Rooting for the New York Mets is tough enough. Throw in unrelenting spring rain and it can be downright unbearable.
Brooklyn councilman Justin Brannan, a self-signed “long-suffering Mets fan,” is trying to do something about it. Brannan is asking Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to consider new rain delay policies that are more fair to fans.
Lawmaker asks for deadlines, rain checks
In a letter to Manfred sent Tuesday, Brannan made two recommendations he hopes are instituted league-wide.
The first, via USA Today, is to require all games to start within an hour of the scheduled first pitch. If weather conditions force a postponement longer than one hour, he wrote, umpires should instead call the game and “prevent loyal fans from lingering endlessly.”
The second is that if a delay lasts a certain amount of time, fans would be entitled to a “ran check” ticket for a future game.
The 40-year-old Brannan wrote, via The New York Post:
“This would present fans with a fair alternative to waiting — sometimes for several hours — or leaving with nothing and feeling like they’ve been ripped off through no fault of your own.”
Brannan used a family with school-age children attending a weekday game as an example. During the school year, which runs into June in New York, parents would be forced to pack up and go home early instead of wait and see a game.
“When this happens, fans are put in the position of having to forfeit several hundred dollars or more after tickets, food, drinks and souvenirs — without ever seeing a single at-bat. I’m sure that’s not the experience you want them to have.”
In a tweet sharing the story, Brannan added that the billion-dollar industry “can afford to give fans a break here.”
Mets, Yankees water-logged at home
The rain came down in sheets for what felt like two weeks straight in New York. It’s what likely caused Brannan to pen his letter for more fan-friendly policies. He told the Post his office is looking into if the City Council has legislative authority to require the teams to do so if MLB doesn’t go ahead with any ideas.
Much to Mets fans irritation, the team kept up a 2-hour, 45-minute rain delay in April and threw the first pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at 10 p.m. Notably, reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom was on the mound that night.
The New York Yankees had a similar 3-hour, 17-minute days into the season. In both instances, only a few thousand were left at the time of first pitch.
Teams handle rain delays and rain outs differently. The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick compared the two New York team policies earlier this month. The Yankees don’t offer anything for it, while the Mets do with stipulations. Fans can trade in tickets for weekday games that aren’t in-demand but must go back to the Citi Field ticket window to exchange it.
All of the rain delay time doesn’t include getting out of the stadium, whether by mass transit or vehicle, and eventually arriving back home. For many near New York, a rain delay ruins an evening more than Noah Syndergaard losing a no-hitter.
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