Detroit – And another one bites the dust.
The Tigers and Royals postponed Wednesday’s game at Comerica Park, not because of rain or snow, but because temperatures in the 30s, and heavy winds forecasted for the afternoon, promised unbearable conditions.
The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader, April 20, when the Royals next visit Detroit.
“Really, it was the wind chill and the wind whipping around – 25 to 40 miles per hour gusts,” said Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team had its second postponement in six days.
The Tigers were to board at 4 p.m. a bus for their charter flight to Chicago and a three-game series that begins Thursday against the White Sox, should the Arctic relinquish its sustained grip on baseball in the north.
Big-league baseball’s early-season schedule has turned into a mess risked when the 2018 schedule began in March and has been compounded by a brutal first week of April. Teams across America’s top tier have been dealing with snow, rain, and bitter cold, leading to a rash of make-up dates.
“You can’t run the schedule,” Gardenhire said. “There it is. You can’t do anything about it. It’s not pretty, but we’re just going to have to deal with it.”
There were intense, lengthy negotiations Wednesday morning at Comerica Park as player representatives for the two teams talked with teammates, and as the players’ union as well as Commissioner Rob Manfred’s office, discussed options with the teams’ front offices and with the reps.
It was decided just before 11 a.m. that the series-finale would be shifted to Kansas City’s next visit. The games will begin at 1:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m.
The Royals make only one additional trip to Detroit in 2018, in September.
The Tigers will rearrange their starting rotation, with Jordan Zimmermann set to pitch Thursday, which will be the White Sox’s Opening Day game at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Michael Fulmer is Saturday’s planned starter, with Gardenhire not committing to a Sunday selection. But it is believed Mike Fiers will be restored from the disabled list and that Daniel Norris, who was supposed to start Wednesday, will head to Triple A Toledo for some regular work he hasn’t been seeing amid the bad weather and jumbled rotation.
Forecasts for Thursday throughout the weekend at Chicago are nasty: cold temperatures with the chance for precipitation.
The Tigers get no break afterward. They’re obliged to head for Cleveland for four consecutive night games, beginning Monday. In keeping with the past week’s conditions, Cleveland’s long-term weather projection is decidedly ugly: rain and/or snow, with the mercury no higher than 41.