Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rant #576: Wet, Wet, Wet

After a number of days of pretty decent weather since the coming of Hurricane Irene, yesterday brought us a ton of rain.

I feel sorry for the people who are already in the swamps due to Irene and now, after they have pretty much dried off what they could, and now they have to put up with more of the wet stuff.

Last night, the Yankees were scheduled to play the Orioles in a night game at Yankee Stadium. Like in the rest of New York, the Bronx was wet, wet, wet yesterday, and the rain, which was pretty intense at times, wasn't going away by game time at 7:10 p.m.

Although the rain was coming down the entire day, the game was not called. In fact, the game began at about 11 p.m., or just about four hours after it was supposed to start.

Even though rain continued to fall, and continued to fall heavily at times, the game was played for the full nine innings, and the Yankees won 5-3.

The game ended at 2:15 a.m.

Why wasn't the game called?

There are a variety of reasons, but if I was a fan who had a ticket to that game, I would be steaming right now.

It was the Orioles' last trip to the Stadium this season. Rain is in the forecast for today, when the Yankees and Orioles are slated to play a day game, and it is also in the forecast for Thursday, when the same two teams shift to Baltimore to play a makeup game for a previously scheduled game that was wiped out by--you guessed it--rain.

Furthermore, it's not the Yankees' call to play the game. When it is the final visit of the season for a team, it's in the umpires' hands, and last night, they determined that it was OK to play ball, even in a torrential downpour.

The new Yankee Stadium seats about 48,000 for baseball, and the Yankees have been getting nearly that the entire season. So last night was probably no exception. They probably sold just about every ticket in the Stadium, and you can bet that just about everyone who had a ticket was there.

And I am sure they were checking the Internet and with the Yankees to determine whether the game would be played or called off.

And once at the Stadium, they were treated to a four-hour rain delay.

Sure, there's plenty to do at the Stadium when baseball isn't being played. There are a couple of restaurants, there is the Yankees Museum, and there are some other things to bide your time.

But don't you think that asking fans to brave a four hour rain delay, and then play in pouring rain anyway, is a bit much?

If you watch the replays of the highlights of the game, you will see that there were probably 1,000 fans or so in the stands as the night wore on into the early morning.

If there were any kids there--who have school the next day--I hope they can get up today. And that goes for the other fans, who I assume also have to get up and go to work.

I think Major League Baseball is going to have to enact some type of rule saying that games, and night games in particular, can't be delayed more than a specific amount of time before they must be called off.

I know the Yankees allowed fans in attendance to exchange their ticket stubs for another game on them, but don't you think this is ludicrous? Either you play the game by a certain hour or you call it quits.

The Yankees, like most baseball teams, are really a regional team. Yes, they are based in New York City, but they draw fans from Long Island, Westchester, Upstate New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

How you can ask any fan, and in particular, fans traveling from great distances, to wait out such a game? It is really quite unfair.

And then to play it in abominable conditions ... if you don't care about the fans, how about the players? It was pretty slick out there, and there could have been injuries. Happily, there weren't any.

Let's see what happens today. It's raining now, and it is expected to continue to rain at game time, 1:10 p.m. What will happen?

At least it's a day game today. With the umpires' thinking of last night, they could wait well into the evening to play this game.

How about the game starting at 7:10 p.m., or 8:10 p.m., or maybe even 11 p.m. again?

Do they care about the fans at all?

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