Mets owner Steve Cohen apologized to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday after Tuesday’s important game (for the Marlins) was postponed because of an unplayable field at Citi Field.
Four hours before the Mets and Marlins were set to begin a doubleheader at Citi Field on Wednesday, Cohen issued his apology on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Our sincere apologies to the Marlins and their fans for having to postpone last night’s game,” Cohen posted. “We know how important this series is to the Marlins and every effort was made to get the field playable.”
The Marlins entered Wednesday one-half game behind the Cubs for the National League’s final wild-card berth with six games to play. The Mets have been eliminated from postseason contention.
Miami would have preferred to have played the first of those six games on Tuesday as scheduled. But heavy rains in the New York area for days left the field waterlogged and the infield a muddy mess.
Despite hours of efforts by the Citi Field ground crew, the game was called about an hour after the scheduled 7:10 p.m. start time.
Miami manager Skip Schumaker, in his pregame comments before the opener on Wednesday, called the situation “obviously a giant mess-up.”
The Marlins were miffed because no one wants to play a doubleheader, as they are difficult to sweep and can tax your pitching staff.
Also, if the game had been played on Tuesday, lefty Braxton Garrett — the Marlins’ top healthy starter — would have pitched and then would have been lined up to throw again on regular rest on Sunday, if needed, in the regular-season finale. Garrett went four innings (77 pitches) and allowed four runs in the Mets' 11-2 Game 1 victory.
“But the reality is we have two games today,” Schumaker said. “I think maybe the extra rest might have helped some guys, some position players and guys that obviously we're going to use a lot down the stretch. So I try to get some positives as much as you can out of something like that that happened [Tuesday] night, and hopefully we can come [away] with a couple of wins while we're here.”
What the Marlins were most miffed about was the Mets’ ground crew apparently deciding not to cover the infield during part of Saturday’s rainstorm while the team was playing in Philadelphia. As the rain kept falling straight until about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, that decision seems questionable.
However - not to get too much in the weeds on baseball infield maintenance- sometimes groundskeepers do roll up the tarp during a rainstorm because otherwise the tarp can get too soaked. Also, grass needs rain to grow. And this weekend’s rain was not supposed to last until Tuesday evening.
Mets manager Buck Showalter suggested that perhaps the Marlins are not as familiar with caring for a grass and dirt field because their Miami stadium has a retractable dome.
“Of course, they don’t have that issue, right, because they have a roof?” Showalter said. “You understand their frustration . . . There's nothing cloak-and-dagger. It’s just the way it is. When it rains for five straight days, things happen. Or four days. Whatever it was.”
A Major League Baseball spokesman said MLB was in contact with both teams and ultimately agreed with the decision to postpone the game.
Said Schumaker: “Major League Baseball did an outstanding job of trying to get the game in. They really did. They did everything they could to help get the game in, as well as Buck. Buck was great in trying to do whatever they could to get the game in.
“The reality is the tarp wasn’t on over the weekend, and this is what happens. We couldn't play. That's just what it is. We tried and the last thing you want to do is keep the guys here till midnight and then not play. So I think they made the right decision of getting the guys back home at a decent time and being ready to go today.”