on Philly but the Sunday game didn’t have to be. The Phillies could have moved the start time back to 4:05 p.m. and been OK. SEPTA was set to resume subway service by then and besides some residual winds, most forecasts had Irene -- and her rain -- well out of the City of Brotherly Love.
Yes, it would have given the Phillies a shorter turnaround to get out to Cincinnati for Monday’s 7:05 p.m. game but besides that there really would be little less inconvenience for fans or the franchise than there was by moving the game to another day entirely.
If the storm was worse than it was then the Phils still could have canceled Sunday’s game or even moved it back a bit further into the afternoon and still have had plenty of time to get the team a charter flight to Cincy and get the Marlins a bus up to New York.
Maybe the Phils thinking was that if they could get to Cincy and the Marlins get to also hard hit NYC before the storm then there would be no problem with getting stranded for Monday’s games.
At least roster are about to expand to 40 players because the Phillies -- a mostly older team -- are now faced with the tough task of playing every day for the rest of the season. Barring any more rain outs, the Phils will play 33 times in the next 31 days.