Crazy Idea #3: Hurray for the Rain Delay

Crazy Idea #3: Hurray for the Rain Delay

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Over the course of a baseball season, I hear all sorts of arguments about how the way it used to be is superior to the way it is now.

Raise the pitcher’s mound, eliminate the DH, play more Sunday doubleheaders.

You know which argument I have never heard?

Protect the rain delay.

Now, I’ve heard people say things like “Astroturf baseball isn’t real baseball” or “Baseball isn’t meant to be played inside a Hefty bag.” But those are arguments against a very specific thing (artificial playing conditions) rather than an argument in favor of a specific thing (the rain delay as a natural, integral part of the game).

Players hate playing in the rain- they can’t grip the ball, track the ball through the raindrops, run on the wet grass, field through puddles. I know as a fan, a baseball game in a cold September drizzle is among the least enjoyable experiences in sports.

So instead, why doesn’t MLB eliminate the rain delay? The Marlins and the A’s are among the teams arguing that they need a new stadium to remain viable; if MLB took a cut of the revenue sharing money currently being divided among the bottom half, and put it into a fund as collateral for the next stadium project, maybe one or both of those teams would be able to move forward soon.

MLB’s one requirement then would be that every new stadium must be built with a retractable dome. It might take 25 years, but the quality of the game is improved when it’s played in dry conditions, and the fan experience is enhanced when we don’t have to wonder about a rain out.

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