And I’m going to say it again now: Major League Baseball needs to staff a full-time weather office, with trained meteorologists, so that a situation like Friday night’s in Washington never happens again.
It was absolutely clear from the weather forecasts for the Washington area Friday night that attempting to play the game would likely result in delays at best, and postponement was a real possibility. Baseball people always say they look for a “window” of three hours or so to play, and the window Friday night was open just a tiny bit, before it slammed shut again, not even close to three hours long [VIDEO].
I’m well aware of the situation. The Cubs are in a pennant race, so the game absolutely needs to be played. There’s not really a common off day that’s convenient to make up a postponement this late in the season.
But to play an inning and a half — which meant they had maybe an hour’s worth of time to get the field prepared and play for about 30 minutes before the game was halted — was ridiculous. Then they made players, fans, stadium workers, media and broadcasters wait nearly three hours before they finally called it. The Cubs lost the services of Jon Lester for this series as a result.
The Nationals sent out announcements via their official Twitter account at 8:50 p.m. ET, 9:06 p.m. ET and then at 9:45 p.m. ET they promised another update in “15 minutes.” That turned into 30 minutes, then there wasn’t another announcement until this, an hour and a half after the previous update:
I’ll repeat again: This is inconsiderate to everyone, players, fans, stadium workers, working media and broadcasters. MLB should have postponed this game before it even started, allowing players to go home (the Cubs to their hotel) to rest up for the doubleheader. Instead, they dragged things out until almost midnight local time.
It’s clear to me that MLB officials are making these sorts of decisions without consulting weather people, because if they had consulted weather folks, they wouldn’t have made everyone stick around for that long. And it had actually stopped raining at the time the game was called, but at that point it’s nearly midnight and someone finally had some common sense and thought, “Maybe we shouldn’t make these guys play until 3 a.m.”, although that could have led to Tommy La Stella actually living up to one of his nicknames:
Secretly, I think you are loving this. The way things are going, Tommy La Stella is going to hit a home run at 3 am. Literally.— Jer Der (@jerlooder) September 8, 2018
Rain delay humor:
My hair got darker. Like my soul. https://t.co/KME1xRZUKp— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 8, 2018
And then there was this from Chelsea Janes, Nationals beat writer for the Washington Post:
Both teams should be absolutely furious. This is not good for either team. If/when they do resume, they'll do so on an absolutely drenched field at midnight or later. Injury risk spikes. Bullpens will be blown up. It's unnecessary.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 8, 2018
If it's dry enough to stand outside for a half hour for pregame shenanigans, and there's a tight window...wouldn't one think those activities should be shortened in order to play the game everyone came to see?— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 8, 2018
To me, worst case scenario is starting and getting three innings in. Because then you have to do the whole thing again on a rainy weekend. If you start, you better be very sure you're getting this whole game in. https://t.co/3ClcVD1FhU— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 7, 2018
“Worst case scenario” actually happened. And, let’s make sure everyone knows who’s at fault here:
This is important. Not on the Nats at all. This is on the league. https://t.co/v5kF3JLmLJ— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) September 8, 2018
From Cubs beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer:
Rain is coming down in sheets. Thunder is drowning out conversations. And scheduled game time less than 20 minutes away.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) September 7, 2018
Nats official: "Attention, media. The game is currently delayed by inclement weather."
More rain delay math:— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) September 8, 2018
2 + 2 = why the hell hasn't this game been called? https://t.co/JBWtY2ayL9
MLB screwed up on this one, big time. The chances of playing a doubleheader today were close to 100 percent at the time the game was scheduled, and at the time the game actually began. Instead of doing the right thing and calling it off before it even started, they made everyone play briefly and then wait around nearly three more hours before calling it.
Staff a weather office, MLB, and then listen to them when they tell you that weather simply isn’t going to allow baseball to be played. If baseball beat writers can figure this out, why can’t you?
And guess what? There’s a possibility of rain Saturday. Learn your lesson, MLB, and do better today.