“Ah, come on,” was the exact quote from me as I stepped into The Rainout Blog official viewing room – my wife calls it the den –and saw the image above on my TV screen.
You may think a guy who occasionally writes about baseball rainouts gets his kicks every time as baseball games is called or delay by inclement weather.
Well OK, I do usually, but last night I was really looking forward to hanging out and watching the Nationals pull even in their series with the Orioles.
Bryce Harper was ready, too, as the MASN cameras caught him peering out at the rain pelting the Nationals Park field.
“It’s raining. It’s miserable and Bryce is hoping mom doesn’t call him home for dinner because he still wants to play ball,” Nationals TV play-by-play man Bob Carpenter said.
I’m not sure if Bryce got a call from his mom, but he didn’t get to play ball.
The game has been rescheduled for 7:05 p.m., Thursday, June 8 at Nationals Park.
The Nationals are scheduled to host Philadelphia – the Phillies again? – tonight. However, the weather forecast is not promising, calling for a 70 percent chance of rain when Tanner Roark is scheduled to deliver the first pitch.
Rain chances increase to about 85 percent around the 9 o’clock hour… about the time Jayson Werth would be clubbing another home run against his former team.
The Nationals-Orioles rainout was the fourth MLB rainout this week. The White Sox and Twins were postponed Wednesday night.
Hail halted the Monday night contest between the Cubs and Rockies at Coors Field.
Oh, hail no. 😬 pic.twitter.com/p8MA7MO8cs
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 8, 2017
On Sunday, the Dodgers and Padres were postponed because of rain, breaking a streak of 134 games at Petco Park without a weather-related postponement. The last came on July 19 1995.
That’s impressive, but not nearly as much as the Padres’ previous mark of 820 consecutive games that began April 4, 2006 and ended with the 1995 postponement.
Buck Showalter insists he has more important things to do than dream up nefarious field tarp schemes to one-up his competition.
Hours ahead of Tuesday’s game with the Yankees at Camden Yards, Showalter’s Orioles took their cuts in batting practice and promptly left the field. Before the Yankees could get in their much-need pre-game swings, the Orioles grounds crew stretched the tarp over the infield dirt.
Yankees skipper Joe Girardi cried foul. “They hit and they’re covering the field,’’ Girardi said, according the New York Post.
In an interview with the Michael Kay Show the following day, Showalter laughed off the gamesmanship accusation and explained the reasons the field was covered.
“Basically, we got a weather report that it was going to start raining at 5 o’clock, so we started our BP, actually, early and got off the field early so they would have an opportunity,” the Orioles manager said. “And they [the Baltimore grounds crew] came up and said it was going to start raining in five minutes and they had to cover the field in order to keep the field from getting, you know, too wet to play.”
Rainy, yucky weather has plagued the Orioles the first this season, but on this Tuesday, not one noticeable drop fell from the sky. However, the tarp remained and the Yankees, who can’t seem to hit anything these and were swept in three games in Boston, were robbed of their opportunity to hit on the field.
In the seemingly lighthearted interview, Kay asked Showalter, “You didn’t dream this up to affect the Yankees?”
Still chuckling a bit, Showalter said, “Mike, come on,” and went on to say he didn’t think Girardi “insinuated anything” with is comments.
Showalter, however, seemed unhappy that the accusations had upset the Orioles’ head groundskeeper. “I know one thing. Somebody complained, because they called and our groundskeeper, who I think is the best in the business and one of the fairest going – she is really good – probably as good as I’ve ever seen… and she was upset today that someone had insinuated that,” Showalter said. “And she said, ‘why would anybody insinuate that?’ I said, ‘well, that’s the world we live in.’”
Bad weather hit the Orioles again Friday. Rain postponed the team’s series opener that night with the Oakland Athletics. The postponement was announced 30 minutes before the scheduled first pitch, and the two teams made up the game Saturday with the A’s taking an 8-4 victory. Baltimore claimed a 5-2 win in the regularly scheduled night game.
The postponement was the Orioles’ second at Camden Yards this season and third overall. A road game with the Texas Rangers in Arlington was postponed on April 17.
The Orioles have also endured 3 hours and 35 minutes worth of weather delays this season in games that have been played. On Opening Day, rain pushed back the first pitch of the season by 110 minutes. More inclement weather delayed the contest an additional 70 minutes after the completion of the second inning.
In the radio interview, Kay asked Showalter if the rain, snow and cold most affected the pitchers or the hitters.
“You know, I think you got to split it down the middle,” the manger said. “We’ve had games were the guys had no feel for the breaking ball because they couldn’t feel the ball.”
Showalter showed sympathy for the Baltimore fans as well, noting the weather’s effect on filling seats in the ballpark.
“I feel bad about the fans. You know, it’s really hurt our attendance because the weather has been so bad,” Showalter said. “We’re playing the Yankees, which are usually a good draw. Nobody will come out in it, yet we’re playing in it.”
Fans wanting to see the Reds and Brewers play at Great American Ball Park Sunday had to wait nearly two hours for the rain to move out and the field to be prepped before the game could begin Sunday. After the 1 hour and 55 minute delay, Milwaukee beat the home town Reds 5-4.
The Brewers have sat through a little more than four hours of weather delays in the season’s first month.
I’d love to see the route efficiency number on Stephen Drew’s circuitous pursuit of a Cesar Hernandez infield popup at Nationals Park on Thursday.
Drew, playing short for the Nats, positioned himself underneath the high flying ball, for a second, and then had to sprint to his right and in a bit to chase down the falling spheroid.
“There’s a lot of things going on right there, twilight, wind,” Nationals’ TV commentator F.P. Santangelo said.
From the looks of the play, it was mostly wind. You could see it rustling past Jonathan Papelbon’s sleeves as the cameras flashed back to the Nats’ closer. You could see it a few moments early when a strong breeze appeared to push a Cameron Rupp drive to right over the head of Bryce Harper.
(Can we also blame the wind for the Nationals scoring zero runs, getting only six base hits in two games and making the Phillies’ pitching staff look like the ’96 Atlanta Braves’ hurlers?)
It was a bit nasty in the district Thursday… both the baseball and the weather.
The temperature dipped to the low 50s, and the game’s first pitch was delayed 36 minutes by rain.
According to data from Weather Underground, wind speed was hitting around 15 mph at the time of Drew’s infield adventure. You can be a weather-no-nothing like me and still know that’s not a lot, but it was enough play havoc on balls hit toward the coulds in the top of the ninth inning.
Up the road a bit in Baltimore, where the hot-hitting Orioles cooled the first-place Chicago White Sox, temperatures fell to 48 degrees on an overcast night and Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic wondered if it would ever be warm again for baseball.
The game time temperature equaled April 6 for the Orioles’ “second coldest temperature at first pitch,” Dubroff wrote.
The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck wrote today that perhaps the cold weather in Baltimore is helping the AL East-leading O’s stay hot.
“I have an outlandish theory that the Orioles have shown more plate discipline at Camden Yards because it has been so cold most of the time they haven’t been in a hurry to swing the bat,” Schmuck wrote.
Of the six games played outdoors Thursday, five had temperatures of 55 or below. It was 45 in Detroit and at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, 55 at first pitch in Washington and 50 in Boston.
The Rockies and Pirates had the finale of their three-game series postponed by rain and snow and 38-degree temperatures at Coors Field Thursday. That seemed to be OK for Walt Weiss, skipper of the struggling Rockies.
“I’m not going to kick and scream if we don’t play,” he said before the game was called.
The cool trend continues Friday. It’ll be 47 for the Cubs’ game in Wrigley, 48 in Boston, 50 in Philadelphia, 53 at Citi Field in New York, 54 in Baltimore, 56 in Minneapolis, 58 in Pittsburgh and 68 with a chance of rain in St. Louis.
A strong storm swept over Globe Life Park in Arlington Sunday, postponing the series finale between the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. The game has been rescheduled for June 20, a common day off for the teams.
The Rangers announced through press release their decision for the postponement Sunday morning based on a weather forecast that called for “moderate to heavy rain and showers in the area throughout the day on Sunday and Sunday night and continuing on Monday.”
With a scheduled off day on Monday, the postponement gives the Rangers two consecutive days off after having played 13 straight games. The Rangers begin a series with the Astros Tuesday.
The Orioles also have Monday off and will play the first of a four-game series with Toronto Tuesday night in Baltimore.
The June 20 rescheduled contest will create a lot of flying around the country of the Orioles. They’ll play in Toronto Sunday, June 19, soar to Texas for the Monday makeup game, and then jump back on a plane back to Baltimore for a two-game set with the San Diego Padres beginning June 21.
The Orioles have had two games rained out so far this young season, and by The Rainout Blog’s unofficial count, have had game action delayed 201 minutes by inclement weather.
Actually, the man – yep, it was me – walked in an Olive Garden Saturday evening with his family. But just through the glass double doors was a bar, and just above the bar was a behemoth 70-inch TV. And showing on that behemoth was the Baltimore Orioles pre-game show.
So, of course my mind began racing to figure out how I could convince my beautiful wife that she, my two kids and I, should sit at the bar to eat dinner and watch the Orioles.
Seats for four at the bar. Sounds great, right?
“Pass the breadsticks!”
“Did you see Manny grab that liner down the third base line?”
Ahhhhh. Is this heaven?
No. It’s Olive Garden…
OK, you’re right. I’ve been with my wife for 26 years now, so it didn’t take me long to realize any persuasive attempts to sit at the bar would be futile and would only end up with her giving me the stink eye. She’s so good at the stink eye.
So, I sucked it up, waited for the black round buzzer with the dancing red lights to fire off and we took a table far, far away from the TV.
I didn’t think too much more about the game for a few minutes until I realized something had been strange about the pregame show. There were no fans in the seats at Camden Yards.
Now, you don’t need to be any sort of sleuth to know something’s up. Could this be a rain out?!?!?!
Wiggling my fingers with excitement like Homer Simpson reaching for a sprinkled doughnut, I reached for my phone to check Twitter. Nothing. I checked my At Bat app. Nothing. And then back to Twitter. Ahhhhhh, there it is: Game called because of inclement weather.
“I’ll have the eggplant parmigiana. And water with no lemon, please!”
They’re never, ever, ever getting back together
Well, never say never, but the Yankees and Tigers are finding it difficult to reschedule their April 10 nationally-televised Sunday night game that was postponed by a nasty wintry mix in Detroit.
The difficulty stems from the fact the Yankees are scheduled make no more trips to Detroit this season. According to the Detroit Free Press, the teams have only six mutual off days: April 18, May 2, June 2, July 28, Sept. 1 and Sept. 19.
The New York Yankees have waited since October to get another crack at Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel.
The rematch of last year’s American League Wild Card game, in which Kuechel dominated Yankees hitters and won 3-0, was scheduled to happen today in the Bronx, Opening Day for the two clubs and most of Major League Baseball.
However, a slight rain was falling in New York this morning and there is about 75 percent chance it would continue at 1 p.m. when Masahiro Tanaka was scheduled to toss the first pitch for the Yankees. Weather projections have the chance of rain up to 100 percent at 3 p.m.
— Simone Eli (@SimoneEli_KPRC) April 4, 2016
The game has been postponed until 1:05 p.m. Tuesday, giving the Yankees one more day to figure out that baffling Kuechel fella. The New York batters failed to score a run off the lefty in the 22 innings they faced him in 2015.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland…
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 4, 2016
Snow could be flying around Progressive Field today when the Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox at 4:10 p.m. Temperatures will be around 33 but feel like 23 at game time.
It could be worse. The game could be in Boston…
— Fenway Park (@fenwaypark) April 4, 2016
Orioles fans may want to pack ponchos for today’s opener against the Twins at Camden Yards. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. That’s also about the time rain could hit the area, about an 80 percent chance. That goes up to near 100 percent at 4 p.m.
Everything else, weather wise, looks nice around the league. Sunday marked the official start of the 2016 MLB season with three games. No weather problems, but Pirates fans at PNC Park welcomed the new season with 39 degree temperatures at the ballpark.
UPDATE: As snow blows around the ballpark and temperatures feel like December at a Browns game, the game between the Indians and Red Sox today in Cleveland has been postponed. The game is scheduled to be made up Tuesday at 1:10 p.m.
Temps on recent holidays/event days:
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 4, 2016
To help me get through, I thought it would be a great idea to develop for The Rainout Blog a list of the Top 10 MLB weather events for the 2015 season. Sounds great, right?
In the early stages of my research, I came across MLB.com video of the Baltimore Orioles’ grounds crew working to prep the infield though rain at Camden Yards.
The early afternoon game between the Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays was delayed for three hours and 25 minutes – Wow! – and resumed a little after 4 p.m. Because of the long delay, starting pitchers for both teams were removed. You know, that’s always a story line in long weather delays.
The Orioles went on to win 6-4 over the Jays, who had clinched the American League East title the night before.
It’s three and a half months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. While we wait, let’s take a look back at the Orioles grounds crew in action.