Nationals leave everyone hanging with delayed postponement announcement

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Big League Stew
Friday’s Giants-Nationals was postponed due to rain, but the Nationals took their time letting everyone know about the decision. (AP)
Friday’s Giants-Nationals was postponed due to rain, but the Nationals took their time letting everyone know about the decision. (AP)

The Washington Nationals found themselves in the middle of another weather-related drama on Friday night, and one could easily argue they botched this worse than the first one after leaving their opponents and fans waiting for an official announcement.

On July 7, the Nationals understandably faced criticism after delaying a game against the Atlanta Braves for three hours despite no rain ever falling. This time, the rains were falling at Nationals Park leading up to their scheduled game against the San Francisco Giants. That forced the Nationals to delay the start indefinitely.

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With a less than encouraging forecast, the Nationals would ultimately decide to postpone Friday’s game. It was definitely the right call as the rains continued falling throughout the night. The problem was, the Nationals did not bother making the announcement to their opponents or their fans until well after that decision had been reached.

Here’s how the story played out through tweets from Giants beat writers Andrew Baggarly, Alex Pavlovic and John Shea, along with Nationals beat writer Mark Zuckerman.

You read that correctly. The Giants didn’t learn of the postponement directly from the Nationals, but rather from a message passed down from the press box.

That is a rather stunning lack of communication, but even more startling is that many fans continued waiting around even beyond this point as the Nationals had yet to make an official announcement publicly.

That’s both mind-boggling and inexcusable.

Reporters speculated the decision was delayed while club officials debated whether to reschedule a doubleheader for Saturday or Sunday. The Nationals opted for a split doubleheader on Sunday with the forecast for Saturday not looking all that promising either.

Regardless, there’s a responsibility to get that information out as soon as possible, particularly when there are fans already in the ballpark. Those fans only concern as they waited was whether or not there would be baseball, and aside from maybe squeezing out a few more concession sales there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to keep them waiting.

We don’t envy teams or the league when it comes to making weather decisions and sorting out the scheduling conflicts they often create. Mother Nature is often unpredictable, which can complicate those matters. But there’s really no excuse for not providing updates and simply communicating with your paying customers.

Here’s hoping the Nationals have learned another lesson and will be better prepared to handle all angles of their next weather drama.

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

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