Makeup games pose problems in MLB schedules

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2013 - 12:07 PM

Baseball’s new schedule, which includes interleague games all season long, makes postponements more difficult, because only division foes return to a city more than once.

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The tarp at Target Field was placed on the infield before the game was postponed on Wednesday night.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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The Angels weren’t scheduled to return to Target Field this year. But they are now.

Exactly when isn’t clear yet, but a makeup game will be required later this season after Wednesday night’s game was postponed by rain, the second consecutive home series to have its finale rescheduled by weather.

“Everyone wanted to figure out a way to play this, but it’s just not conducive,” manager Ron Gardenhire said after consulting with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the Twins grounds crew and weather forecaster, and the umpires. “It’s not going to be a good situation for either team, because they’re going to have to fly back here, but that’s just the way it is.”

A heavy mist began falling shortly after 6 p.m., and temperatures dipped into the 30s. Radar showed precipitation would only increase as the night went on, “and with the field getting [slick] like it is, it’s not good,” Gardenhire said. “The field’s just not going to take it.”

Baseball’s new schedule, which includes interleague games all season long, makes postponements more difficult, because only division foes return to a city more than once. “That’s one of the reasons we played [in 30-degree temperatures last Friday] — we can’t afford not to play games,” General Manager Terry Ryan said. A week ago in Kansas City, Ryan said, “we played in bad conditions. But they got out there, they played, and we don’t have to worry about backing up doubleheaders.”

Or one-game makeup trips, which sacrifice scheduled off days. The Angels will have to make one now, after Wednesday became the seventh postponement in Target Field history and second in four days.

“Definitely we would like to get the game in so you don’t have to do that later in the season,” Gardenhire said. “But let’s be smart about it, too. If you risk injuries, it’s scary. If the weather is horrendous, it’s not fair to anybody — fans, players.”

Tickets for Wednesday’s game will be valid for the makeup date, when it’s announced, or can be exchanged for a voucher good for any other game. Tickets must be redeemed at least 48 hours before the game for which you wish to exchange the tickets.

Rotation revision

The rainout will simply push the Twins rotation back by a day, Gardenhire said, with Vance Worley now scheduled to start Friday in Chicago against the White Sox. Scott Diamond will pitch Saturday and Kevin Correia on Sunday.

The bigger worry, Gardenhire said, is relief pitchers who are getting so little work; with Thursday off, the Twins will have been idle three days out of five. “We’ve got a lot of relievers who haven’t thrown for a while. [Brian] Duensing was already up to six days without being on the mound,” Gardenhire said. “Those are the things you have to guard against.”

Etc.

• The Twins are part of a Major League Baseball collaboration with Qualcomm to increase wireless connectivity in the ballpark, including Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G networks. The projects calls for assessing Target Field’s needs for ensuring that fans can use mobile devices with fewer interruptions, outages or slowdowns, then implementing new equipment over the next year.

• Righthander Cole De Vries had no issues with his forearm after a bullpen session Wednesday, and he will throw again Friday. Should that go well, he will go to Fort Myers to begin a rehab assignment, either with the Twins’ extended spring training team or with Class A Fort Myers.

• Pitching coach Rick Anderson was not with the team Wednesday, but Gardenhire said he expects him to rejoin the Twins in Chicago.

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