NEW YORK – Hurricane Irene has reduced the Braves’ three-game weekend series with the Mets to just one game on Friday night.
The Saturday and Sunday games were both postponed because of the approaching storm. Those games will be made up as part of a Sept. 8 doubleheader at Citi Field, which had been a mutual open date for both teams.
The Braves will play that doubleheader in the middle of a road trip between series at Philadelphia (Sept. 5-7) and St. Louis (Sept. 9-11).
Earlier Friday, a plan was in place to postpone the Sunday game and move up the 4 p.m. Saturday game to a noon start in hopes of getting it in before weather deteriorated. But because New York City is shutting down its subway system at noon Saturday, that game was eventually scrubbed.
When the Braves’ charter flight took off Thursday night from Chicago bound for New York, they had not been notified of any planned schedule changes for the series against the Mets. When they landed, still no news.
Late Friday morning in New York, they finally got word: their Sunday game scheduled for 1:10 p.m. had been postponed, and Saturday’s 4:10 p.m. start was moved to a noon start.
A few hours later, that news changed again: Saturday’s game was off the board, too.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Thursday it would be easy for the Braves to change their itinerary and travel from Philadelphia to New York to play one game Sept. 8, then on to St. Louis.
He had not mentioned whether he felt the same way about a possible doubleheader that day.
Shock over Flanagan suicide
The death of former Cy Young award winner Mike Flanagan, 59, shook one of his contemporaries, Hall of Fame pitcher and Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.
And when word spread that Flanagan had committed suicide, Sutton was stunned.
“I got to know him, competed against him,” said Sutton, 66. “I’m shocked anytime there’s a death in our baseball family. If indeed he did take his life, I’m doubly shocked.”
Flanagan died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head, the Maryland medical examiner ruled Thursday. His body was found Wednesday behind his home in Baltimore.
“He always seemed like kind of a dry-wit, quiet kind of guy,” Sutton said, “and he was very competitive.”
Flanagan helped Baltimore win the 1983 World Series, and later worked for the Orioles as a coach and in the front office before becoming an analyst on the team’s broadcast network.
Braves general manager Frank Wren got to know Flanagan when Wren served as Orioles GM in 1999.
“Mike was broadcasting Orioles games and working with our pitchers in our off-season program while I was in Baltimore,” Wren said. “He had such a good understanding of the game and especially pitching, which made him easy to listen to on the broadcasts. He was a great guy and an Oriole through and through.”