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Angels hope to beat Rays and hurricane

August 19, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- With the Tampa area expected to avoid a direct hit from Tropical Storm Fay, the Angels and Rays were confident that they would be able to complete their three-game series in Tropicana Field.

Heavy rains and wind could still force tonight's game to be called off and Tropicana Field to be used as a staging area for emergency relief services. But if the game is postponed, it would probably be made up as part of a doubleheader Wednesday.

"If the storm continues along its current path, it should pass to the east of us, and with the storm going counter-clockwise, the west side is more protected," Rays President Matt Silverman said Monday.

"We'll continue to monitor the storm and talk to government agencies and the league. If it continues on its current track and road conditions are safe, we'll continue with [Tuesday's] game as planned."

Silverman said a decision on whether to play tonight would be made by early in the afternoon.

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia kept his sense of humor in the face of a storm that could grow to hurricane strength when he was asked what the best-case and worst-case scenarios were for the Angels.

"Well, the worst-case scenario is we're swept into the Gulf of Mexico," Scioscia said. "Do we want to go that far with worst cases? How about we go medium case?"

The Angels plan for today is to "grind it out at the hotel," Scioscia said, "and if we don't play we'll still be in town to play Wednesday."

Exactly how does a team "grind it out" at the hotel?

"They'll strap us down with seat belts in our rooms, and hopefully the cable [TV] stays on," Scioscia said. "If we lose cable, guys are going to be upset."

Scioscia prefers the Angels complete the three-game series this week, because the only common off day on both teams' remaining schedules is Sept. 1.

If the Angels played that day, they would play on 26 consecutive days.

Rays Manager Joe Maddon also preferred to complete the series this week, even if that meant his injury-riddled team -- third baseman Evan Longoria, outfielder Carl Crawford and closer Troy Percival are on the disabled list -- had to play a doubleheader Wednesday.

The only other makeup option would be to play on Monday, Sept. 29, the day after the regular season. The playoffs don't begin until Wednesday, Oct. 1, leaving two open days for makeup games or games to determine playoff teams.

"I'd rather play now," Maddon said. "We don't need all that drama late in the year."

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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