Clubs take precautions in advance of Irene

Clubs take precautions in advance of Irene

Clubs take precautions in advance of Irene
BOSTON -- As most of the Northeast makes emergency preparations ahead of Hurricane Irene's arrival, Major League teams in affected cities have also taken necessary precautions.

The Mets, scheduled to play the Braves at Citi Field on Saturday and Sunday, have rescheduled both games. The Red Sox elected to nix a game with the A's on Sunday in favor of playing a doubleheader on Saturday, while the Phillies were planning to play just one game, on Saturday afternoon, but it was subsequently rained out before it got under way.

In New York City, even if the hurricane somehow left Citi Field playable this weekend, the crowd would be sparse. Mayor Michael Bloomberg took an unprecedented measure in ordering the evacuation of some of the city's coastal areas, and he also announced plans to shut down the city's transit system, including the No. 7 subway train. The Long Island Railroad, too, will halt.

The Mets and Braves are scheduled to make up the games in a single-admission doubleheader at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sept. 8. Tickets for Saturday's game will be honored for admission to the doubleheader, while tickets to Sunday's game will be handled under the Mets' rain-check policy.

The Orioles postponed Saturday's doubleheader against the Yankees, opting instead for a split doubleheader on Sunday and a makeup game on Sept. 8.

In Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama was vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, Gov. Deval Patrick has activated the National Guard, and warnings have been issued ahead of potential evacuations. The storm is expected to reach the area on Saturday night, by which time the Sox and A's hope to have wrapped up their doubleheader. The first game at Fenway Park is scheduled for noon, and the second for 5 p.m.

Fans who had tickets to the originally scheduled 1 p.m. game at Fenway Park on Saturday must use them for the noon game. Tickets for the Sunday game will be honored at Saturday's nightcap.

"With a forecast that calls for potentially heavy rains and high winds on Sunday, we felt it was necessary and prudent to move the Sunday game to Saturday, also," Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino said. "This will not only give us the best opportunity to play the scheduled games, but also help to ensure that traveling conditions are safer for our fans. We apologize for the inconvenience these changes will cause our fans this weekend, both those coming to the ballpark and those tuning in to the game on radio or television."

A mass-transit shutdown looms in Philadelphia, as it does in New York.

The Phillies and Marlins were slated to play one game, at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. That game was technically the one that was supposed to be played on Sunday. The 7:05 p.m. game the Phillies were originally scheduled to play on Saturday night has now been moved to Sept. 15.

That's not a misprint: Phillies tickets for Sunday were to be honored on Saturday, while tickets for Saturday are to be honored on Sept. 15. Now, Phillies fans await word of when Saturday's postponed game (originally scheduled for Sunday) will be rescheduled.

It's a slightly complicated situation the Phils find themselves in, but there's logic behind it. Initially, they took a measure similar to the Red Sox -- they moved Sunday's game to Saturday and were planning a doubleheader.

But the weather was feared to be too poor by nightfall, so the only game the teams hoped to get in was the afternoon game -- the game that was originally to be played on Sunday.

"Given the deteriorating forecast for Saturday night's game, as well as the evening shutdown of public transportation and the concern about conditions our fans might face leaving our game late Saturday night, the decision was made to postpone the 7:05 p.m. game," said Mike Stiles, the Phillies' senior vice president of administration and operations.

As for how the teams are affected, the Mets-Braves and Marlins-Phils postponements weren't announced until Friday, and no revised rotations have been announced yet. The Sox are keeping their pitching order: Jon Lester started Saturday's opener, with Erik Bedard starting Game 2.

For the A's, Guillermo Moscoso took his scheduled turn on Saturday in the first game, and Graham Godfrey -- not yet called up -- is expected to start the nightcap. Right-hander Brandon McCarthy, originally slated for Sunday, is now likely to pitch on Monday in Cleveland, with the rest of the rotation pushed back as well.

Rescheduling games at this time of the season is always tricky because teams often aren't scheduled to be anywhere near each other geographically, or have identical off-days. It's particularly tricky this season, though, with the postseason scheduled to start on Sept. 30, just two days after the regular season ends.

If the Red Sox, who are in a tight race for the American League East title with the Yankees, and the A's aren't able to get both games in on Saturday, they'll like have to make up the game after the regular season would be over for other teams.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.