The Yankee Stadium grounds crew experienced their worst nightmare on Wednesday night. After a severe thunderstorm bringing torrential rains and fierce lightning forced a stoppage in play during the fifth inning, the grounds crew ran into every conceivable problem in their attempt to pull the tarp over the infield and ended up taking 14 minutes to complete their task.
[ Slideshow: Sudden deluge hampers grounds crew ]
That, folks, is not good. Especially considering the rain did not let up for their entire struggle. It almost looked like hurricane conditions, which obviously only added to their complications.
The process of applying the tarp appeared to begin swiftly and smoothly. The tarp was rolled out in the outfield in quick fashion, but the first attempt to pull the tarp hit a snag.
Oh no, grounds crew fail. They're ... not .... gonna ... get ... it.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 24, 2014
Any type of snag in this process is problematic for all of the obvious reasons. First, it leaves the field uncovered longer than it should be. Second, the tarp is now saturated, making it more difficult to maneuver and make another run at covering the field.
As Springsteen urges, "Come on in and cover me," the grounds crew retreats for a second try at the tarp. Infield getting flooded.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 24, 2014
Oh, and in this case we're throwing in some ridiculous wind as well.
Eventually, with the assistance of stadium security and friendly ball boys, a little bit of progress was made and the field was partially covered. However, a member of the crew actually ended up getting trapped under the tarp and had to be rescued.
One of the grounds crew got caught inside the tarp & others had to go in to rescue him. I am not making this up. pic.twitter.com/HCH5qmOTRD— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 24, 2014
Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the process was soon completed despite the worsening conditions. Appropriately, that drew a Bronx cheer from fans who waited out the storm.
Unfortunately, this is what the field looked like in its final moments uncovered.
The grounds crew is now starting to try to repair the field. Which is kinda like putting humpty dumpty back together at this point.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 24, 2014
The crew did an excellent job repairing the field. At one point, Rangers' starter Yu Darvish warmed up again and appeared ready to go, but both teams were still a little hesitant to continue. Ultimately, Mother Nature has final say as the skies opened again after 30 minutes after the tarp was pulled, and the game was canceled with New York earning a 2-1 in five almost complete innings.
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