Facebook Twitter

Baseball may be played in November

Canceled games total 45; weekend schedule up in air after attacks

SHARE Baseball may be played in November

Kenny Lofton isn't concerned when his Cleveland Indians will resume playing. He's not worried about the possibility of the first World Series games in November.

Baseball is secondary in the wake of the terrorist attacks that rocked the nation this week.

"Baseball don't mean nothing right now," Lofton said Wednesday. "To me, baseball is just another part of life that doesn't exist at this point. You have people who have to deal with the loss of family in tragic death."

Games through Thursday were called off, raising the total to 45, the most postponed since 1918. There was no decision on this weekend's series.

There's a good chance the regular season would be extended beyond its scheduled finish on Sept. 30 to make up the postponed games.

"Whether we start Friday or whether we start Monday, I think that's how it will play out," Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo said.

That would lead to the possibility of the October Classic producing its first Mr. November.

It also means that Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn could finish their Hall of Fame careers at home instead of on the road. Ripken and the Baltimore Orioles were to end the season at Yankee Stadium, while Gwynn and the San Diego Padres were set to finish in San Francisco.

"Obviously, there are some issues that come up because of people who bought tickets to the last series, and now it wouldn't be the last series," Gwynn said. "Other than that, I'm really not that worried about it."

Charles Steinberg, the Padres' vice president for public affairs, said even if the Padres play at home in October, they would keep plans for the "Thanks Tony Weekend" on Sept. 21-23.

Some players weren't even looking that far ahead, worried instead about security in ballparks.

"If you could pull off hijacking four planes in one day, I imagine you could bomb a stadium," Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell said.

Said the Braves' Brian Jordan: "If I were a fan, I would not be sitting in no stadium watching a baseball game."

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig consulted with his security staff and had no such concerns.

"They've assured me we can play and be safe," he said.

With teams unable to fly, many chartered buses to head home: the Minnesota Twins from Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals from Milwaukee, the Cleveland Indians from Kansas City, the New York Mets from Pittsburgh and the Toronto Blue Jays from Baltimore.

After speaking with many teams throughout the day, Selig wasn't sure when play would resume.

"What I'm trying desperately to do here is be as sensitive as I can and do what's right for the country," he said.

Some thought teams should play ball.

"My first fax today was from a very, very angry fan who thought we'd been gone too long already," Selig said. Baseball could reschedule the postponed games as part of doubleheaders next week. Teams that had been scheduled to play each other this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will meet next week in the other city. Selig, however, would prefer to play those games between Oct. 1-3. If this weekend's games also are postponed, those could be played from Oct. 5-7.

If that happens, the start of the World Series would be pushed from Oct. 20 to Oct. 27. Game 7, if necessary, wouldn't be played until Nov. 4.

Selig wouldn't go into specifics.

"We haven't worked all that out, but I'm hopeful we can have a 162-game season," he said. "I think we have a plan that makes sense."

For now, players have time on their hands and no games to play.