Hurricane Irma forces Rays, MLB to discuss possibly moving series vs. Yankees

Last week, the Astros played a series in St. Petersburg, Fla., because of Hurricane Harvey. Next week, the Rays may need to leave St. Pete because of Hurricane Irma.The Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday that the Rays are looking at whether they should return to Florida on Sunday from a weekend series in Boston. They’re scheduled to play the Yankees at the Trop the next three nights, Sept. 11-13, but Irma is forecast to make landfall during the weekend and pa s directly over Florida.The Times reported the club and officials from Major League Baseball will meet Wednesday to begin making contingency plans. A decision is expected by Friday, according to thereport.MORE: NFL may move Bucs-Dolphins opener northThe Rays have already made one adjustment, the Times reported; the team’s flight to Boston has been moved from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon (the Rays are off Thursday) so team personnel can make additional storm preparations.”Everybody is thinking about it right now,” Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said, per the Times. Longoria owns a waterfront home alongthe Gulf Coast, according to the Times. “Fingers cro sed it doesn’t hit us directly. The threat is definitely a lot more real being on the heels of what’s happened in Houston. If that hadn’t happened, maybe we wouldn’t be scrambling as much to get our families out and get everything situated. Hopefully everybody is taking the threat seriously.”PHOTOS: Scenes from Astros’ return to Houston after HarveyTropicana Field was the site of the Astros’ home series vs. the Rangers last week while Harvey completed its run through Texas. Like the Texas teams, the Rays and Yankees could, in theory ,just switch series sites; the teams are set to meet in New York from Sept. 26-28. The Times, though, speculated a swap would be unlikely.The Times also noted Citi Field in New York (the Mets’ home park) and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimorecould be options if next week’s series has to be played at a neutral site.