Russell Martin of the New York Yankees tags out Vladimir Guerrero of the Baltimore Orioles at the plate in the fifth inning during a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The Orioles won 12-5. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
The New York Yankees are widely considered the jewel franchise in baseball. They make the postseason nearly every year and have won multiple World Series in the last 15 years.
So that must be why they think they can push around the Baltimore Orioles, a club that hasn't made the playoffs since 1997 and is on the way to its sixth straight 90+ loss season.
Let's review this past weekend, when the nation was watching Hurricane Irene barrel up the East Coast. The Yankees and Orioles were scheduled to play a five-game series from Friday through Monday, with one of the games being a makeup for a game rained out in Baltimore on April 22, as part of a day-night doubleheader this past Saturday. But the approach of the storm forced the postponement of both those games; one of them was made up as part of a split doubleheader Sunday.
It's the rescheduling of the other postponed Saturday game that has these two teams at each other's proverbial throats. Baltimore wanted to make the game up on Sept. 8, a common off day. The teams play in New York from Sept. 5-7; the Yankees head to Anaheim on Sept. 9, while the Orioles play in Toronto that day. Sept. 15 was suggested as a possible date, but the Yankees balked, because they have to travel from a series in Seattle to a series in Toronto and didn't want to detour to Baltimore. They suggested playing the game in New York. The Orioles, obviously, didn't care for that idea; an Orioles official expressed the team's displeasure:
"Are we really still talking about this? We've just seen a hurricane come through this region which has caused millions to be without power, tens of millions of dollars in property damage and even several deaths," Orioles director of communications Greg Bader wrote in an email earlier Sunday to ESPNNewYork.com. "We've got people out there literally trying to put their lives back together and yet there are some still worrying about a rescheduled game time?
"We will be playing the game on September 8. We will be selecting a game time and will announce it shortly. It is time to move on to more pressing matters."
The Yankees evidently feared the Orioles would schedule the game to be played at night, forcing them to take a redeye flight to California for the series with the Angels. However, after the Orioles agreed to play the Sept. 8 makeup game at 1:05 p.m. ET, New York and player rep Curtis Granderson gave their assent.
Before this weekend series, the Orioles were 1-9 against the Yankees this season, but they won two of the three games played so far, with another to be played Monday night. The teams have four games remaining in September, and clearly don't like each other. The only question that remains is...
... what if it rains again that week?