A decision on when the rescheduled game would be played resulted in a prolonged delay for the announcement, based on the fact both teams had other wishes for when the game would be played.
According to Rays player representative Evan Longoria, the Rays did not want to play a doubleheader on Saturday, while the Yankees preferred to play a split doubleheader, which, in large part, was motivated by the fact that Derek Jeter is pursuing his 3,000th career hit and is two hits shy. The Yankees' captain now has two remaining games at home before the All-Star break in which to reach the career milestone.
"The initial thought was they wanted to play a doubleheader tomorrow," Longoria said. "I think we all know why they'd like to get these three games in, and, obviously, they're rooting for Derek to get his 3,000th hit here in this series. I mean, we'd like to see him do it, too. And he's got two more days to do it.
"As far as both teams go, it's not real smart for us to play a doubleheader. It stretches guys out. It doesn't give opportunity for a couple of teams to rest who are banged up, and just play one game and then another one."
Longoria said the final decision came down to a "negotiation process" between both teams.
Jeremy Hellickson, who was supposed to start Friday night for the Rays, will now be bumped, while David Price and James Shields will make their scheduled starts on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
In addition to not wanting to play a doubleheader, the Rays have Johnny Damon nursing a swollen left hand, and they are without starter Wade Davis, who was placed on the disabled list Thursday. The Yankees also have injury problems they are dealing with, as Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher are all nursing various injuries, with Rivera, Rodriguez and Jeter already having announced that they will skip the All-Star Game in order to rest.
Sept. 22 would have been an off-day for the Rays and the Yankees following a two-game series between the two teams, which made sense for the makeup date they agreed on, according to Longoria.
"It's a mutual off-day, and we're here already, so it's not like we're having to travel from somewhere else," Longoria said. "It will just be like playing a three-game series instead of a two-game series."
Yankees player representative Curtis Granderson explained his understanding of the decision-making process.
"There's a line of command, and I don't know the exact [rule], but I know the road team has a little more weight on them just because they have to either come back or they've already come now," Granderson said. "So it goes there, then it goes to the number of split doubleheaders that are on the schedule now because of previous rainouts, or are forthcoming.
"And then other factors, such as if you add a game how many consecutive days in a row does that put you at? And there's a couple other factors, so it's a list of checkmarks across the board before you finally can get to who actually has the right of way on this whole thing."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.