Brad Penner: USA Today Sports
Last month, the Tampa Bay Rays stadium, Tropicana Field, hosted the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers series in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The league has returned the favor for the Rays as The New York Mets have agreed to host the Rays and New York Yankees series starting on Monday. The reason was Hurricane Irma is expected to have major damage in Tampa and it’s too big of a danger for the players to travel there.
The Rays have already flown to Boston for the weekend series against the Red Sox and have allowed family to board the plane with the team. Therefore, the trip from Boston to New York won’t be a long one. The reason why Citi Field was selected and not some place like Chicago or even Baltimore was due to hotel availability. It was much easier for both teams to play in the same city but different stadium because of the Yankees players not needing lodging.
Another possibility was playing at Tropicana Field but having the team’s play a doubleheader and therefore play a day shorter.
This series has major playoff implications as both teams are in playoff contention and therefore this a big series for both teams. Which is why this series has to be played. MLB came up with a solution as best as they could because there’s uncertainty in how much damage will be sustained and when the hurricane will actually arrive. Also, when will travel resume is another issue.