April 06, 2007

Hargrove Robs Pitcher of Five-Inning Snow Hitter: As snow fell in Cleveland with increasing strength, Indians pitcher Paul Byrd was one strike from an official game against the Seattle Mariners in the top of the fifth when Mariners Manager Mike Hargrove, known as the "Human Rain Delay" during his playing days, made a well-timed trip to argue with the umps.

posted by rcade to baseball at 09:38 PM - 22 comments

Watching this as a Tribe fan was utterly frustrating (though less so than being there in person). Truth be told, the snow was rather terrific throughout the afternoon- that picture doesn't lie. However, Grover was more than aware that he was potentially negating the game, and the visit to the umpire with two strikes was his first the entire game. The snow had indeed picked up significantly during the last three at bats, and it is still falling significantly here just across the river from Jacobs Field. Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus, however, is spot on when it comes to Cleveland's rather draconian weather cancellation policy. I've sat through several rain delays at the Jake that each exceeded at least an hour. Rarely does the team push for the game to be called, despite what can oftentimes be a wet, miserable experience (though it is helpful to be able to watch three other games on the scoreboard at once).

posted by avogadro at 10:39 PM on April 06, 2007

When it comes to Grover, some things never change.

posted by columbus clipper at 12:07 AM on April 07, 2007

The weather has been pathetic the past week in the northeast. I live near Lake Erie, a ways east of Cleveland, and we have a foot of snow on the ground. The umpires, players, managers, and fans are in a no-win situation trying to play, or get games in, in this weather. But it's dangerous standing up against a 95 mile per hour pitch, trying to see it through a snow squall. Plus, it's tough to keep your muscles loose when it's twenty degrees. Not getting credit for this game may bug Tribe fans, but losing Victor Martinez with an injured hamstring (I think that's what he hurt) will hurt more.

posted by dyams at 09:10 AM on April 07, 2007

Whatever happened to that "Global Warming" stuff I keep hearing about?

posted by TheQatarian at 09:57 AM on April 07, 2007

And now, today's double header has been postponed, and instead the teams will try for Sunday and Monday doubleheaders. Let's play two, twice!

posted by avogadro at 10:09 AM on April 07, 2007

down 4 - 0, sounds like Hargrove earned his money as a manager turning a loss into an unofficial game.

posted by jaygolf at 10:37 AM on April 07, 2007

I'm not a scientist but supposedly all that bad weather is a part of global warming lol it's in the 30's here in Chicago and the Sox postponed their game last night. I'm suprised the Indians didn't just cancel. as for the manager isn't it a little early in the season to pull that. Oh wait a minute he's on the Hot Seat in Seattle this year

posted by luther70 at 10:39 AM on April 07, 2007

Hargrove, out of the dugout, did what his players couldn't. You better believe this will be in his resume wherever his next contract comes from. Turn an L to a no-decision? Not bad. Now the M's get a mulligan. Seen Hargrove bat back in his Ranger days. Painful. I'm suprised he wasn't flat out HBP more. Although it was a welcome sight if you needed a beer/rest break mid-inning. Or a nap.

posted by ruff at 11:01 AM on April 07, 2007

Sounds like "The Human Rain Delay" was able to turn the conditions to his advantage. This won't exactly win him any popularity contests in Cleveland, but I'm sure he doesn't care much about that. It seems to me that MLB has to take a share of the blame here. Why they continue to schedule early April games in non-domed northern stadiums is beyond me. After years of watching early season games postponed due to cold and snow, one would think they might have figured it out. Of course, it looks like nowhere in the AL except for the West Coast and Tampa Bay is immune from the weather this year.

posted by Howard_T at 11:30 AM on April 07, 2007

I always am amused by the argument that global warming is disproved by a week of cold weather or a little snow. As a sports fan, I've always thought of it sort of like saying, "That Ted Williams isn't so good as all the so-called experts say. He was 0-for-3 today." Or, "runners aren't actually faster today than in previous generations. We're just going through a fast part of the natural human cycle." Luther is right, if global warming is true, then the precipitation comes in bunches rather than in more normal distributions. As for Hargrove, he did the smart thing. If he hadn't done that, he'd have been a buffoon. I remember similar things in games in high school. If we're down and it's raining, I'm taking my time getting into the box, and I'm checking signs between pitches and whatever else I can think of.

posted by olelefthander at 01:53 PM on April 07, 2007

Well...I'm going skiing. I don't know what else to do.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:32 PM on April 07, 2007

Why they continue to schedule early April games in non-domed northern stadiums is beyond me. they could also bring back the single admission double-header. throw in enough of those in a season and you can start a little later in April. but, with the extra cash to be made by 162 separate games a year, there's no way that's going to happen unfortunately.

posted by goddam at 09:23 PM on April 07, 2007

Wow, but I used to love me a double-header when I was a kid. That's the only way my family would take me.

posted by olelefthander at 09:27 PM on April 07, 2007

I know schedules are made out well in advance....but, Tampa Bay AT Detroit and Chicago/ Cleveland matchups seem rather stupid as openers. Why would Seattle (who has a dome) be at Cleveland in early april anyway? Surely the early games could be placed at warmer locations or in domed statiums. I'll sit through such conditions to watch the Browns, but I would just assume wait for better weather for a baseball game. Let the tribe travel if need be till mid april.

posted by brownindian at 08:37 AM on April 08, 2007

I always am amused by the argument that global warming is disproved by a week of cold weather or a little snow. It bugs the hell out of me. Climate change causes extremes at both ends -- hot and cold. Unseasonably cold weather supports the theory of global warming. But in this case, I'm guessing a snowstorm in April is not that uncommon in Cleveland.

posted by rcade at 08:55 AM on April 08, 2007

But in this case, I'm guessing a snowstorm in April is not that uncommon in Cleveland. Getting a few flurries, or a minor amount of snow is not uncommon in the northeast this time of year, but what has been happening the past week in the Great Lakes area is not normal. There has been a major lake-effect system generating a good deal of snow (and, of course, bitterly cold temps and windchills) the past week. Still, I believe smart scheduling would go a long ways towards fixing many of these problems. I know Indian fans would love to see their team the first week of the regular season, and there's always a good chance the first week or two of April could be in the upper 60s or low 70s, but it doesn't happen often. Major League Baseball needs to play the percentages. Now Seattle and Cleveland have to hope they get in their next games, or they'll be way behind the rest of the league.

posted by dyams at 07:22 PM on April 08, 2007

I'd just like to point out that my previous post was a *joke*. Here in Minnesota, it was 80 degrees less than two weeks ago, then it snowed this week. Most of us in these parts simply wish it was a little warmer. I was not suggesting that unseasonably cold weather and odd snowfall amounts disprove global warming. (I could, however, cite dozens of other things that do disprove it, or at least the "man-made" part of it, but that's not the point of this website.) But for the sake of making this post relevant, I agree that scheduling early April games outdoors is a mistake. As a Twins fan, that's going to be one drawback to the new park we will be getting at some point. I could live with the home opener being put off for a few days if need be.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:46 PM on April 08, 2007

I went to Baseball Almanac to see if my perception was correct, that modern opening days are earlier than they used to be. The answer: if you go back a century, it looks like they were mostly in mid-April or later (early May, even). Opening Day started creeping back into the second week of April in the '50s and '60s, and it was in the '70s that very early April dates started showing up. I wouldn't mind a shorter and more seasonable season. There was snow, not during a game, but during a practice for last year's playoffs, and now this. Granted that the playoffs had to expand some when the Central Division was added, making the wildcard necessary, but they didn't have to make the wildcard a five-game series and expand the LCS to seven games. World Series in November is messed up -- that's ski season.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:36 AM on April 09, 2007

A shorter, more seasonalble season would be nice but in this day and age of the huge salaries and TV contract investments, the time made up by day / night double headers are not profitable and if it came down to it, the Player's Association would probably nix the idea.

posted by jaygolf at 09:13 AM on April 09, 2007

I wouldn't mind a shorter and more seasonable season. Shorter seasons mean less of a chance to break counting stat records, which will never fly with the boys in marketing. Like everyone else in here, I think a few double-headers would be helpful, but I understand the Players Association's objections (whether I agree with them is a different matter entirely).

posted by yerfatma at 09:38 AM on April 09, 2007

Here in Minnesota, it was 80 degrees less than two weeks ago Here in Cleveland it was in the upper 70's just three days before the home opener. Having weather this bad is not the norm, as Dyams pointed out above. I believe some of this could be alleviated with scheduling changes. However, you can't just have all the east coast teams playing on the west coast in April. Then you will take a lot of home games away from the west coast teams that could be played during summer, when attendance could be higher, or if there is a playoff race and a team could really use the home field advantage.

posted by jojomfd1 at 10:02 AM on April 09, 2007

Technically speaking, brownindian, Seattle has a retractable roof. It is still possible to feel the chill coming off the sound and perhaps feel the occasional sideways rain if it happens to be strong enough. Nothing like what Cleveland is experiencing, but not climate controlled. whiteirishman

posted by THX-1138 at 04:29 PM on April 09, 2007

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