Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another Rainout

Well, here I am all ready to watch game six of the World Series. This series has been most interesting and exciting. As Rick posted Saturday there have been some great plays and on both sides of the bat. The last game had some of the most bizarre pitching changes I have ever seen (especially from Tony LaRussa). But…. again, tonight, the weather is playing a major part in the festivities.

The post season is again too late in the year. Even though the season started a bit early, here we are fighting cold, rainstorms and delayed play. All the players’ routines, workouts and preparations are delayed. Fans have to rearrange schedules. The World Series does not come along to your team every year. You want to be there for every game you can.

In ballparks that can be covered, like Rogers Centre and Tropicana Field, games are not delayed, not canceled for weather related issues. It still amazes me that since 1989 more clubs have not opted for some kind of domed stadium. At least clubs playing in extreme climates like the Southwestern and Northeastern parts of the US. Regions that can, at the beginning or end of the season, be too hot or too cold. The arguments will be that baseball should be played outside. I am in agreement except when the weather is too extreme. Close the lid. I’d rather see a game than sit through a long rain delay or cancellation.

At the Rogers Centre, it is a push button operation. After twenty-two years, the dome still closes quickly and silently when needed. It’s quite a marvel. Rain or shine, a game happens. During the WS in 1992 and 1993, weather delays could have produced different outcomes for the Jays. I remember how cold it was outside, but inside the temperature was warm enough to have a proper game. The Jays prevailed and all the postseason home games were played without interference of the weather. The games were won by the skills of the players and managers, not the weather.

Major League Baseball has deemed that in postseason play a game delay would be postponed only, and be resumed later. This adds for a continuity of play. In the past, you started the game over. Now the game and the statistics are contiguous. I think this is an improvement.

If you have ever been to Wrigley on a somewhat blustery and rainy day you can appreciate how much like a sieve that place is. Sure, it a very storied park, but very uncomfortable. Some recent stadiums have come up with different ideas on how to keep the elements out. The Astro’s Minute Maid Park has a retractable lid and grass. Looks good too, with red brick and a train in left field. (I know Rick would like that). The Brewer’s Miller Park most unique feature is its fan-shaped movable roof. It, too, has grass. I know cement is bad for the players and the Jays certainly have a better field with the new turf after replacing the old. But it is still cement. I think it is possible to have grass in most lidded parks. It just takes a different lighting situation and a good drainage system.

Games have always delayed and canceled due to rain or snow. Opening day for the Jays was delayed but played after the field was shoveled. Too cold. As of today, 21 World Series games have been delayed, only one for cold in 1903. Rain check anyone?
In today’s game, or what will now be Thursday’s game, the pitching situation will be much different with an extra day of rest for starters and especially the bullpens, who have done the bulk of the work to date. The managers are pleased. Fans, who intended to see this game, not so much. The strategies will be different with the players not on the same schedule as planned. As Will has said, baseball is not a cold weather sport. When needed, a covered park is the best thing going. Bravo to the Astros, Brewers and Jays for having state of the art parks that assure the show will go on.

1 comment:

Rick Blechta said...

What about the Mariners and their very nice stadium, Safeco Field?

Everybody forgets the Mariners...