A torrential downpour came in with such speed and ferocity during Wednesday night’s game between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers in the Bronx that the Yankee Stadium grounds crew was faced with the nearly impossible task of getting the tarp out in time to maintain the integrity of the field.
The quickness of the downpour rolling in and the struggles experienced by the grounds crew resulted in a field deluged with water, creating a perfect storm — pun intended — that precipitated — pun again intended — the need for the game to be called early, meaning the Yankees won the game by a score of 2-1 after only five innings in the books.
As noted above, it wasn’t only the amount and speed of the rain, it was also the near-comical scene that ensued as the grounds crew, other stadium personnel, bat boys, and pretty much anyone near the scene had to chip in and help get control of the tarp. In the end, it took three attempts to wrangle the tarp, spanning 14 minutes of struggles in total.
After a nearly two-hour rain delay during which the field did not return to playable conditions, the game was called.
Rangers skipper Ron Washington, while not explicitly saying the mishap with the tarp was intentional, nevertheless was unhappy and frustrated with his team coming out with the short end of the stick thanks to a game being called four innings short of regulation.
“I don’t think it was intentional, but usually when they start pulling that tarp, it makes it,” Washington said. “That one didn’t make it.”
When pressed again about the possibility the tarp-related "derp" from the grounds crew may have involved some nefarious gamesmanship, Washington declined to take the bait.
“Next question,” Washington retorted. “I’m not going to get into that.”
Washington nevertheless managed to sneak in a subtle shot at the perceived competence of the Yankees grounds crew — at least on Wednesday night — whether the results were intentional or otherwise.
“Those guys on the grounds crew are professionals at what they do, and they usually do that well,” he said. “That didn’t happen, and it ended up messing up the field.”