Sports Tonight: Marlins have a lot more on their plate than just Phillies

Miami Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki in the dugout in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)

The Miami Marlins compartmentalize in the wake of Irma

I’m not sure there is a good answer when someone asks you how do you feel about playing baseball while your home city is being smashed by a hurricane.

That’s what the players for the Miami Marlins and Tampa Rays have had to deal with the last couple days as Major League Baseball and the rest of the world continued on as Hurricane Irma devastated Florida.

The Marlins, who play the Phillies tonight at 7:05 at Citizens Bank Park (TV: CSN, radio 94 WIP) left on a seven-game road trip last Thursday as warnings of Irma’s impact talked of apocalyptic measures.

The franchise allowed the families of players and staff to accompany the team on the week-long trip through Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“There’s one thing ballplayers are really good at, and that’s compartmentalizing our life,” Marlins pitcher Dan Straily said in Atlanta.  “It’s not that we’re not thinking about that, but for three hours a night we focus on something else completely.”

The Marlins lost three of four games in Atlanta with all three coming in walk-off fashion for the Braves.

The team is supposed to return to Miami for six games beginning on Friday but right now Miami Dade County is without power plus police and fire departments have more important concerns than working baseball games.

Depending on how the recovery in the city is going, the weekend series against Milwaukee might be moved.

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Tampa Bay Rays players warm up at Citi Field before a baseball game against the New York Yankees Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Rays in home away from home thanks to Irma

The Tampa Rays aren’t surprised that they are playing the New York Yankees (7:10 on MLB Network) as the home team in Citi Field – the home of the New York Mets.

When they left Tampa last week with Hurricane Irma looming, some players wondered if they would play at Tropicana Field again this season.

“It’s not a solid roof and nobody’s ever seen a hurricane category four or five in the Tampa area,” Rays outfielder Steven Souza, Jr said of the Rays home field. “So we were just brainstorming on what could possibly happen if our cars were going to make it, anything — houses were going to be in the ocean. When those kinds of situations happen, just crazy thoughts start running through your head.”

Tropicana Field suffered some minor damage but the Rays should be able to play there. They are scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox back in St. Petersburg starting Friday. Of course, recovery efforts will determine that.

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Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson gets dunked as the Philadelphia Eagles win 30-17 over the Washington Redskins in Landover, MD on September 10, 2017. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

What I’m reading

Columnist Bob Ford examines the issue of the Eagles giving head coach Doug Pederson a Gatorade shower after winning the first game.

Carson Wentz did a lot of good things in the Eagles opener at Washington but was noticeably inaccurate on deep throws. Staff writer Jeff McLane says those opportunities the Eagles quarterback must be taken advantage of.

It starts again. Staff writer Zach Berman asks Doug Pederson about his team’s lack of commitment to the run game, and the Eagles coach, as usual, said they’ll “keep detailing it.”

Blair Kerkoff of the Kansas City Star writes the Chiefs coach Andy Reid has moved on from the big season-opening blowout of New England and looking at the Eagles.

With two qualifying games remaining the USA is fourth in the CONCACAF standings and endanger of receiving an automatic qualifier for the 2018 World. Former USMNT star Alexi Lalas ripped into the entire underachieving squad.

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Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers goes in for a layup against the Utah Jazz during the second half of their playoff game Thursday, May 8, 1997, in Inglewood, Calif. The Lakers won 104-84. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The riff

When Kobe Bryant was first acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, he said he was always a Lakers fan growing up.

Over the next two decades, he played 1,346 NBA games and scored 33,643 points – both the most in Lakers history.

He led 15 Laker teams to the playoffs, played in 220 playoff games and had 5,640 points – all the most in Lakers history.

The five NBA titles he won equal other Lakers greats like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and George Mikan.

He is the first player in NBA history to play 20 seasons with the same team.

Whether or not Kobe Bean Bryant is considered the greatest Laker ever comes down to individual taste, but both his No. 8 and No. 24 will be retired Dec. 18.

Tonight’s schedule

TV/Radio

Baseball

Marlins at Phillies, 7 p.m. (CSN; WIP-FM 94.1m WNPV-AM 1440)

White Sox at Royals (joined in progress), 4 p.m. (MLB Network)

Athletics at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)