Baseball Changed. Didn’t It?

Friday night, for the fourth time out of the past six games, Virginia baseball was interrupted, delayed, or postponed by rain and storms. With nothing else to do, this got me to thinking about the future … 

© The Baseball Bloggess

There came a time when the doomsayers were proven right.

The weather had changed.

The rain now came in floods instead of showers, the storms were stronger and more frequent. Outside was not bucolic; outside was a battle, something to conquer as you went from one indoor space to the next. It was too wet or too dry. Too hot or too cold. Too much. Always just too much. Continue reading

“No Baseball Beyond This Point”


© The Baseball Bloggess

Baseball is over.

The World Series went seven exciting games, which is as much baseball as one can have. A World Series only promises you four games, so to have the Series go the full seven – and an extra inning last night to boot! – is like taking two brownies from the buffet table. Sure, you know you were only supposed to take one, but the second one was so delicious.

Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs who won their first World Series since 1908. It took a rain delay and an extra inning, but Cubs fans, no more sad-faces from you, you’re winners now.

And, chin up, Cleveland. You gave it your best.

(The Orioles haven’t been to a World Series in 33 years.)


And, thank you, Mother Nature for raining on Cleveland at midnight slowing down Game 7 even more. Baseball fans were exhausted, but a bunch of them were also reading my post from earlier this season that explained how long baseball rain delays last. (Short answer: Until it stops raining.)

So, now what? The brownies are gone and what are you going to do with yourself until baseball comes around again?

(Oh, I know, you freakish baseball nerds … the off-season calendar is loaded with stuff. Free agency and qualifying offers and the Rule 5 Draft and GM Meetings and the Winter Meetings and the awards, from Gold Gloves to Cy Youngs to MVPs. But, you know that’s not baseball. That’s just stuff.)

It’s only been a few hours. I miss baseball already.

(And, brownies. I could really use a brownie right now.)

(And, a good strong cup of coffee.)

Photo: 2016. © The Baseball Bloggess

“Due To Weather & Field Conditions …”

Rain Out in Richmond

On Friday, I wrote about rain delays and rain outs.

Two days later, what are the chances?

Game Postponed May 1 2016


Maybe I jinxed today’s game …

Tarps on the Field

… Because it was pouring rain by the time we got to Richmond.

Superstitions and jinxes like this run deep in baseball.

Charms On The Ball Field NYTelegraph 1910

New York Telegraph, 1910

In the early years of baseball, players would bury all sorts of lucky charms – especially rabbits’ feet – under home plate and all over the outfield.

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Your Rain Delay Companion

Nationals Giants Rain Delay 8 23 2014

© The Baseball Bloggess

Three things you should know about rain:

1. One billion tons of rain falls on the earth every minute. One billion.  (Fortunately, an equal amount evaporates somewhere else, so things even out and the earth doesn’t explode like a water balloon.)

2. Falling rain can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour. (So can Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton.)

3. I don’t know when your game’s rain delay is going to end.

In October 2012, I sat through a cold, 2-hour-41-minute rain delay in Baltimore. The Orioles were playing the Yankees in the playoffs – it marked the O’s first post-season appearance in 15 years.

Fun Fact: Rain Delays don't last forever. Fun Fact #2: Rally Towels are very absorbent.

© The Baseball Bloggess

Rally Towels. Very Absorbent.

After all the rain delaying, it was nearly midnight when the two teams, knotted at 2, entered the 9th. And then, Orioles closer Jim Johnson gave up five runs. Five.

Including this one …

Embed from Getty Images


The Orioles lose 7-2 and go on to lose the division series. It still hurts.

I wrote about that night here: How To Enjoy Your Next Rain Delay. 

Ever since, this blog gets a spike in visitors whenever rain stops a big game. Earlier this month, the Orioles’ three-hour double-delay during their home opener on April 4, and the Washington Nationals’ 85-minute delay during their home opener on April 7, led to a downpour of impatient wet fans turning to the googler to tell them when the stoppages would finally stop.

Over the past few years, all kinds of questions and queries have led people to my rain delay post.  I’m going to go ahead and clear those questions up now.

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10 Hours of Baseball

dry seats 3 19 2016

“This would be the ideal town for weather bureau headquarters. It would take an army of clerks to keep account of the rise and fall in the temperature alone. … No one would be surprised upon awakening tomorrow to find that the north pole had suddenly located here or that we had moved during the night to the tropical zone. Most anything can be accomplished overnight in the town of Charlottesville.” ~ The Washington Post, March 6, 1915

College baseball fans know the deal. There is little room in a tight collegiate season for rain delays. And, there is no room at all for cancelled games.

While big leaguers unroll the tarps at the first rain shower, college players soldier on.

Matt Thaiss 3 19 2016

Matt Thaiss, Catcher.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons came to Charlottesville this weekend to play a Friday/Saturday/Sunday series against the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

But, with the promise of rain and snow and wind and cold, things required a bit of shuffling. Keep up with me here.

Ernie Clement 3 19 2016

Ernie Clement, Second Base.

Friday evenings’s game was moved to Friday afternoon. Sunday’s game was moved to Friday night. Saturday afternoon’s game was moved to Saturday morning.

Got it?

(This is why I can already tell you that UVA won tomorrow’s game. Blows your mind, doesn’t it?)

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Sleet Happens

The magical and perfect and right thing about baseball is that it is played outside in tune with the seasons.

It begins in the spring as the weather just warms, it heats up in the summer right on cue with the sun, and it winds down in the fall as the temperature, and leaves, and first snows fall.

Games delay for rain and storms.

College ball has a slightly different calendar and baseball can begin in early February.

When temperatures fall to 45 degrees, the University of Virginia promises baseball fans free coffee and hot chocolate.

And, so today, this …

uva 3 31

And, this …

uva 3 31 tweet

Which led to, this …


(True confession: This was just the first hot chocolate. It was a two-hot-chocolate kind of day.)

It was in the 40s. It was cold. It was really windy. It was raining.


It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a team to roll up a soggy tarp.

And, then, sometime in the 7th inning, it started sleeting. Hard.

But, they kept playing.

And, they beat Virginia Tech 7-4, sweeping the series.

When asked about playing in the rain today, UVa’s Mike Papi (2-for-4 today, 6-for-10 in the series) quickly corrected a reporter after the game: “You mean the snow, or sleet, or whatever it was. It wasn’t fun.”

Unhappy Papi

Unhappy Papi

Editor/Husband said he felt like he was on the Edmund Fitzgerald. (Click here you youngsters.)

I’m warm now.

And, major league baseball begins tonight and tomorrow. For real.

Opening Day.

This is it …

It Rained Today

“The umpire-in-chief shall have sole authority to determine when a game shall be called, suspended, or resumed on account of weather or the condition of the playing field.” ~ The Official Rules of Major League Baseball

wet benches

It rained today.

I think it rained everywhere. Except where it snowed.

For those of you just tuning in, we had tickets to today’s Baltimore Orioles vs AAA Norfolk Tides game in Norfolk. The last game of spring training – the irregular season.

It’s a three-hour drive to Norfolk, but we have heated seats, Sirius radio, and cup holders in our car, so, really, no big thing.

But, it was raining. And, raining.

wet railing

And, the heated seats would not be able to warm my waterlogged heart if I got to the game and it wasn’t there.

Luckily, there was a game scheduled at the University of Virginia, too.

over the railing

It was also raining in Charlottesville. But, that rain was two-and-a-half hours closer than Norfolk’s rain.

snow and tarp

Yes, that’s snow in the corner.

UVa decided to start the game a half-hour early in order to the beat the rain that was already here. This is sort of the Bizzaro World version of a rain delay.

(College baseball is funny that way. They change the days and times of games willy-nilly, often with just a moment’s notice. Last week they cancelled a game with Rutgers due to weather on Tuesday and on Thursday Princeton’s team just showed up unannounced, so they played them instead.)

Today, UVa defeated Virginia Tech 9-2 in one of those wonderful state-school grudge match things.

cold and wet

They played through the rain. Nine innings.

We got wet. (I’m still damp.)

Meanwhile, back in Norfolk, they played a few rainy innings (including half-innings that were only two outs long … and one half-inning where no outs were recorded at all). They finally unrolled the tarp and called it a day for their “pretend” game and the Orioles flew off to Baltimore.

And, a quick West Coast Update – Last year, I urged the Oakland A’s to deal with their coliseum’s sewage problem.  Raw sewage had been coming up through the drains in the dugout and the clubhouse. Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson had just been traded to Oakland, and, I thought it would be nice if they cleaned up the place a bit for him.

Clearly, as in many things, no one listened to me.

This today, from equally rainy Oakland, California:

as sewage tweets

as sewage2

Here’s more on the ewwwww. The Oakland A’s vs San Francisco Giants game was cancelled due to rain.

Opening Day … Just one more day.

How To Enjoy Your Next Rain Delay

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?

Fun Fact: Rain Delays don’t last forever. Fun Fact #2: Rally Towels are very absorbent.

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.

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