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Baseball: devil rays still in florida 3 1/2 hours before they are supposed to play a twin bill in ny

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posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 11:47 AM
Devil Rays still in Florida 3 1/2 hours before scheduled doubleheader in New York

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
September 6, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays remained in Florida on Monday morning, just hours before they were scheduled to play a doubleheader opener in New York against the Yankees.

The Devil Rays, whose Saturday and Sunday home games against Detroit were postponed by Hurricane Frances, were still on the ground, having difficulty flying out of Florida.

Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said at 11:40 a.m. that the team, which arrived at Tropicana Field at 8 a.m., was still at the ballpark.

Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, said commissioner Bud Selig was reviewing the situation with other baseball officials and no decision had been made on how to proceed.

``It's an unfortunate set of circumstances,'' he said.

Alderson did not know if the problem had to deal with chartering a plane, finding an open airport or getting to an airport.

``It may be there has been a combination of problems that has given rise to this situation,'' he said.

Monday's doubleheader originally was scheduled to start at 1 p.m., then was pushed back on Sunday to 3 p.m.

``We had planned on being here all day anyway,'' Yankees captain Derek Jeter said. ``I don't see how we could play two games today now.''

The Yankees had urged the Devil Rays to leave Florida on Friday night or Saturday, before the storm caused airports to close.

It was unclear whether a failure by Tampa Bay to arrive by the scheduled start time would cause Major League Baseball to declare one or both games forfeits. Alderson would not address that.

``Let's get a grill,'' Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina said. ``Hot dogs and burgers on the field.''

The Yankees reported to Yankee Stadium at noon for the doubleheader

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