O's, Yanks remain at odds over schedule
New York must return to Baltimore on Sept. 8 for 1:05 p.m. game
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles announced Sunday night that the Sept. 8 makeup game with the Yankees is going to be played at 1:05 p.m. ET.
When all of the schedule changes forced by Hurricane Irene began to be announced during Friday's game, it set off a mini-firestorm of reactions. The Orioles said that the one game that needed to be rescheduled would be played Sept. 8, but it was on an off-day for New York, and the Yankees didn't want to lose one of their two remaining off-days this season.
The Orioles and Yankees finish a series in New York on Sept. 7 with a 1:05 p.m. game. The Yankees have to travel to Anaheim for a three-game series on Sept. 9, and didn't want to come back to Baltimore on Sept. 8 before heading to the West Coast.
Yankees player rep Curtis Granderson said between games of Sunday's doubleheader that the team had been told the game on Sept. 8 wouldn't be during the day, so the time of the game came off as a mild surprise.
The actual announcement of the 1:05 p.m. start time came during the second game of the doubleheader. The time previously had been listed as TBA.
The Orioles' scheduling drama surrounding this weekend's set with the Yankees continued before the first game of the doubleheader, when Baltimore's manager Buck Showalter called New York's public frustration over not playing a doubleheader Friday an act of "hypocrisy."
Showalter said the Yankees called O's president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail on short notice -- about 24 hours before the series started -- asking to play a doubleheader on Friday with Hurricane Irene's scheduled arrival throughout the area on Saturday. The Orioles declined for a variety of reasons -- including short notice and loss of money in scheduling a Friday afternoon game -- and the Yankees took exception to the decision.
Both Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Granderson expressed their frustration on Friday through the media, with Granderson saying in an issued statement that he was puzzled by the Orioles' handling of the schedule, and that the proposed solution was inadequate.
The Orioles' organization, in a state of shock since former pitcher, team executive and broadcaster Mike Flanagan took his own life on Wednesday afternoon, also had a special tribute planned for Friday night's game, and Showalter bristled at New York's perceived lack of compassion regarding the recent events.
"First of all, I felt that some of the stuff was a little disrespectful to Flanny, quite frankly," Showalter said when asked about the Yankees' outrage over this weekend's scheduling. "That didn't sit with me very well. I can tell you that. We didn't say much -- I think we had an April rainout there -- and they just told us when we were playing. We were OK with that. Like I told you the other day, you tell us when we're playing, we'll play.
"We understand that sometimes our opinions on things are not relevant. They come to me when there is two options and talk about it from a baseball standpoint. Every club does that. But some of it kind of has a feeling of [hypocrisy]. I don't know. I don't dwell on it. Their opinion on what the Baltimore Orioles should do for their fans and for their organization isn't really that relevant to me, personally. I can tell you that. We'll do what's best for our fans and for our organization, and we expect it back that they're going to do the same on their side."
Girardi, who made it no secret that he was upset about not playing a doubleheader Friday, was against one of the Orioles' proposed solutions, which included back-to-back doubleheaders Sunday and Monday. Asked if there was another way around using the Sept. 8 off-day, Girardi mentioned a split-doubleheader in New York instead of Baltimore, a contest that would benefit the Yankees tremendously given that they are already at home facing the Orioles. As previously noted, New York travels to Anaheim to face the Angels on Sept. 9.
Asked if the roles were reversed, would the Yankees agree to that scenario, Girardi pointed out this situation was unique.
"These are circumstances that aren't normal," Girardi said. "It's kind of like the Marlins had to go up to Seattle because they had a concert. I'm sure they weren't happy about it.
"They didn't move it to a neutral site. I'm sure they weren't happy with it. Cleveland had to go play in Milwaukee because of crazy circumstances. Sometimes the circumstances dictate what happens."
Said Showalter: "I'm real confident that our guys have thought about every possible thing, and we hope that the scenario we've had coming back home here never presents itself again. I'm sure if [the Yankees] stopped and thought about it, if the same thing that happened to one of their greats, that they probably would have given a lot of consideration to how they were going to handle that day.
"We hope one day that we can be as competitive as they are. I respect where they are in the season and what their people are saying about the competitive part of it, but it means something to us, too.
"We'll continue to do what's best for the Baltimore Orioles and the fans, which are the same thing. Along the way, we'll wear that. Sometimes we confuse some things from a real-life standpoint, compared to what we're actually doing here, OK? Obviously, there's more, but I'll stop there."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.