Yankee Stadium grounds crew needs 14 minutes to cover infield during massive rainstorm

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.

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.

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.

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 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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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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