Alexa

Detroit irked over being told after Yanks

Detroit irked over being told after Yanks

For a game that still hasn't started, it sure did irritate the Tigers.
Sometimes the rain leaves a funny smell, and the Tigers were holding their noses and biting their tongues. It's not so much that Game 2 of their American League Division Series was postponed by the commissioner's office. The Tigers were upset that they found out later than the Yankees did.
At around 9:40 p.m. (local time), the Tigers were warming up for a 10 p.m. first pitch, while Derek Jeter was already back at his Manhattan condo, getting treatment from Bud Selig's personal masseuse.
No, I'm kidding. But the Tigers noticed that while they warmed up, the Yankees were nowhere to be found. Everybody knows the Yankees are a great team, but are they so great they don't even have to warm up?
"They definitely got information that I didn't have, that our team didn't have," Tigers starter Justin Verlander said. "Half of our team was out there. Not one of their guys was. I don't know what happened."
Protecting assets
Verlander is the main concern, of course. He tried to minimize the damage. He said that he probably would have thrown more on a normal off day. But let's be honest: If he knew he was starting a game at 1:09 p.m. today (Thursday), he would not have thrown at 9:35 p.m. Wednesday. And that's what he did.
And that's why the Tigers were angry. They stopped just short of saying that publicly. But trust me on this: They absolutely were. And they should be.
"At 9:35 they said, '10 o'clock start,'" closer Todd Jones said. "Then Justin goes out there and starts throwing and not one Yankee was out there. They went from we're going at 10 o'clock to six minutes later saying the game is canceled. And it hasn't really rained hard out there!"
It actually rained fairly hard, although games have been played in worse. The dumbest part of this whole deal is that the game was postponed because of a storm front due to come in at midnight. Well, it's not like that storm front leaped onto the radar at 9:30. Everybody knew it was coming - and with TV commercial breaks, there was no way to play this game in less than three hours. So why wait until 9:40 to cancel the game?
"I think we should have played," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner told New York reporters. "We should have made up our minds earlier."
The Tigers would agree. They waited and waited, and for what? Nobody seemed to know what the plan was.
"I kind of figured it would have been more structured," third baseman Brandon Inge said.
No place to call home
Maybe the Tigers should have clammed up, gone back to their hotel and forgotten the whole thing. But that brought up another problem: they didn't have a hotel. They had planned to fly back to Detroit immediately after the game. And that's another reason for their irritation. All night, they were told the game would be played. The Yankees even announced it over the public-address system at 8:36.
"I might just curl up on the couch," Inge said. "I'm not sure."
What happened here? Blame the commissioner's folks? Did the Yankees want Verlander to warm up while their starter, Mike Mussina, rested?
"I don't know," Jones said. "I hope not. I wouldn't think that would be anything Joe (Torre) would OK, you know?"
I don't think so either. The Yankees are many things - extremely talented, well-financed, relentless in their pursuit of championships. But they are not bush-league.
Is this a reason for the Tigers to lose today? No. Of course not. The reason they probably will lose this series is that the Yankees have the best lineup in baseball - one of the best ever. If you combined the rosters and picked a starting lineup, you might just pick a Yankee at every single position on the field.
No, this won't cost the Tigers the series. But it is annoying and inexcusable. Playing the Yankees is hard enough. Why must it be so hard to not play the Yankees?