Sox mull schedule change for Hurricane Irene

Sox mull schedule change for Hurricane Irene
August 25, 2011, 12:15 am
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By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bracing for what could be a major hurricane in New England, the Red Sox Wednesday were having internal discussions about how to best handle a three-game series with the Oakland A's at Fenway this weekend.

Hurricane Irene is due to land in the Boston area sometime Saturday night, with anywhere from six to 10 inches of rain -- along with wind gusts up to 50 mph -- in the forecast for Sunday.

The Red Sox have a scheduled off-day Monday, but the A's are due to begin a road series in Cleveland Monday night. In fact, the Red Sox and A's don't have a common off-day for the remainder of the regular season, making a makeup date extremely problematic.

One scenario being discussed is to move Sunday's scheduled afternoon game to Saturday night as part of a day-night, separate admission doubleheader.

The current Saturday afternoon game is scheduled for a 1:10 p.m. start. The Red Sox could schedule the shifted game for a 7:10 p.m.

However, the current forecast calls for rain to begin around 9 p.m. Saturday, making the prospect of a complete nine-inning game an iffy proposition.

The Sox have also had discussions about starting the regularly-scheduled afternoon game earlier than 1:10, thus enabling the second game to begin earlier, too.

This, too, is not without some issues. The nationally televised FOX telecast is set for 4 p.m. and extends to 7 p.m. Fox's arrangement with MLB ensures TV exclusivity for that three-hour window, meaning any game which starts before 7:10 p.m. could not be televised by NESN.

The Red Sox need the permission of the A's, of course, as well as the Major League Baseball Players Association, to move Sunday's game.

A decision will likely be made Thursday in order to give both teams and ticketholders time to prepare.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.