Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Rant #999: Tarp Heavy
Yesterday, during the New York Yankees' 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium, the grounds crew had a lot of trouble with the tarp covering the ground after two rain delays.
Rain was in the forecast, but what came to Yankee Stadium was a real cloudburst, something totally unexpected.
The usually very adept grounds crew had an incredibly tough time with the tarp, and while the condition of the field wasn't that terrible after the delays--nothing that a little elbow grease couldn't cover--the crew really struggled last night, one of the few times in its history that it had so much trouble covering the field and taking the cover off the field.
I remember years ago, another sudden cloudburst hit the Stadium, and fans ran onto the field and hit the tarp as it blew in the heavy winds that accompanied the heavy rain.
It was as if people were riding the waves in the middle of Yankee Stadium that day.
Another time, during the final game at the soon-to-be-refurbished old Yankee Stadium, I was at the game and people were taking "souvenirs" like seats and pieces of the turf after the game.
It was chaos, to say the least.
My friend and I ran into the bullpen--the gate was open, so we strolled in amidst the chaos--and we took a bullpen mat and a piece of the tarp.
Heaven knows where those things are today, but I had them for years. I think my mother eventually threw them out.
The grounds crew really isn't held in that high regard by the fans, but they do serve a serious purpose.
They keep the field in tip-top shape for the teams they work for--manicuring the field to exact specification--and in case of rain--or snow, for that matter--they must always be on the ready for any eventuality.
At Yankee Stadium, the members of the grounds crew are actually quasi-celebrities, as they perform to the song "YMCA" during one of their walks onto the field in between innings.
Fans look forward to that, and it is one of the highlights of the game that really has nothing to do with the eventual outcome.
So last night was one blemish for the grounds crew. They haven't had very many in the years I have been watching baseball, and the Yankee Stadium grounds crew is often regarded as one of the best in baseball.
But last night, they had lots of trouble, and with impending rainy weather coming for the rest of the week, they better be on their toes.
Never fool with Mother Nature, you know.
Posted by Larry at 2:46 AM