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Rain – What a Surprise!

Sunday, August 7, 2011 – McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket

After attending Saturday afternoon’s exciting win over the Yankees, I got home around 9:30.  But at 10:30, I was on my way out again, this time headed to work for a midnight implementation.  (I work in IT, so many of our projects have to go in overnight, when computer usage is lowest.)  We finished up a little after 4 am, and I finally got home and went to sleep around 5.  But at 7:30, my alarm was going off and it was up and at ’em, because I had to get to Pawtucket for my annual trip to McCoy Stadium.

I had gotten my tickets for this game from a friend who couldn’t use them when she moved out-of-state, and I invited a (different) friend’s nine-year-old, who’s a total diehard Red Sox fan.  It was pouring when we left his house, but he had packed his scorecard and a rain poncho (just like me!) and we headed out.  In the car, we chatted about the other PawSox games he’s been to this season, how it’s almost always been Kyle Weiland starting the game, and how they’ve almost always lost.  As luck would have it, Weiland was scheduled to start again today.

The grounds crew uses rollers to try to push a giant lake out of the outfield.

The grounds crew uses rollers to try to push a giant lake out of the outfield.

It had rained hard all night, and was still pouring as we found our seats and got our lunch.  Luckily the seats were far back enough under cover that we weren’t getting rained on, and we waited out the delay.  While we waited, he showed me his scorecards from his previous games, including the one win he had seen, which had come courtesy of a walk-off walk.  I showed him my scorecards from all the rain delayed games I’ve been to this year.

The game was originally supposed to be at 1:00, and even though the forecast didn’t look good, this was the last trip that Buffalo made into town, so with the PawSox in contention for a playoff spot they really wanted to try to get the game in.  At 1:30, the grounds crew started to take the tarp off, which at Fenway would have meant a 2:00 start.  But the PawSox have a smaller grounds crew, and there really was a lot of water on the field, so an hour later they were still at it.  Taking the tarp off the infield had resulted in a giant puddle/mini-lake in right field, and they had two guys with rollers trying to push the water into foul territory.  The warning track and the dirt paths leading from the dugout to the plate were reduced to mud puddles, and they emptied a whole truckload of bags of drying agent in front of each dugout.  And every time someone walked across the grass, we could see water splashing up with each step.

Shortly after 2:30, Weiland and his teammates came out and started stretching, which was a good sign that the game was finally getting underway.  (And with only 2½ hours of sleep, the sooner the better for me.)  But at 3:00, the announcement was made that the game was rained out.  Since there was no make-up game scheduled, we could trade the tickets in for any remaining game.  I tried to console the nine-year-old by saying that at least we had gotten to spend the afternoon at the ballpark, and that maybe when we went back we’d see someone other than Kyle Weiland.

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