UPDATE: Rays at Red Sox postponed, DH on Thursday
UPDATE, 8:15: Turns out the Rays objections didn't matter. Acting player rep Ben Zobrist said they were told by MLB that the Red Sox (and Cubs) have exceptions to the Basic Agreement "to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do."
And since the Red Sox wanted to play a split doubleheader, that's what the teams will do.
"Yea, its frustrating,'' Zobrist said. "It's frustrating that the weather is bad, it's probably not going to be much better tomorrow morning from what we're looking at. And based upon our wishes, that it didn't matter what we said, that's frustrating. That we didn't have any say in it. Besides that, it won't be frustrating if we win two games tomorrow.''
UPDATE, 7:19: And after all that, it will indeed be a split doubleheader for the Rays and Red Sox on Thursday, with Cesar Ramos against Jake Peavy in Game 1 at 1:05 and Chris Archer against Felix Doubront in Game 2.
UPDATE, 5:52: The Rays were in a very awkward position of leaving Fenway Park at 5 p.m. today without knowing what time they were playing tomorrow.
One would think the Sox's primary motivation in wanting to play a doubleheader on Thursday is to take advantage of the Rays current struggles. But there is also a theory that a Dustin Pedroia bobblehead was part of the issue - that the Sox planned to give them away on Wednesday and if they don't do so instead for a makeup game on Thursday have no where to store them.
The Sox have already decided on their pitching for the doubleheader; with RHP Jake Peavy in the day game and LHP Felix Doubront at night. The Rays would pitch RHP Chris Archer and LHP Cesar Ramos but have not decided on the order.
Given the forecast for rain during the day, it would make sense for them to pitch Ramos in the day game rather than risk losing Archer, who is more likely to work deep into the game, if there was a delay.
UPDATE, 5:01: Well, this is interesting. The Red Sox put out a press release saying there would be a split doubleheader on Thursday, with games at 1:05 and 7:05, but Rays acting player rep Ben Zobrist said that is not the case, that MLB has not approved it and the makeup date is not set yet. The Rays would prefer to play only one game on Thursday.
Zobrist has been in communication with the players union, and says the language in the Basic Agreement about there being "practical alternatives" to a split DH should be applicable. The teams do have a Sept. 22 common off-day, or could play a split DH in May.
UPDATE, 3:25: There is no official word on a makeup date yet, though some chatter in the Fenway Park pressbox that there could be a doubleheader tomorrow. That would seem odd since there is a forecast for more rain during the day, and the Rays make two more trips back.
UPDATE, 3:16: Hasn't been announced yet but have heard Rays-Red Sox game has already been called off.
DEVELOPING: It doesn't just seem like a cloud has been hanging over the Rays as they struggled through April, as they once again head to the field today with the strong possibility of a rain out.
That might not be the worst thing for a Rasy team that has lost six of its last seven games and 16 of 27 overall.
If they play, RHP Chris Archer will take on Red Sox LHP Felix Doubront. If they don't, the Rays will have a chance to rest their bullpen and perhaps shuffle their rotation.
Updates, and lineups, when available.