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Video: The Yankees grounds crew had a heck of a time getting the tarp on last night

Jul 24, 2014, 8:52 AM EDT

source: AP

The Yankees-Rangers game ended after five innings last night because the field wasn’t playable after the rain delay. The reason the infield was so bad off was because it took forever for the grounds crew to get the tarp on when the rains came.

It wasn’t their fault, really. The rain came so heavy and so fast that the tarp got heavy before it could be pulled onto the infield. And then winds complicated things. Just … um, a perfect storm.

Watch:

  1. beachnbaseball - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    The fault lies with the umpiring crew for not ordering the grounds crew to cover the field sooner. 1 or 2 minutes earlier and everything would have been okay. They had the weather data and the radar images but they delayed and the grounds crew was then faced with trying to drag a swimming pool across the field.

    • blacksables - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      Yeah, the umpires are always to blame for everything.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      Agreed.

    • NatsLady - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Didn’t the opposite occur in Philly? They got the tarp out promptly, delayed the game and, IT DIDN’T RAIN. So they restarted the game, and it DID RAIN, quite hard, and they played in the rain with gobs of diamond-dry.

      The other day they delayed the start of a game in DC, with a forecast and map that showed a thin band of storms that would quickly exit. Just about every 15 minutes you would think, oh, it’s lightened up, they’ll get this one in. But the rain just planted itself over the park and didn’t quit. Fans stayed and stayed, until about 9:45 they finally canceled just as the rain stopped (of course, they would have had to restart at about 10:30 after prepping the field & warmups, etc.).

      News flash: weather is sometimes unpredictable.

      • sabatimus - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Not from the radar I saw here in the northeast last night.

  2. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    MLB is so hard up for cash, they’ve taken to embedding advertisements directly over top of all videos and replays. Seriously, what the hell was up with that stupid Kay Jewlers ad?

    • beachnbaseball - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      The replay showing the Kay’s Jewelers ad was from the Rangers TV feed. MLB did not embed it.

      • beachnbaseball - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        I stand corrected. Kay’s Jewelers sponsored the replay for MLB. Sorry abot that.

      • Senor Cardgage - Jul 24, 2014 at 7:47 PM

        MLB did too embed it. Notice it’s over both the YES and FSSW feeds. And it’s terrible.

  3. shanabartels - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    The WABC meteorologist said this morning on the news that the South Bronx got the most dramatic rain in the area last night and that one-half to three-quarters of an inch came down in the span of 20 minutes. Hence the extreme challenge for the grounds crew. They did the best they could, but Mother Nature did quite a number on the infield.

    • nschively - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:19 AM

      They did not do the best they could. For example, Orioles grounds crew – when they think rain is coming – goes onto the field, camps out behind the tarp, removes the covering, and is ready to push at a moment’s notice. The Yankees grounds crew waited, confirmed, then came trotting out on to the field. It took them at least half a minute to get in position to roll that tarp; by the time they started rolling it out, it should have been unrolled. And then, of course, they kept straining in a hopeless attempt to pull, when they needed to dump.

  4. ripwarrior - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I had a friend that was an orioles ground crew member. He was told to not to talk to the players unless he was spoken to. Lol.

  5. dsaverno - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    How much good press would this story have gotten if the players had come out and helped. Forget about the injury risk: two teams helping to cover the field in a timely manner because the want to put on a show for the fans. They want to play the game.

    • beachnbaseball - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      A bunch of Phillies players helped the Rockies ground crew with a hard to handle tarp back in 2007 and the fans loved it!

  6. unlost1 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Vince Coleman can help

  7. nschively - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I was a AA grounds keeper 20+ years ago, and we referred to this phenomenon as suction cupping. It’s a combination of the weight of the water on the tarp and the water underneath the tarp, and no amount of muscle is ever going to drag that tarp across the field. There is only 1 way to remedy it, and that’s to peel the tarp back, dump the water, and go hells bells to cover the field. You may have to do this more than once. This is exactly what the grounds crew finally did last night, and they eventually got it mostly covered (looked like a bit of home plate was still sticking out). Once they dumped, the field was covered in about a minute – and it would have been faster if they hadn’t been exhausted trying to force the tarp for several minutes and then in an utter panic once they did.

    While the umpires didn’t help the situation – it’s their call as to when to bring the tarp out – this is squarely at the feet of the grounds crew, more specifically the head grounds keeper and any assistants. What they suffered from was a lack of leadership; rather than dumping and retrying, they wasted precious minutes in a futile attempt to muscle the tarp on the field. This is shocking, since apparently the same exact thing happened to this crew July 2013 against the Royals.

    They have now been so inept twice in a little over a year in trying to do this, that I have to wonder whether they are inept, or were trying to influence the game.

    I also thought I saw a Ranger trying to help….

    • beachnbaseball - Jul 24, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      You saw a Ranger’s ball boy; employed by the Yankees. A number of non – grounds crew employees were called in to help with the tarp.

  8. ezthinking - Jul 24, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And, sometimes it rains.

    – Crash Davis

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