Friday, March 28, 2008
Reds to host DBack's in Milwaukee on Tuesday
CINCINNATI -- With the grounds crew still squeezing rain off the field, the Cincinnati Reds decided it was time to head north to Milwaukee. The Reds moved their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks to Milwaukee's Miller Park after a spring rainstorm will wipe out Cincinnati's series against Arizona at the Great American Ballpark. "I thought we were going to move it to North Dakota, but we got Milwaukee instead," joked Reds left-fielder Adam Dunn. The teams will play a three-game series beginning Tuesday in a ballpark that has a retractable roof, unlike Great American Ballpark. The opener and Wednesday's game will be played at 7:05 p.m. ET, with Thursday's game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. While rain stopped falling Friday, the grounds crew was unable to get the surface in shape in time for Monday's traditional home opener. Several inches of water remained on the field Friday afternoon with workers pumping it into small carts to be hauled away.
"They've got a lot of work ahead of them. It's a tough job," said Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr, sipping a cup of hot chocolate in the team's clubhouse. Reds manager Dusty Baker said the field was expected to be ready Friday, when they are slated to open a four-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies. Friday's game will serve as the unofficial home opener. "The most important thing is that you get the games in." said Baker. Players will pack Monday for an evening flight to Milwaukee, where the Brewers will sell tickets for $10 each, with seating limited to the field and loge levels. But Brewers spokesman Tyler Barnes said nearly 10,000 tickets total were sold for all three games of the series within the first four hours of availability. "We still don't have any idea of what to expect but so far we're encouraged," Barnes said Monday afternoon. About 4,000 tickets were sold for each night game -- 7:05 p.m. ET starts on Tuesday and Wednesday -- and about 2,000 tickets for Thursday's game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, Barnes said. It's the second time weather has forced a series to be moved since the Florida Marlins played the Montreal Expos on Sept. 13-14, 2004, in Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field because of Hurricane Ivan. Reds assistant vice president John Allen said Milwaukee made sense for both clubs because Cincinnati can return home Friday and the Diamondbacks will travel on to Chicago. "It's a compromise that does not allow an unfair advantage," Allen said. Allen further stated, the Reds will also do something unique to celebrate April's Fool Day.