APRIL 2016 UPDATE! Wondering about the rules governing rain delays? How long will yours last? Will your rain delay ever end? (Yes.) For my April 2016 update & all your questions answered, click here: “Your Rain Delay Companion”
Rain delays, I’ve discovered, are even more like Yoga than an actual baseball game.
You have to create your own focus. You have to slow yourself down. Way down. You have to be in the moment and you have to be patient.
The Sunday night Orioles-Yankees game came with a bonus 2-1/2-hour rain delay. That’s a lot of just standing around. Did I mention it was barely 50 degrees out?
The dynamics of some 48,000 people hunkered under the concourses, killing time, would be a great sociological experiment. For the record, 48,000 people in one place is about 5x the population of the county I live in.
So, here’s what you can do during your next 2-1/2-hour rain delay:
* You can drink. I wouldn’t advise it, but you can do it. You can drink a lot in 2-1/2 hours. You will be incredibly entertaining and funny for the first hour. After that, you’ll be shunned, even by the people you came with.
* You can do a scientific jersey count poll. In this practice, you count the players represented on jerseys as they pass by. For the person wearing the Adam Jones jersey who walked back and forth several times – nice try, buddy, we only counted you once. We decided that pitchers are underrepresented on jerseys. We also discovered that a player can be long gone, long-ago traded to another team, or just faded into the annals of “wait, who? Doesn’t he work at the car shop downtown?”, but if you spent $100 on a replica jersey 10 years ago, you’ll wear it anyway.
* You can root around in your jacket pockets. The mom next to us discovered she had some teeny-weeny little toys hiding in her pocket. A gift from the gods, we decided, since it entertained her young son for quite awhile. And, her son was named Camden by the way (yes, for Camden Yards) – too young to read, but knows every Oriole by their jersey number.
* You can join the impromptu cheers that radiate through the concourses. You will spell out O-R-I-O-L-E-S approximately once every 8 minutes, or 18 times in a 2-1/2-hour rain delay.
* You can play with your phone. I saw several people playing games, but, far more people were checking the weather radar. Constantly.
* You can walk through the concourse end-to-end looking for vegetarian food options. Trust me, you will be disappointed.
* You can watch it rain. Actually, if you get yourself into a total Yoga groove, you can do this for quite awhile. Drishti in action. You can watch the rain, merely to watch it. You can just stare. And, stare. And, stare.
* You can discuss how long a rain delay can go before they call a game. This can be discussed for at least an hour. If your husband had allowed you to bring your official Baseball Rule book TO the game, you could have given the official rules regarding rain delays and postponements.
* You can join in on the conversations next to you. They are also discussing how long a rain delay can go before they call a game.
* You can try to get special rain delay information by striking up conversations with “official” people wearing badges or carrying walkie-talkies. They don’t know anything, either, but it makes you think you’ve cracked the inner circle.
* You can read great significance into a change in the line-up of policemen stationed at the exits.
* You can fashion watch. This is especially fun during bitterly cold games. Shorts? Flip-flops? Really? It’s 50 degrees out. I am wearing FIVE layers, and I have two additional “emergency” layers in my bag, just in case.
* You can watch couples interact. You can try to guess which ones are married, which ones are dating, and which ones will break up if this damn rain delay doesn’t end soon.
* You can verbally harass Yankees fans. I have a profound respect now for those fans who attend away games. Some Orioles fans were merciless (see You Can Drink section above). At one point I found myself standing next to a few Yankees fans, and I quietly inched away, lest someone think I was with them and they started yelling at me. It can’t be easy to be yelled at all night (just ask A-Rod). I wouldn’t advise harassing though as a time-killer, as it’s pretty stupid.
* You can imagine how warm, comfy, and dry all the players are, while you wait out the rain under a dank, extremely chilly concourse. You can wonder if they’re drinking deliciously warm beverages, playing cards, or napping.
* You can dance. This is an especially good way to warm your feet up. I recommend the very popular shuffle-shuffle-stomp-shuffle-stomp-stomp-shuffle dance.
* You can estimate how much sleep you will get tonight if the rain stops … right now! You can do this every 15 minutes or so. (Correct answer: 2 hours, 30 minutes. Yes, you will get the same amount of sleep once you get home as the entire rain delay itself.)
* You can look at all the stuff fans are buying at the concession stands and shops. That rhinestone-encrusted ball cap, sweetie … it’s you, it really is!
* You can convince your husband that a sweet Orioles sweater-hoodie would not only ward off frost-bite and save you from a most certain death-by-freezing, but would become a beloved addition to your Yoga wardrobe.
* You can convince your husband that an Orioles sweater-hoodie would be a terrific birthday present, and that single gift would be so perfect that no additional gifts or tributes would be required when the big day arrives later this month. You would be kidding, of course.
* You can send-up a rousing 48,000-strong cheer when the public address system begins playing Sweet Home Alabama. I don’t know why.
* You can cheer when a lone groundskeeper sticks his head out like a whack-a-mole to check to see if it’s still raining. It is.
* You can make new fashion statements with the Rally Towel you got when you entered the stadium. Do-rag, nice. Scarf, ok. Miniskirt adornment, um … well, I guess it does go nice with your rhinestone ball cap and flip flops.
* You can cheer and madly dash to your seat when the rain stops and they finally pull the tarp off the field. (We’re the ones over in left field, by the way.)
Watch the amazing moment here.
* You can hang your head down when, 3-1/2 hours later, your team loses a heartbreaker.
* You can go get’em tomorrow! Go O’s!
P.S. My Husband/Former Yankees Fan/Editor informs me that this post is as long as Sunday’s rain delay.