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Baseball Rain-Outs: Hal Said It Would Be Like This

March 28, 1993|STEVE ELLING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Is Hal Harkness wily, or what?

Either that, or a little lucky.

When the City Section athletics commissioner mapped out the baseball schedule over the winter, he left the week of April 5-9 open for makeup games because of rainouts. Rain washed out the Coastal, Southern Pacific, Southeastern and Northern conference schedule Thursday, and most games have been set for makeup week.

When Harkness was drawing up the schedule, the Los Angeles school board was kicking around ideas for extricating the district from a budget shortfall.

A consideration at the time was a seven-day spring break that would give teachers time off to soften the blow of a projected 12% pay cut. The seven days, during which school would not be in session, were dubbed "furlough days." City schools, which are on a year-round academic calendar, were not initially scheduled to take a spring break.

However, the furlough plan was scrapped, but the baseball schedule already had been completed--leaving a hole in the season. In addition, next Thursday and Friday also were part of the seven-day furlough proposal. Consequently, City games next week will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, rather than Tuesday and Thursday as usual.

Harkness, forced to devise a schedule before the academic calendar had been ironed out, put the best spin on a bad situation--and makeup week was born. Harkness is probably one of the few folks who welcomed this week's rain clouds.

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