When the Boston Red Sox postponed Wednesday’s game at Fenway Park because of inclement weather, it wasn’t without controversy, as the Tampa Bay Rays reportedly were reluctant to play a doubleheader Thursday because they saw “practical alternatives.”
A lot goes into deciding whether to postpone a game at Fenway Park, though. According to Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino, there’s a panel — appropriately named the “rain trust” — that goes through several steps before deciding whether to call a game.
“We have a little organization we call the ‘rain trust’ — not the brain trust, the rain trust — and there are four or five of us who confer with our private weather service, who confer with Major League Baseball, talk to the opposing team, and yes, there was plenty of dialogue that took place (Wednesday),” Lucchino said Thursday on WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan.”
“Apparently, (the Rays) had a preference for a game in late September. … If we had waited until late September and had rain again at the point, there’s a much more likely probability that we would miss a game or two (on the schedule), and they matter in the standings and, of course, there are substantial ramifications as well. Our policy and our preferred practice is try to get (the games) in sooner rather than later.”
Lucchino acknowledged Thursday that Wednesday’s rainout — like all rainouts — presented an “unsatisfying situation,” particularly for those traveling long distances. New England weather obviously is unpredictable, though, and it’s something that Lucchino said he thinks should be taken into account when the MLB schedule is drawn up.
“There was at one time an effort to have a warm weather and dome schedule so that teams with warm weather sites or dome facilities had a heavier home schedule in the month of April,” Lucchino said. “Apparently, it didn’t work out particularly well that year — there was a lot of bad weather in May and April wasn’t so bad — and we seem to have left that schedule behind — the schedule bias behind us — when we probably should have continued again. But I do think they try to take it into consideration. I just think there should be a larger presumption in favor of that kind of warm weather scheduling.”
Wednesday night’s game was rescheduled for 1:05 p.m. Thursday. Thursday’s regularly scheduled game will remain at 7:10 p.m.
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