Good news for those of us who have become somewhat sleep deprived during the Major League Baseball playoffs: Tonight’s World Series Game Two start time has been moved up one hour to 7:08 p.m.
Now the bad news: The change was made because of a threat of rain tonight in Cleveland. According to forecasts, rain is expected in the city this afternoon before tapering off.
The chance of precipitation is around 35 percent at 8 p.m. and increases to 50-55 percent in the next couple of hours. At 11 p.m., the chance of precipitation jumps to about 80 percent and 90 at midnight.
Look out if the game goes into extra innings.
The last time a World Series game was suspended for weather was Game 5 in 2008 when rain drenched Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies and Rays were tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth when the Monday night game was called. It was resumed two days later.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was skipper of the Rays, who lost to the Phillies in five games.
Cold temperatures could also be a factor in tonight’s contest at Progressive Field. Game-time temps are expected to be in the high 40s with a wind chill of around 42 degrees. In the opener, in which Cleveland won 6-0, temperatures hung around 50 degrees.
Everyone has to deal with the cold, but a lot of eyes will be on Cubs’ starter Jake Arrieta. You may remember Arrieta’s velocity dipped a bit last October as he struggled in Game 2 of the 2015 NLCS on a 45-degree night in a 4-1 loss to the Mets. Many believe the cold played a role in right hander’s struggles.
The Indians last played in the World Series in 1997 against the Marlins. The games in Florida were nice weather-wise, but Game 4 in Cleveland had a game-time temperature of 41, which dropped to the mid-30s throughout the contest.
But tonight, our biggest concern is rain… and for me, getting to bed at a decent time. So, the hour-earlier start time is just dandy. Tribe manager Terry Francona does mind either.
“Shoot, it just means we start an hour earlier. We can handle that,” Francona said. “I don’t care what time they tell us to play. I’m sure they have good reason. If it’s supposed to rain late, I don’t really have a reaction. I’m going to be here anyway by 10 (a.m.) So it doesn’t really matter.”
What does it take to get the reigning National League MVP’s bat hot on a cool night in Washington, D.C.?
A dugout heater, of course.
Bryce Harper was 0-for-3 Tuesday night and his club was struggling to put runs across the plate against a winless Atlanta Braves team. The Nats’ fortunes changed, however, in the eighth with runners on first and second and Harper due to arrive at the plate.
Moments before he climbed out the dugout, MASN cameras spotted Harper warming his hands and bat in front of an orange floor heater.
“Going no gloves, keeping the hands warm. Maybe heating that pine tar up a little,” said Nationals TV commentator F.P. Santangelo. “When you put that bat in front of the warmer it makes that pine tar a little bit wet again. It (pine tar) will get cold on a night like tonight and get real dry.”
Whether it was warming his hands, his bat or both, the technique worked on this 51-degree night. (Or, maybe it was the fact that No. 34 is quite the slugger.)
Harper slapped the first pitch he saw from Braves’ lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty into left field. Jeff Francoeur attempted a diving catch, but the ball bopped off his glove, giving Harper a two-run double as Stephen Drew and Anthony Rendon scored.
Temps in D.C. are expected to be about the same Wednesday night, in the mid to low 50s, so perhaps the entire team should gather around the heater and not wait until the eighth inning to put away the Braves.
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) April 13, 2016
ESPN.com New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini wrote Sunday advocating for the induction of Bill Hampton into the Jets Ring of Honor because, as Cimini states, “You can’t write the history of the Jets’ franchise without mentioning Hampton.”
Hampton, the team’s equipment manager from 1964 to 2000, died last week at age 86.
He was a favorite among the team’s players, Cimini writes, and was responsible for Joe Namath’s famous white sneakers. The long-time equipment manager also impacted the game in ways that benefited players through those cold, wet late-season games. Namath’s famous pantyhose commercials was born from one of Hampton’s brilliant ideas.
Hampton was innovative. During the run-up to the 1968 AFL Championship, played in nasty cold at Shea Stadium, he and his wife, Dottie, stitched pockets into the uniform jerseys of the skill-position players. Hampton also introduced this radical concept to combat cold weather — pantyhose beneath the uniform pants. It later became the inspiration behind Namath’s celebrated pantyhose commercial in 1973.
The Jets will induct two former running backs, Emerson Boozer and Matt Snell, into its Ring of Honor Nov. 29 when the team hosts the Miami Dolphins.