The second game of the Royals’ two-game series in New York was rained out, but not without some controversy. The Yankees, as the home team, were allowed to postpone the game up until the start, and called it off at 4:30 pm.
The Royals were upset for two reasons. First, general manager Joe Burke accused the Yankees of planning all day to call the game, simply based on the forecast, and then the evening ended up rain-free. “What irked me was that (Yankees GM) Gabe (Paul) kept calling back, expressing doubt, and between calls to me I know he was talking to (owner George) Steinbrenner. When I heard he was holding a press conference at the ballpark, I figured something funny was up. In all my major league days, I’ve never seen something like this. What I think happened was that the Yankees decided everything was coming to a head too quickly. So they just decided, ‘Let’s back off, wait a day.’”
Steinbrenner used the press conference to announce that he was not firing manager Billy Martin, despite the many rumors that the Yankees were about to make a change. At 53-44, New York was in third place in the AL East, although they were only 2.5 games out of first.
The Royals were also mad that the Yankees announced the rescheduled game would be held at night on August 29. That meant Kansas City would be playing on 22 consecutive days between August 9 and September 1. Even more frustrating for the Royals was that the 29th was supposed to be a day for them to travel back to Kansas City from a series in Baltimore.
Manager Whitey Herzog chimed in, saying “This is a disgrace to the American League. I believe the players should take this as a grievance to Marvin Miller and the Major League Players’ Association.”
In fact, the Royals did file a protest with the league office, asking that the game not be made up unless it affected the division races. League president Lee MacPhail would eventually rule that the game would be played on the 29th, but at 2 pm New York time to make travel a little better for the Royals.
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