A Word On Rain Delays

An article by posted on June 19, 2009

The New York Yankees were scheduled to play the Washington National this afternoon up at New Yankee Stadium. First pitch was schedule for 1:05pm, New York time. It rained most of the day in the greater New York area. It rained so bad in fact the the U.S. Open at Bethpage was postponed for today. When I got home from work at about 5:15 this afternoon, I saw that the Yankee game was still in rain delay. The game which was scheduled to start at 1:05 this afternoon did not begin until 6:30 tonight. A rain delay in excess of 5 1/2 hours!

You could hardly blame the Yankees for waiting this out. After all if you have the most expensive team in the history of baseball, playing at team that’s on a pace to win as many games as the 1962 Mets, why not wait it out?

The problem I have with this is, what about the fans? Is it fair to the paying customers to make them wait in excess of five hours for the game to start? What does a fan do, sitting in New Yankee Stadium for over five hours? Most fans would need a bank loan just to keep eating and drinking for that long. How is fair to the fan who doesn’t want to risk illness, or has other plans for the day?

I don’t mean to single out the Yankees here. I’ve watched, or waited to watch a few games this season where the rain delays have seemed to go on forever, totally disregarding the fans. If you’re a fan and you have to spend in excess of eight hours at the ballpark, and then factor in travel time to and from the stadium, how can that possibly be an enjoyable day out?

MLB needs to wake up a bit. As I understand it, before a pitch is thrown its the choice of the home team whether or not to start the game. Once the first pitch is thrown the game is in the hands of the umpiring crew. At some point in the process MLB needs to get involved. Maybe after a delay of say three hours, MLB gets to make the decision if the game is played or not. Its ridiculous to expect people to spend in excess of eight hours, in bad weather at the ballpark.

As a final note, Nats beat the Yankees, 3-0.

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