Irene’s Impact


With Category 1 Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast of the United States, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at this storm’s impact on the sports world. A variety of schedule changes, cancellations, and postponements have taken effect here over the past few days, most of which will be mentioned after the jump. The Cardinals haven’t been able to catch too many breaks in their pursuit of the Brewers in the NL Central division race, but for what it’s worth, Mother Nature has given them a free pass in this case.

Although Hurricane’s and baseball don’t seem to collide with any degree of regularity, these powerful storms impact our national pastime much more commonly than you might think. Just within the last eight years alone, the heavy rains and high winds that come alone with hurricanes have both postponed and relocated a handful of Major League Baseball games.

As you can imagine, MLB isn’t exactly facing a black and white dilemma when tooling with its complex schedule. Obviously player safety is the number one priority, but no team wants to play a home game away from home, and I can’t imagine that players are thrilled about doubleheaders late in the season. From here on out, two given teams aren’t often scheduled to be near each other geographically or have identical days off. Throw in the fact that the start of the postseason (Sept. 30th) comes just two days after the end of the regular season, rescheduling these missed games will be no easy task.

So, with that in mind, here’s a list of MLB games that have been postponed due to threats that Hurricane Irene presents:

  • The Philadelphia Phillies/Florida Marlins series at Citizens Bank Park has become a mess. Sunday’s game was rescheduled as an afternoon game on Saturday, but it has since been cancelled along with the originally scheduled night game. This pair of weekend games will now be played as a day/night doubleheader in mid-September, giving the Phils 33 games over the final 31 days of the season.
  • The New York Mets/Atlanta Braves afternoon games at Citi Field today and tomorrow have both been rescheduled. They will also be rescheduled as a doubleheader in September.
  • The Boston Red Sox/Oakland Athletics game scheduled for Sunday at Fenway Park was moved to a late afternoon game today. The original afternoon game was moved up to noon to make room for Sunday’s moved game, which is currently in a rain delay. It looks like they just weren’t able to cram everything in before the storm.
  • The Baltimore Orioles/New York Yankees day/night doubleheader at Camden Yards Saturday has been cancelled. The night game will be made up tomorrow night, and the day game, which is a make-up from an April rainout, will be played in early September.

Irene’s impact on sports has not been limited to baseball. The PGA Tour’s first playoff event was cut to 54 holes, U.S. Open Tennis pre-tournament events were called off, two MLS games have been cancelled, and the NFL moved the kickoff of a preseason game in New York up to the afternoon.

I don’t think there is any disputing that Major League Baseball, and all other professional sports, is doing the right thing in taking these precautions. Although this situation is inconvenient in many ways, it is out of our control. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, as I do my best to weather the storm here in Philadelphia, I hope that everyone out there stays safe.