Monday, July 15, 2013

The National Pastime

Out of town this weekend, but did manage to catch this in the local paper, just in time for the All-Star game. It's getting harder and harder to keep up the desperate veneer of normalcy on life in America when even our national pastime is getting harder to play (and remember the lights going out during the Super Bowl?)
Even in ski country, this was a bit extreme: When the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies started up at Coors Field in late April, it was 23 degrees. That made it the coldest game-time temperature in STATS' records, dating back more than two decades.

Braves pitcher Mike Minor threw six innings and won -- in short sleeves, no less. He figured long sleeves wouldn't help much. He also got a trainer to rub his arms, back and thighs with a heating ointment.

"I was burning up there," he said, smiling.

Snow at Target Field, hail at Yankee Stadium and buckets of rain from coast to coast. More than 30 games postponed so far, going into the weekend. Last year? Just 21, the whole season.

The crummy conditions have wreaked havoc with the schedule. With interleague games most every day, there's not a lot of wiggle room for makeups. So there's been a push to get the games in -- Tampa Bay waited out almost five hours of rain delays in Cleveland to win a game that started on a Friday night in May and finished on an early Saturday in June. The Mets, meanwhile, played in three different time zones in three days.

In St. Louis, there was a 4 1/2-hour rain delay in the ninth inning before Kansas City outlasted the Cardinals. The game ended at 3:14 a.m. at Busch Stadium, and created travel trouble for the umpires, too -- they worked at Wrigley Field in Chicago the next afternoon.

"We worry about that game when we get to that one," crew chief Joe West said. "We had to worry about this game tonight."

And recently, a Giants-Reds rainout in Cincinnati had the teams talking about making it up at Coors Field, of all places. A neutral site in Denver might indeed be the most convenient spot for both clubs later this year.
Marathon games, weird weather just part of wild first half of baseball season (AP). It's going to get more expensive to transport all those teams around the country too.And who has the disposable income to go to sports games anymore?

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