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Mike Hargrove, the Human Snow Delay
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Author:  Wabberjocky [ Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Mike Hargrove, the Human Snow Delay

How often does a manager directly come through for his team in a tangible way with a game on the line?

From AP's take on today's snowed-out game between Seattle and Cleveland, it's clear that Mariners manager Mike Hargrove was responsible — more than any other Mariner — for saving his team on the field with one strike to go before an official game would be decreed:

Making his second consecutive home-opening start for Cleveland, Byrd didn’t allow a hit and was perfect through four innings but walked three in the fifth. Still, the right-hander was able to get two outs and was ahead 1-2 in the count to Jose Lopez when Hargrove came out of his dugout.

Known during his playing career as “The Human Rain Delay” because of his slow ritual in the batter’s box, Hargrove complained to plate umpire Alfonso Marquez that Lopez couldn’t see the ball.

“I did not say to call the game,” Hargrove said. “I said, `My hitter can’t see.”’

That brought out Wedge and the two skippers had an animated discussion.

“Eric was arguing it wasn’t fair to his club because they were one strike away from an official game,” Hargrove said. “I said I understood that, but it was no more fair to us if we can’t see the pitch.”

While this was going on, Byrd tried to stay loose by throwing pitches as the snow intensified and the visibility worsened.

Finally, Reed brought the Indians off the field.

“Both had legitimate gripes,” Reed said. “Was the snow heavier at that point than at any other in the game? It was close. As we were having our discussion, which I think was fairly lengthy, we were all covered with snow.”

I find that hilarious.

Author:  Wayne Countryman [ Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mike Hargrove, the Human Snow Delay

Great subject line. A friend used to do an impersonation of Hargrove at the plate.

These days, I'd be scared to stand at the plate against most MLB pitchers under the best of conditions. There's no way I'd do so in heavy snow. Who needs a white ball coming at you out of a white background as flakes are getting in your eyes. I'd be scared to even be in the field in case a hitter got hold of one.

A few years ago a game-winning line drive went to the wall, past an outfielder who couldn't see the ball, on opening day in Baltimore.

I've played whiffle ball in snow. That's tricky enough.

Author:  wordygurdy [ Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:46 pm ]
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In a few years, whenever the open-air, no-retractable-roof replacement for the Metrodome is built, the Twins will join the Indians in having to play at a neutral site (as the Indians will do at Miller Park because of the snow).

For all the complaints about the Metrodome, I just don't have any idea how the authorities could overlook the great chance for snow in April and October in Minnesota when approving funds for construction of an open-air stadium. At least put a retractable roof on it.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:12 pm ]
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Seeing this four-game series wiped out is creating all sorts of headaches for everyone involved. Right now, likely scenarios include the two teams giving up precious off-days in mid-summer to fly thousands of miles out of their way and play doubleheaders. MLB takes a loss, Cleveland takes a loss, Seattle takes a loss ... and the players' union will probably go berserk.

But, given the near-certainity that the Indians, at least, will be in a playoff chase, not making up these games is not being contemplated, according to everything I've read today.

I do like the improvisation that has Cleveland playing home games in Milwaukee this week, with $10 tickets.

Some noteworthy cold-baseball items:

— "It's stupid. It's crazy,'' Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia said. "We should definitely be starting somewhere else, definitely on the West Coast or somewhere with a dome so this doesn't happen.''

— Commissioner Bud Selig thinks it would impracticable to start the season with games only in warm-weather cities and ballparks with domes.

"Games have been snowed out for 130 years. Like with everything in life, you need luck,'' he said. "It's an impossible situation because no matter what you do, the clubs don't want long road trips. You just do the best you can. This is very unusual. We're getting late-February weather.''

"Those warm-weather clubs, they don't want 25 April dates,'' Selig said. "Second-guessing about the schedule is just ludicrous. There is no other solution, and we have 130 years to prove it. I used to be one of those owners who was unreasonable.''

— Temperatures weren't the only thing way down: Home runs plunged to their lowest level since 1993, with the average dropping from 2.4 in last season's opening week to 1.8 this year. It hasn't been that low since a 1.6 average 14 years ago, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"It's freezing. Who can hit a home run right now?'' said Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, a former AL MVP.

— Cold didn't stop Tampa Bay's Elijah Dukes, who hit his first two career homers at Yankee Stadium. He connected for his second while wearing a ski mask with a slit around the eyes just wide enough to allow him to see, looking more cat burglar than slugger.

Author:  Redaktor [ Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:13 pm ]
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Speaking of Minnesota baseball, we have two snowstorms scheduled for this week.

Stadium planners, I'm looking at you!

Author:  jjmoney62 [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:58 am ]
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They play baseball for a living (or make money off those who do). They'll all cope, Wabber. As for fans, I bet it won't dampen their spirits.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:17 am ]
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I dunno, JJ. Last night, I was reduced to listening to the Mariners' Triple-A team on radio lose to Fresno, 16-1. That may be as bleak a moment as I've encountered as a baseball fan.

Author:  wordygurdy [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:13 pm ]
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Tonight on the YES Network, broadcaster Michael Kay said he asked Twins GM Terry Ryan why the team didn't include a retractable roof in its plans for the new stadium. The answer was because such a roof would have cost $150 million. YES then put up a graphic about the Twins' tenure at Metropolitan Stadium. I can't recall everything in the graphic, but I believe the Twins opened the season on the road something like eight years from 1961 to 1981, their last year there (I thought the Twins had gone into the Metrodome sooner than 1982).

I believe the graphic said the last snowout was in early May 1976, but I'm pretty sure the graphic didn't say how many times Opening Day was snowed out.

I guess the Twins figure it would take a lot of snowouts to recoup $150 million. Still seems idiotic to me not to spend the money.

Author:  Phillip Blanchard [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:26 pm ]
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There would be more reasons than field conditions to postpone a baseball game during a snowstorm. So a retractable roof might not make much difference.

Author:  onceahack [ Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:44 pm ]
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True. More than one game was postponed at the Astrodome because of rain. The field was dry, but flooded streets kept fans from reaching the stadium.

Author:  Wayne Countryman [ Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:21 pm ]
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A dome in a snowy clime needs to be sturdy to withstand the winter weight. A retractable dome has moving pieces that suffer in snow and ice.

It can be done, but it's not cheap.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:17 pm ]
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CLEVELAND (AP) — As he drove to Jacobs Field for the first time in a few days, Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia noticed something new above the city’s skyline.

It was the sun.

“I was surprised, man,” Sabathia said. “I forgot that it shined. I forgot that it came out here.”

Welcome home, Indians. And welcome to Opening Day at Jacobs Field — Take 2, 3, 4 and 5.

After a strange week that included blinding April snow showers, four days of weather-induced postponements and a hastily arranged “home” series played in a National League ballpark in Wisconsin, Cleveland got to play its opener at Jacobs Field on Friday night against the Chicago White Sox.


At last, Mother Nature stopped throwing curveballs, er, snowballs at the Indians.

Author:  Phillip Blanchard [ Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:22 pm ]
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Author:  wordygurdy [ Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:26 pm ]
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And tonight, exit the King, stage right, with an unknown injury at 7:25 Pacific, with one out in the top of the 1st inning. Yikes.

Author:  Wabberjocky [ Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:49 am ]
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From The Seattle Times:

Manager Mike Hargrove was asked if he had trouble sleeping on Wednesday night after watching his 21-year-old prodigy struggle in the first inning against Minnesota, then wave the team's medical staff onto the field.

"I slept real well," Hargrove said, before slipping in the kicker with the comic timing of a pro: "Scotch will do that for you."

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