Miller Park could host Cubs-Astros set
If plans goes through, details would be announced Saturday
PHILADELPHIA -- Suddenly it seems that a Cubs-Astros series under the dome at Miller Park is not so far-fetched.Major League Baseball was considering moving the key series between National League Central contenders to Milwaukee on Sunday and Monday, according to two baseball sources. If the plan goes through, details, including game times and ticket procedures, would be announced Saturday.
Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes confirmed that the team is on stand-by, and is waiting for direction from MLB.
The series was supposed to be played in Houston, but the impending arrival of Hurricane Ike prompted the Astros and MLB to decide Thursday to postpone games Friday and Saturday. Officials were scrambling to determine alternate sites."That is way premature," club owner Drayton McLane said Friday night. "The Commissioner has agreed to see how Houston fares after the storm hits. That would be midday [Saturday]. No decision will be made until then."
Should Minute Maid Park weather the storm without major damage, McLane is confident the Astros and Cubs will play Sunday. They could host a doubleheader that day with a single game played on Monday, a mutual off-day for the Astros and Cubs.
"If the storm hits Houston, if it has not been severe and we still have power at Minute Maid Park and no flooding, the last key issue is we need the Cubs to be able to fly into Intercontinental [Airport] so we can play Sunday," McLane said. "That is the hope. The Commissioner makes the final decision. We'll look for a decision to come down midday Saturday."
Milwaukee was initially ruled out, partly because of an event scheduled on the field over the weekend and partly because the series could amount to extra home games for the Cubs, who play 90 miles down Interstate 94 at Wrigley Field."Milwaukee's kind of a home game for them, isn't it?" Astros infielder Mark Loretta said Thursday. Maybe so, but at some point the games need to be played. The Cubs lead the NL Central with an 88-58 record, followed by the Brewers 5 1/2 games back and the Astros 8 1/2 games back. The Brewers lead the NL Wild Card, followed by the Astros and Phillies three games back. The Astros have become surprise threats to the Brewers' hold of the Wild Card. Houston has won 14 of its last 15 games. Last April, Miller Park played host to an Angels-Indians series when snowstorms in Cleveland postponed the start of the baseball season there. More than 53,000 fans paid $10 per ticket to see the return of American League Baseball to Milwaukee. The Brewers faced some weather of their own on Friday in Philadelphia, and Saturday's afternoon game could also be in jeopardy because of more rain. The Brewers and Phillies are already scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday, and Monday is an off-day for both teams.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. MLB.com reporter Alyson Footer contributed to this article. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.