Pod-Cast: Rain, Rain Go Away

The Major League Baseball postseason is in full swing!

But, weather conditions play a main factor in any game and nothing dampens the excitement more than a rain delay.

Such was the case in Yankees/Orioles ALDS Game 2 at Camden Yards.  Rain was the culprit and, unfortunately, there’s no controlling mother nature.

BTF was curious as to how MLB grounds crews take lead in rain delays and the protocols they follow. We turned to Nicole Sherry, Head Groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, for some answers. See below for her Major League thoughts, protocols and methods to manage inclement weather and ensure player/fan safety:

Pre-game:

- The Head Groundskeeper watches for any threatening weather that may impact the start of or play of the game and must be aware of any severe weather alerts

- Once an official weather alert is issued for the ballpark location, the head groundskeeper must alert club officials

- At this time, it is the groundskeeper’s decision to  pull the tarp onto the field anytime he or she desires before a game

During game:

- The Head Groundskeeper must consistently watch the radar and alert the designated crew chief umpire of any potential threat, timing and duration of storms

- It is then up to the crew chief umpire to make the final call to delay the game by calling for the tarp to be pulled

- A crew chief umpire can also determine the field is still playable during rain, and the grounds crew will apply drying agent to the dirt areas of the field

- Once a game starts, it is crew chief umpire who controls the field of play and the groundskeeper is responsible for feeding the radar information to him

Keep dry and carry on!

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