Charlie Furbush leads the charge for players concerns about field conditions


OAKLAND, Calif. — Charlie Furbush wasn’t sure what to do. He’d been the Mariners’ union representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association since being elected before the 2012 season. But in all that time, he’d never really dealt with a situation quite like Friday night.

With field conditions too poor and unsafe to play, forcing the game to be postponed, the Athletics and Mariners players had to determine a course of action for making up the game. Furbush called a team meeting after the game had been called off Friday night to hear thoughts from his teammates. He then talked with A’s players and the MLBPA to help determine a course of action.

“It was kind of interesting talking to everyone, trying to figure out what the best game plan was,” Furbush said. “I was just trying to represent everyone as best as I could.”

Initially, the A’s asked to make the game up Saturday as part of a day-night doubleheader. But Mariners players were concerned the mushy field might still be an issue. They asked to just play the regularly scheduled game Saturday, and postpone the makeup game to a later date.

“We realized, given the playing conditions, that playing one was going to be better for us and wait until we come back to play two,” Furbush said. “That was the general consensus, and that’s the way it worked out. They came back and agreed with us too. I think one was better fit for them too, given the fact they just played a split doubleheader — it would’ve been two in four days for them. That’s a lot of work.”

There were no guarantees the field would be ready for two games Saturday. And the Mariners didn’t want to be playing deep into the night.

“Lloyd (McClendon) went out there and almost twisted his ankle,” Furbush said. “It was pretty bad. You don’t want anybody going out there getting hurt. I think the outfield was OK, but the infield, there’s a lot of hard cuts are being made there, that’s going to put the safety of everyone in question. So I think it worked out good.”

Furbush said the makeup game is officially “to be determined.”

But sources said the game likely will be made up as part of doubleheader in the series in Oakland on May 5-7.

Young skipped in the rotation

McClendon announced Erasmo Ramirez will start Sunday in the series finale and that Chris Young has been skipped in the rotation.

“He’ll pitch out of the bullpen; hopefully we’ll try to keep him as sharp as we can,” McClendon said. “We’ll re-evaluate in a few days and see where we are at.”

With the Mariners having two off days next week during their homestand, McClendon wanted to keep the rest of the rotation on normal rest, specifically ace Felix Hernandez.

“Anytime you have a chance to keep your No.?1 on schedule, you keep him on schedule,” McClendon said. “To me, that just makes more sense. They’re No.?1 for a reason.”

Notes

— Taijuan Walker pitched 4 1/3 innings Friday night in his rehab start with Class A High Desert. He threw 72 pitches and allowed two runs on four hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. McClendon said everything went “great” in the outing. Walker will make another start five days from now with a pitch limit around 85-90. McClendon wasn’t sure where that start would be, only that it will be in warm weather.

— Nick Franklin went 5 for 8 with a homer and two RBI for the Rainiers in a doubleheader Friday at Cheney Stadium. Franklin started one game at second base and one at shortstop.

 

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