A problem for a rainy day

Yanks add Guzman to ALCS roster
Linkage: Jeter, Swisher, Kennedy, Walk-offs

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining in New York, and with a Nor’easter settling in over the area, this rain may not stop for a few days. With first game of the ALCS scheduled for tomorrow night amidst a 60 percent chance of rain, the game very well could be rained out, the Yanks’ best laid plans thrown into disarray.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s take a look at the ALCS schedule and two potential alternatives if Game 1 were to be rained out.

Date Schedule Alternate Alternate 2
Oct. 16 Game 1 Rain Out Rain Out
Oct. 17 Game 2 Game 1 Game 1
Oct. 18 Off Day Game 2 Game 2
Oct. 19 Game 3 Game 3 Off Day
Oct. 20 Game 4 Game 4 Game 3
Oct. 21 Off Day Off Day Game 4
Oct. 22 Game 5 Game 5 Game 5
Oct. 23 Off Day Off Day Off Day
Oct. 24 Game 6 Game 6 Game 6
Oct. 25 Game 7 Game 7 Game 7

In my opinion, Major League Baseball will have two choices if the Yanks and Angels can’t fit in Game 1 on Friday. The teams would play Game 1 on Saturday and Game 2 on Sunday, the currently-scheduled travel day. Then, without skipping a day and with a cross-country flight involved, the Angels and Yanks would meet in Anaheim on Monday afternoon. Since the game is schedule for a 4:13 start on Monday, travel could be tight.

My preferred alternate is in the right column of that table. Instead of just pushing back one game, the schedule would be rearranged to the familiar 2-3-2 ALCS format we used to enjoy prior to last year’s TV accommodations. The Yanks and Angels would play two in the Bronx on Saturday and Sunday, three in Los Angeles from Tuesday-Thursday and then two more in the Bronx the following weekend. No unnecessarily harried travel days would be involved.

The bigger problem from the Yanks’ perspective is the havoc rain or the threat of it wreaks on their pitching plans. Right now, the ALCS is set up to benefit the Yanks. Although Joe Girardi has yet to announce it, the team could very well go with a three-man rotation, and only once — CC Sabathia in Game 4 — would their starter go on short rest. Meanwhile, this extra off-day would allow the Yanks to use their ace in a potential Game 7.

Any rain-out throws that plan out of the window. Since both alternative schedules feature a compression of sorts, the Yanks would have to make a choice. Either Sabathia would pitch both Games 4 and 7 on short rest or the team would have to use four starters. Thus, under the latter scenario, Chad Gaudin would probably pitch in Game 4, Sabathia on full rest in Game 5, Burnett in Game 6 and Andy Pettitte — if the ALDS rotation holds — in Game 7. I have no problem with Pettitte taking the mound at home for Game 7, but I’d rather see CC.

Right now, we don’t know what MLB will choose to do. They have TV obligations to uphold, and a cross-country trip to schedule. A rain-out would be messy, then, on many fronts.

In the end, rain matters, and the Yankees say they have a contingency plan. Hopefully, unlike in 2004 when rain altered the Yanks’ ability to go with their preferred pitchers during the latter half of the ALCS, the team can overcome a postponement. They certainly have the depth to do so.

Postscript: The rain also has a confusing impact on the tickets fans currently hold. As Brian Costa notes, a rain-out technically pushes back both games. If Friday’s game is canceled, tickets for Home Game 1 would be honored on Saturday, and tickets for Home Game 2 would be honored on Sunday. I’d hate to be the security guards turning away confused fans for Saturday’s game.

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Yanks add Guzman to ALCS roster
Linkage: Jeter, Swisher, Kennedy, Walk-offs
  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
    • Mode:Theif and Lair

      Or this

      /old guy alert

      • Mode:Theif and Lair
        • Mode:Theif and Lair

          Arrggh. Forget it. If you care, call me and I’ll sing it to you… poorly.

          • Ferb

            Love the CCR classic! Thanks for the upload, Mode :)

  • GG

    I thought Monday was scheduled for a 4:57 start, not 4:13….I live in LA, trying to dip out of work early Monday for that game

  • Mike bk

    what are the chances they get in game 1 tomorrow and rain out saturday?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Who knows. The rain is supposed to stick around all weekend.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    What if both Friday and Saturday are rained out? It’s a distinct possibility.

    • Evan NYC

      They cancel the ALCS and award the pennant to the Yankees.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        No, they would probably go with the record in “playoff previews”. Which is a problem because we lost all of those.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          They’d award the pennant to the Angels because, unlike the Yankees, the Angels are actually GOOD for baseball.

          • pat

            Angels actually, you know, grow their own players. Teh Yankees buy ALL of them.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            But the Yankees could still buy the World Series like they always do, right?

            • A.D.

              If there’s rain outs that screws FOX’s TV schedule then FOX may just let the Yankees buy the ALCS

  • yankeegirl49

    The prediction is for rain THROUGH Monday…that would completely mess things up.

  • thurdonpaul

    playoff double header ?

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Has that ever been done?

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Preempt “So You Think You can Dance”? Or “House”? Fox will probably put the game on FX instead.

  • Evan NYC

    Rain, rain go away!

  • Evan NYC

    We haven’t watched the Yankees play a live game since Sunday. We could very well not see them again until Tuesday. That is a terrible stretch.

  • Dan

    As excited as I am for having scored tickets (at face value!) for Friday’s game, I’m not looking forward to sitting in the rain for three hours waiting for them to decide whether or not to start the game. They did that for a Yankees-Angels game earlier in the season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do it again.

    • pat

      Dude, just go across the street and sit in a bar.

      • Dan

        If it weren’t for the kids, I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

        • pat

          Ah right, kids, the monkey wrench in every good plan.

      • A.D.

        Agreed, you can really go to most bars in Manhattan, let alone the Bronx, if it’s near the 4 or B you can sit there watch the pregame, and when they pull of the tarp hit up the subway and be there in time.

        • yankeegirl49

          Thats what I usually do. I sit at the Yankee Tavern and when I see them taking the tarp off I go in.

      • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        It’s not that simple. If they haven’t announced a rain delay by, say, 20 minutes prior to first pitch, do you enter the stadium to see player introductions/first-pitch, or do you go to Stan’s because you think there will be a delay and you don’t want to be stuck in the stadium? The no re-entry policy is a real pain in the ass in these situations.

        • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

          The Hard Rock Cafe is a nifty way around the no re-entry rule.

  • A.D.

    Damn weather, this is why they should play the game on spreadsheets, the way it was intended.

    • pat

      +1

    • jsbrendog

      in mom’s basement?

      • A.D.

        that’s just icing on the cake.

  • fred

    There will be a window between storms to allow play on friday night, but Game #2 looks doubtful as a second storm is coming from midday saturday thru sunday morning.

    • Mike bk

      this would be the best outcome for the yanks if we get game 1 in, to make sure CC can pitch game 4 whenever it is.

      • CanoFTW

        Not necessarily, because one of the main benefits of the 3 man rotation was that CC was the only pitching on short rest in Game 4. If there are delays in the games that follow, that would eliminate off days and would force Burnett and/or Pettitte to pitch on short rest too.

  • SteveD Fla

    New poster here. This rain thing really sucks. as if we all did not know that. I just started reading here this season. Very good stuff from most posters. And quite funny at times also. I also heard that game 1 has a chance and 2 does not look good.

  • donttradecano

    ticket prices are dropping drastically

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    You didn’t lay out the following which is VERY possible:

    Game 1 is played in cold and damp conditions on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday are washouts, game 2 happens Monday afternoon. THEN what is the schedule?!

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  • Paul

    Play Mon/Tue/Wed at Anaheim, a travel day then 4 games in NY, especially if Friday AND Saturday will rain out.