“Tarp’s On”

Photo Jun 08, 9 13 45 PM

by @DimTillard

  • Rain delays are a part of baseball.  Unless you’re in Miami, Seattle, Houston, Toronto, Tampa, or Milwaukee.  (Phoenix’s dome is probably more for the heat)
  • With no domes in The Minor Leagues currently (or the foreseeable future), rain delays are a common occurrence.  And there are a lot of moving parts.

Some players love the rain.  So much so that they try to coerce nature.  Rain Turtles. A rain turtle is a picture of a turtle usually drawn in the dirt near the bullpen.  The legend goes that if enough people spit on the rain turtle it will bring rain.  However, this has yet to be disproven.

Once umpires decide too much rain is falling, they give the signal for the proud and devoted field crew to roll the giant tarp out and cover the infield. (pulling tarp is not an easy task, thanks crew). At the same time, a frenzy of uniform-numbered bodies swarm to the clubhouse.

Occasionally some players get trapped in the dugout.  These unlucky souls build MacGyver boats made of cups, tape, and sugarful gum; or play “trivia ball” back and forth with the other trapped souls in the opposing dugout.

After the initial swarm reaches the clubhouse, card games erupt everywhere.  Pluck is popular and easy to start.  It’s then established which game is the “A game” and which is the “B game”.  The “A game” is made up of self-proclaimed plucktologists, and the “B game” calls itself the “A game”.  Cribbage, Pusoy, and Mario Kart can also be witnessed.

It’s fascinating how rain can change an athlete into a meteorologist.  During a rain delay, everyone quickly knows how much rain is coming, where it’s going, and when the game will resume.  Certain players acquire nicknames such as “radar” or “doppler”.  Strange, but somehow everyone is always completely wrong.

Regardless of the inning the rain delay happens, every player is suddenly starving. Fruit, granola bars, chips, Red Vines, saltine crackers, Pub Mix, slices of bread, frozen peas, napkins, if it’s not tied down it’s eaten.  Think the 80’s movie Critters.

Tarp sliding is a dying art.  Once a staple of every rain delay.  Now, enough players have been injured doing it that it’s against the rules.  It’s frowned upon, but brings so many smiles.

After 30 minutes a meeting of the high council comes to order.  Umpires, managers, and field crew chief make a decision to play, call the game, or continue to wait for the mysterious window.

“You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose…

 sometimes it rains.”

*2 of 16*

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