Prior to a Mark Loretta single in the last of the 7th today at Miller Park, the Astros had been held hitless by the Cubs’ combination of Carlos Zambrano and Ted Lilly (above) for 15 innings. Having spent a good portions of a sleepless weekend contending with Hurricane Ike in Houston, the Astros were at enough of a competitive disadvantage as is without being forced to play at Wrigley East. While not leaving Bud Selig off the hook, the Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice is quick to hold local ownership accountable.
Drayton McLane shouldn™t be given a pass. He refused to believe predictions that a monstrous storm was headed for Houston. He wanted those three home games against the Chicago Cubs so badly that his judgment was clouded.
Had he acted earlier, had he acknowledged that the Astros and Cubs simply weren™t going to play at Minute Maid Park, this series could have been played at a true neutral site over the weekend.
Anywhere else would have been better than what the Astros walked into Sunday night. This was a home game for the Cubs. Plain and simple. And dumb.
If this was the best baseball could do, this series should have been played after the season.
Sure, such a decision would have conflicted with Fox™s television schedule. Big deal.
Get it right on the field and then worry about when the television show starts.
The Astros left Minute Maid Park at 8:45 Sunday morning. Their plane took off at 11:50. They arrived at their hotel around 2 and left for the ballpark at 4.
Players™ moods ranged from angry to very angry about the decision to play here. Maybe they™ll end up channeling that anger in another direction.
They can be angry at Selig and McLane when the season is over. For now, there™s still the chance to do something incredible, something they™ll remember for the rest of their lives.