It’s an absolute joke – and a disgrace.
Trust me when I tell you that the weather has been absolutely perfect for the last two days here in Moosic, PA and due to the poor field conditions, the PawSox and Scranton/WB Yankees have not been able to play the first two games of their series.
They’ll attempt to play a doubleheader on Monday night at 5:35 pm, and a twinbill has also been scheduled for August 1st.
The substandard drainage system at PNC Field has not only cost the PawSox two games under ideal weather conditions – it has cost the team Jed Lowrie.
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Sunday was the 14th day of Jed’s 20-day injury rehab assignment and he’s only had 14 at-bats so far. Fearing the possibility of another postponement at Scranton/WB on Monday, the Red Sox are sending Lowrie to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
“We’re going to make a move with Jed,” manager Ron Johnson told me. “He got his work in today (Sunday) and he’ll be heading to Manchester tonight to join the Portland team because he’s on a timetable and the clock is running. I got a call from (Red Sox farm director) Mike Hazen and Theo Epstein while this whole thing was going on, and they were already putting the wheels in motion to get Jed to Portland so that he can get his at-bats in. I hope to God it doesn’t rain there.”
The situation here is bizarre. I walked around the outfield today and I honestly don’t think it’s that terrible. Plenty of PawSox players agreed and told me that they can’t believe the games have been cancelled. Yes, the grass is mushy in spots and someone could twist an ankle, but I honestly don’t think it’s more dangerous than playing on a wet field (which every team in the majors and minors does on a frequent basis).
But then again, I’m just a radio guy.
Manager Ron Johnson is in a difficult spot because if the home team tells you that their field is unsafe, it’s hard to argue.
“I’ve known their manager Dave Miley for 30 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him and he knows their field better than I do,” RJ told me. “When you go out there and all of their folks are saying it’s unsafe and unplayable, your choice is really easy.”
Sunday marked the 4th time in the last few weeks that Scranton/WB had to cancel a game under sunny conditions. According to the local newspaper, if the situation continues, the International League could arrange for alternate sites such at Syracuse or Lehigh Valley for Scranton/WB home games.
(If there’s one good thing about this fiasco, it’s knowing that the Yankees front office must absolutely be going ballistic)
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Monday night. According to weather.com, the temperature is going to be in the mid-70’s with no chance of rain during the day and only a slight chance at night. Not that nice weather seems to matter much.
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While the PawSox lost one shortstop in Jed Lowrie, they’ve added another as Ivan Ochoa has finally come off of the disabled list. Ochoa went on the DL on May 1st with a hamstring injury and only recently starting playing in a few games with the Single-A GCL Red Sox where he batted .438 in 5 games.
To make room for Ochoa on the active roster, Enrique Gonzalez has been placed on the disabled list with a calf strain. His spot in the rotation will be filled by Billy Traber, who is expected to make his first start of the year on Thursday at McCoy Stadium. Traber started 2 games last year for Scranton/WB (tossing 5 scoreless innings) and has started 129 games in his pro baseball career.
Traber is 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 27 relief appearances this year, and has not allowed a run in his last 16.2 IP.
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You might not be a fan of his work on MSNBC, but Keith Olbermann writes a terrific baseball blog and I strongly encourage you to check out this entry regarding the warm welcome Manny Ramirez has received since returning from his steroid suspension.
Olbermann nails it.
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If the doubleheader actually takes place on Monday night, I hope you’ll tune in for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 5:20. Hoard and Hyder are certainly well-rested.