After the Red Sox organization announced a double header and started selling tickets for it for Thursday, Tampa Bay Rays’ player representative Ben Zobrist made a call to the Player’s Union. Major League Baseball hadn’t made the double header official just yet, and the Rays were hoping to avoid having to play one. The weather is slated to still be in less than optimal playing conditions and Tampa Bay wasn’t making their last trip to Fenway.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times did a little digging and came up with this, taken from the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) May 1, 2014
The phrase “when there is no practical alternative to doing so” seems to be the key in all of this, as, with Tampa Bay and Boston being division rivals, the two teams play each other several more times through the course of a season. Topkin also wrote the preview article for the twin-billing, detailing a potential explanation for why Boston was so insistent on playing two times on Thursday.
This Dustin Pedroia bobblehead, which was to be given out Wednesday night, is quite a big deal. Big enough, depending on whom you believe, that it may have factored into the Red Sox wanting to play a doubleheader today as they had nowhere to store 30,000 bobbleheads if they weren’t given out this afternoon. And big enough that some Red Sox fans who have jobs and can’t attend today’s matinee took to Twitter to vent their frustration, hoping the Rays prevailed in delaying the makeup game.
If Boston fans are hoping their own team loses because of this special treatment, it may be time for baseball to take a look at the language of the CBA.