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Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Zobrist: After rainout, Sox pushed doubleheader on Rays

BOSTON -- The forecast for early Thursday afternoon in Boston was not a good one as of Wednesday night, and that would be as fine a reason as any for the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox not to return to Fenway Park to makeup Wednesday's game that was postponed because of rain.

Also, the game could be rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader later in the season or moved to Sept. 22, when both teams enjoy an off day before they begin a three-game series against each other at Fenway Park.

The Rays were fine with either of those alternatives.

But, the teams will return to Fenway today for a day/night doubleheader because none of that mattered. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Red Sox have the final say in this matter and they wanted to play two Thursday.

“We were told that in the Basic Agreement there is a grey area for teams like Boston and Chicago (Cubs) to basically exercise their own right to do what they want to do. So that's what they did. Major League Baseball told us it was (the Red Sox) decision and they chose to do a doubleheader (today),” Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist said.

Zobrist is the team's assistant player rep, and he spent a good portion of Wednesday afternoon on the phone with the union trying to voice the Rays' desire to reschedule the makeup for later in the season.

The Red Sox sent out a release around 4 p.m. that there would be a doubleheader today. Soon after, Zobrist told reporters in the visitor's clubhouse that the Red Sox acted prematurely with the release and that nothing had been resolved. It wasn't until 6:45 p.m. that Zobrist said he was told by Major League Baseball that decision had been made.

“We were talking to the union about it, and they let us know pretty much that it wasn't going to fly, that Boston was going to do what they wanted to do,” Zobrist said. “So it was kinda like I knew it was probable MLB was going to side with Boston and let them do what they wanted to do instead of taking control themselves. So it was kind of the expected outcome at the end after what I heard (about the CBA provision).”

Why would Boston want to reschedule a game when the rain might force a lengthy delay or wash it out completely? Well, Wednesday was Dustin Pedroia bobblehead night, and word around the park was that the team had nowhere to store the 20,000 bobbleheads.

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