By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Attempting to stay a step ahead of Hurricane Irene, the Red Sox have shifted their scheduled Sunday game with the Oakland A's to a 5 p.m. start on Saturday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.
With heavy rain and wind expected by 9 p.m., it became clear that the teams had virtually no shot of playing a game Sunday.
Red Sox ownership, fearful of a Saturday night forecast of approaching rain, first proposed the teams consider playing a day-night doubleheader Friday, when the weather is expected to be more clear than Saturday.
But Red Sox players rejected that outright, according to reliever Daniel Bard, who serves as the team's player representative.
The Sox are due to land in Boston sometime after 5 a.m. Friday morning on an overnight flight from Texas, meaning players would be playing some seven or so hours after deplaning.
"(Other options) weren't real good," said Bard. "This was the thing that made the most sense for everybody. Obviously, travel's going to be pretty rough leading up to it, so we were trying to get creative and find another way to do it. But this is how it worked out."
Red Sox players had the right to refuse the day-night double-header Saturday, but with no common off-days to re-schedule the game later in the season, Major League Baseball could have forced the teams to play a basic double-header.
That plan would have cost Red Sox ownership the gate receipts from the Sunday game, so players agreed to vote for the separate admission option.
"The difference between 12 and 5 (for start times) and 12 and 4 wasn't even worth taking the money out of our (team's) pockets," said Bard.
Bard confirmed that ownership's first choice was the day-night doubleheader Friday.
"We can't do that," he said. "You can't ask guys to play 18 innings after getting in at 5 a.m. That was quickly shot down. We'd rather play the game at the end of the season."
Bard said he was told that playing the game on Sept. 29, the day after the regular season ends, was not an option that MLB would approve.