Friday, June 19, 2009

UPDATED: Some Thoughts About The Second Longest Rain Delay In Baseball History

Yesterday, the umpires the Yankees made an unorthodox decision and allowed for [unofficially] the second-longest rain delay in baseball history. Today, there will be the inevitable backlash as jilted fans share their displeasure with the Yankees, even though the decision was pretty much out of their hands.

One such complaint is from an NSI reader (from the comments section on yesterday's rain post):
The Yankees' treatment of fans yesterday was laughable. People brought kids to the game, were told that there was a "3 o'clock window" and were forced to wait around for hours. My favorite part? My daughter and I couldn't sit anywhere because our seats were in the terrace. "You can stand anywhere," we were told. However, when the Yankees realized that the lower seats were going to be viewable (empty) on television, they let fans move down. Thing is, most of us who laid out money were already gone. The delay was the SECOND LONGEST IN HISTORY. Just laughable! Someone should see how fans at the LONGEST rain-delayed game were treated. I'm going to guess that they were allowed to sit for a few hours and were not denied re-entry. C'mon, Yankees. You're really testing my patience here.
It is quite unfortunate that the Terrace seats are uncovered, and it is true that the Yankees do not offer any covered seating in public areas in the park. If the complaint is about the design of the stadium, or the training of the security, read through this blog, and you will see that we have very similar opinions. We agree that it is asinine for the Yankees to have denied people the option to sit in covered upper deck seats during the delay, but it was probably poor communication between badly trained security, instead of official Yankees policy. As far as the lengthy rain delay goes, we're not ready to blame the Yankees.

First off, the team can't control the weather, and yesterday they didn't control the decision to cancel the game. UPDATE: Thanks to Bryan Hoch of for pointing out that the Yankees did in fact control the decision (that is the last time we rely on Peter Abraham for factual information).

Due to extenuating circumstances that caused an unfortunate and historic rain delay, the team is offering all ticket holders free tickets to a game next year. In addition, all fans who remained for last night's game were allowed to move down into the Legends seats once word got out to security.

Meteorologists, including Steve DiMartino, special to NSI from saw that 3:00 PM window. We can vouch for the fact that at 3 PM, the rain began to taper off. Unfortunately, additional heavy bands of showers continued to develop through 5 PM.

The Yankees have already had to deal with an inordinate number of rain delays this year. With an afternoon game, clearing conditions expected, and two teams who didn't have far to travel for their game the next day, it was the recipe for a long delay.

In situations like this, the long term health of the players has to be the top priority. If the Yankees canceled yesterday's game, they would have had to make it up some time in September - a month that already features a game scheduled on a previously scheduled off day, as well a double header. Baseball is too big of a business to cram that many games in the last month of the season. With every makeup game in September, the likelihood of players getting hurt increases, and the team's playoff chances decreases.

The Yankees did what they had to do to get the game in yesterday. Some fans suffered, but if they blame anything or anyone, it should be the weather, and MAYBE the meteorologists - not the Yankees. We just hope fans didn't have to suffer through 5.5 hours of the same high definition video board "entertainment" that we did during a lengthy rain delay back in April:

We'd stab our eyes out.
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