Are the Tampa Bay Rays robbing Derek Jeter out of a chance to get his milestone 3,000th hit at Yankee Stadium this weekend? You bet they are.
Blame Mother Nature for tonight's rainout of the New York Yankees-Tampa Bay Rays game but, if Jeter falls a hit or two short of attaining 3,000 in the remaining two games, blame the Rays for helping dick the Yankees captain out of getting another shot at the historic base hit inside Yankee Stadium.
The Rays had the right to turn down the double-header and said they didn't want to lose the home date. They could have just as easily made a concession for Jeter out of respect.
The game will now be played on September 22, a mutual off-day.
"I can't control another organization's right and decision," shrugged Yankees GM, Brian Cashman after he heard the Rays response to not double up on Saturday.
Now Jeter has two games, instead of three, to get the final two hits in the Bronx. After that, the team hits the road.
Jeter is batting .257 and is averaging about a hit per game. The odds are in his favor that he will join the exclusive 3K Club this weekend, but he'll have to do it going through two of the league's best pitchers.
The Yankees will face David Price (8-7, 3.56 ERA) on Saturday afternoon and James Shields (8-6, 2.47 ERA) the next day before the three-day All-Star break.
Yankees fans can't be too happy about the Rays decision to reschedule the game in September. Many of them paid an escalated, premium price for tickets with the slim hope that they would be lucky enough to pick the right game this weekend and witness Jeter get No. 3,000 in person.
Jeter really wants to be the first Yankee to get 3,000 hits and do it for the fans in Yankee Stadium. Now his chances have been cut by a third.
"There is more pressure," said Curtis Granderson, the Yankees centerfielder.
If he fails to get the big hit this weekend, expect the Toronto Blue Jays to jump for joy. The Yankees begin an eight-game road trip north-of-the-border on July 14th and the Jays could use a sell-out.
Expect a lot New Yorkers to make the six-hour car trip to see Jeter get the historic hit, even if it's in Canada.
Thanks a lot Rays.