For the first time ever, Major League Baseball may play World Series games in November, as a result of the terrorist attacks that devastated the United States and disrupted the major league schedule.
Games through Thursday were called off, raising the total to 45, the most postponed since 1918. Major League Baseball has not addressed when play will resume or when or if the postponed games from Tuesday through Thursday will be made up.
There’s a good chance the regular season would be extended beyond its scheduled finish on Sept. 30 to make up the postponed games.
One news source reported that baseball’s tentative plan is to resume games Friday and that all three days of postponed games will be made up at the end of the regular season. This would push back the start of the playoffs from Tuesday, Oct. 2, to the weekend.
Even if games resume in 48 hours, it is unlikely that baseball will be played in New York. This would create a problem because the Mets are scheduled to open a nine-game homestand beginning Friday against Montreal. The Yankees begin a 10-game road trip Friday.
With new series scheduled to start Friday, commissioner Bud Selig said he’ll announce a decision about the weekend games Thursday.
“I think many people would hope we’d start Friday,” Selig said. “But I haven’t made that judgment yet. I’m not close to making it.
“I think I’ll know when the right time is. But it is a very difficult, a very difficult decision.”
But he also knows baseball — long touted as America’s pastime — has a history of helping heal the country. When World War II was going on, President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged baseball to continue playing, saying it would boost the country’s morale.
When an earthquake devastated the San Francisco Bay area Oct. 17, 1989, about 30 minutes before the start of World Series Game 3 at Candlestick Park, San Francisco asked the games to resume 10 days later.
“There’s a sentiment I’m feeling and hearing that people would like to see life go on now,” Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo said. “What I’m hearing out of Washington, you look at the telecasts, they want people to get back to being as normal as possible. And maybe that is part of the healing process as we continue to work through this tragedy.”
There is the possibility of the Fall Classic producing its first Mr. November.
The NFL will hold off on a decision until Thursday, but appears likely to hold its Sunday games.
Sources say that the league was waiting for baseball to take the lead, not wanting to be the first institution to start play following the attacks. Now that the MLB is poised to resume Friday and the majority of college football will continue as scheduled Saturday, the NFL is expected to play its games.
Chiefly concerning the league’s front office are games scheduled in New York, Washington and Baltimore, close to the sites of Tuesday’s attacks. The New York Giants’ game against the Green Bay Packers might be played at Lambeau Field instead of the Meadowlands.
Other possibilities the commissioner is exploring include canceling the weekend’s games and reverting to a 15-game schedule, or postponing these games until after the season and eliminating the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.
Professional golf canceled its three tournaments set to take place this weekend. After pushing first-round holes to later in the week Tuesday, the PGA decided Wednesday to forego its two major events and a Buy.com Tour event that had been scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.