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Rainouts


Y'all know that MLB had to change rules because teams were regularly manipulating the injured list and options to maximize pitcher rest?

I'd be shocked if managers and GMs weren't thinking about pitcher rest when contemplating a potential weather postponement these days. No, they're not going to call off a game when it's 70 and sunny with 0% chance of rain, but when it's closer to a 50/50 proposition, it's going to influence the decision, even if they don't consider it deliberate manipulation.

When the original rule was created giving teams this control, there was very rarely any incentive for a team to do this (and the league still reserved the right to override the team late in the season if necessary to preserve fairness in a pennant race). But now, we know that's not true -- every team talks about countless random early- and mid-season games as crises of pitcher rest. I don't think it's a major problem of course, but like other modern excesses, I wouldn't mind seeing it fixed before it gets worse.

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I'm torn on this.  I do think that local field staff need some input on a final decision.  Just because a field is supposed to drain 'x' amount of rainwater/hour, that doesn't mean that the field is playable or even safe.  There's no reason to play on a field that's a sloppy mess because someone not local said so.  I think that's a disservice to fans, the team and the game frankly.

I don't really mind the gamesmanship all that much, but similar to what @Otto von Ballpark says, the system could probably use some tweaking before it really gets out of hand.

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Good topic, especially since it's been covered quite a bit in the Strib over the past few days.

Case in point, the Twins decided to cancel Saturday's game because they wanted Maeda to get some extra rest and have him go in the White Sox series. Meanwhile, 20,000 fans get the shaft.

If I remember correctly, day games were rarely cancelled: teams just sat around in the clubhouse, played cards or whatever because they could afford to wait until 9pm to start the game if needed.

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22 minutes ago, wsnydes said:

I'm torn on this.  I do think that local field staff need some input on a final decision.  Just because a field is supposed to drain 'x' amount of rainwater/hour, that doesn't mean that the field is playable or even safe.  There's no reason to play on a field that's a sloppy mess because someone not local said so.  I think that's a disservice to fans, the team and the game frankly.

The Strib article suggests umpires on site being involved in the process, as well as the league. My earlier suggestion, in the non-game thread, was a local weather service being involved too -- just so umpires wouldn't have to become weather forecasters themselves. (Could also be a good cross-promotion marketing opportunity.)

The local grounds crew would always be free to come to the umpires with specific concerns about field safety/playability too.

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If the Twins wanted the Detroit game postponed for pitcher rest considerations it really backfired on them in the long run. They now come out of the break with 15 games in 13 days. Gonna struggle to rest pitchers there.

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5 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

The Strib article suggests umpires on site being involved in the process, as well as the league. My earlier suggestion, in the non-game thread, was a local weather service being involved too -- just so umpires wouldn't have to become weather forecasters themselves. (Could also be a good cross-promotion marketing opportunity.)

The local grounds crew would always be free to come to the umpires with specific concerns about field safety/playability too.

Realistically, the umpires making the final call makes the most sense.  They're there at the ballpark and control everything else once the game starts.  It makes the most sense for them to also control when the game actually starts under such conditions.  They can get all of the information from the grounds crews and local meteorologists and make a determination themselves.

That seems like the best way to go, in my opinion.

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