Due to hurricane Irma, the Rays home series against the Yankees scheduled for September 11-13 will now be played in the away team’s backyard, Citi Field.
There’s an easy answer why: it’s not hard to find a hotel near or in New York City for the Rays (on short notice), and the Yankees wouldn’t have to travel at all.
But this also seems a bit unfair.
The other possible site was Camden Yards in Baltimore, but travel and lodging logistics evidently got in the way, per Ken Rosenthal, so the Rays will be giving their rivals another home series as both teams contend for the 2017 Wild Card.
Here’s my question: Why not just flip the home series for these two teams?
The Rays are scheduled to travel to the Yankees in the penultimate series of the season September 26-28 before travelling home for their final series of the year against the Orioles.
Instead of giving the Yankees additional home field advantage, wouldn’t it be kinder for both franchises to allow New York and Tampa Bay to switch series?
The only other team using Yankee Stadium is the MLS’s NYCFC, but their game is September 9th, leaving ample time to convert Yankee Stadium back to a baseball dwelling.
Make this right MLB.
Queens is not a neutral site.
The Rays have released the following statement on moving the series to Citi Field:
With Hurricane Irma causing severe weather conditions throughout Florida, Major League Baseball has moved the three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees from Tropicana Field to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. As originally scheduled, the series will be played Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Rays will be considered the home team and will bat last.
“After much consideration, our games against the Yankees will be moved to Citi Field as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida,” said Rays President Brian Auld. “We are grateful to the Mets for opening their doors to us. We are most concerned with the safety of our fans, our families, friends and neighbors.”
Fans holding tickets to Rays-Yankees games at Tropicana Field should check raysbaseball.com/irma and all social media channels in coming days for information on exchanging their tickets or receiving a refund.
Additionally, it has been reported Montreal was also considered for a neutral site, but
what was best for the Yankees / the path of least resistance / only making one team travel was preferred by MLB.