Let me begin by saying that the devastation that Hurricane Dorian brought down on the people of the Bahamas and later, to a somewhat lesser extent, the Carolinas, is far more serious than anything that happens in the world of sports.
We in the Port Charlotte area were lucky, because like spring break in the ’80s, Dorian chose to hang out on Florida’s east coast beaches.
Despite not experiencing a single drop of rain from the hurricane, our local sports scene was indirectly affected by the storm.
There is a school of thought that states it’s impossible to overreact to a pending hurricane. That school does not take into account the actions of one Ken Carson.
Look, I get boarding up your house, putting down sandbags, buying up all the water and toilet paper (OK, I don’t really get that one). The message from everyone in an official capacity before a major storm is the same as the message from the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared. While I was never actually a Boy Scout, I’ve seen the recruiting posters.
Now we come to Mr. Carson, the president of the Florida State League. Ken might have gone a little overboard on hurricane preparedness. He canceled not only the remainder of the regular season, but the entire postseason for his league on Aug 29.
That’s correct, nearly five days before the storm touched a grain of sand on the contiguous United States, he wiped the season for the Charlotte Stone Crabs and their FSL brethren.
I understand that the MLB organizations to which these players belong to do not want the liability of having their prized prospects injured. But those players who aren’t particularly prized, or perhaps even really prospects, lost their chance to play for a pro championship.
The Stone Crabs, blessed with one of the best pitching staffs in Class A, boasted the FSL’s best record. But with no championship series available to them, manager Jeff Smith’s team must settle for the second-half title.
There were obvious reasons for concern, several FSL stadiums sit along the state’s eastern coast, but why not wait and see what happens before pulling the plug? Not only were Stone Crab fans robbed of the chance to see their team compete for a title, but they may have lost their last shot at seeing the talent that is Wander Franco up close and personal.
While the situations are different, the Stone Crabs aren’t the only local team affected by the storm. The Venice High School football team saw the game Friday night against Vero Beach canceled.
In fairness, Vero Beach did not get to practice much this week as school was canceled in anticipation of the storm. But to Venice coach John Peacock’s credit, they quickly scheduled another opponent.
That opponent turned out to be Trinity Christian. If you’re not familiar with this program, they have approximately the same number of prospects as the University of Alabama. They have the added bonus of hosting the game five hours away, in Jacksonville.
So kudos to Peacock and his staff for not only taking on a powerhouse at the last minute, but for beating them in double overtime.
In conclusion, I think that we can all agree that as weather events go, Dorian blows.
Email Scott Zucker at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @scottzucker