Ken Rosenthal talked to Bud Selig and got some pretty straight answers.
First and foremost IMO, Astros fans need to take a pill - Miller Park was the only option.
Q: You have taken criticism for your decision to shift the Astros-Cubs series to Milwaukee's Miller Park after Hurricane Ike ravaged Houston last weekend. What happened?
A: Those have been questions in Houston, obviously. Look, what happened is the tragedy of the hurricane. We bent over backwards. We considered all of the options. I had three weather services — I can keep you all day going through all this.
When we knew early Saturday morning about the devastation, we knew we couldn't play in Houston. We had to consider other options.
We called Minnesota. They had the (University of Minnesota) Golden Gophers (football game) on Saturday and the (Minnesota) Vikings on Sunday. In Arizona, the Diamondbacks were playing. Atlanta, all three weather services said there was going to be rain. Tampa, the Red Sox were playing on Monday. Washington ... we went through every alternative.
Q: St. Louis?
The storm went through St. Louis. You know what happened to Chicago last week. St. Louis got all that rain. All three weather services said, "Don't even think about going there."
A: Every weather service predicted that the storm would go right up through Texas — and that the devastation might be worse. And Texas was playing at home on Monday.
We had decisions to make on Saturday. The more we went through it, the only option we had left was Milwaukee.
(The teams played two games at Miller Park, and the third game will be made up in Houston at the end of the season, if necessary.)
I kept the third game (in Houston). We're not supposed to do that.
We're supposed to play all the games during the season. But I gave Houston the third game if it means something the following Monday.
This was a tragedy.
I frankly wanted to go to Minnesota. The Cubs would have had a lot of fans there as well. Wherever the Cubs go, that (phenomenon) takes place. But Minnesota was out. We had no choice. Between the rain and the domes in use, we had no choice.
We couldn't send them out to the West Coast. The (Astros) had to be in Florida (on Tuesday night). If I sent them to Dodger Stadium or Seattle, they would have played a double-header Monday, then flown all night to Miami.
People can sit around and second-guess. But as I go back through my notes, there were no other viable alternatives. I couldn't send them somewhere where it was going to rain.
There's been a lot of talk about the Rays lack of attendance, but how come no one's mentioning what Bud says here?
Q: How worried are you about Tampa Bay? Here are the Rays, in the middle of a dramatic pennant race, and they're still not selling out.
A: OK, but I'm looking at their numbers. They're at 1.658 million, up almost 411,000. I guess we've got to watch it. I have concerns. But they're going to wind up at a number where they've never been before. It's an amazing story, one of the great stories.
I'm thrilled by it. It's a manifestation of everything I'm trying to do — competitive balance, parity, all that. But of course, I have concerns. I think we need to watch that situation in the next year or two.