by Angry Ward
NEW YORK AQUARIUM, BROOKLYN – For those of you not located in the New York Metropolitan area, or even the tri-state area, most of us up here are busy building arks due to the biblical amount of rain weâ€™ve been receiving. Itâ€™s been raining so much that no one really seems to notice anymore. Bikinis and bathing suits have become the dress code of choice on casual Fridays due to their quick-drying capabilities. Of course this has caused some HR complaints due to some senior personnel insisting on wearing Speedos. But, thatâ€™s beside the point.
What all of this rain is also doing is causing some seriously sluggish baseball in these parts. The Mets, well whatâ€™s left of them anyway, should be nicknamed the Soggy Bottom Boys for all of the downpours theyâ€™ve had to endure. The Yankees, sweethearts that they are, also asked fans to endure a 5 plus hour rain delay a week ago, after which they washed out onto the field like a bloated Harlem River corpse and lost to the Washington Nationals. The Nats have been sleeping with the fishes (insert your Troy McClure joke here) all season long. The question is, seeing as how baseball has managed to stretch the season longer and longer with each passing year, isnâ€™t there room for a rain out or two and maybe, just maybe, a true double-header every now and again where fans get to see two games for the price of one? Would that be so horrible?
While one realizes that asking the owners to give up gate receipts is like asking Carlos Beltran to slide or A-Rod to give up his mirror, it still seems like all of this lousy weather can be handled in a better fashion. Heck, even the television stations donâ€™t know what to do. They put on some of the worst programming ever to fill the time during a rain delay. No one, and I mean no one, wants to watch reruns of According to Jim. Years ago, rain outs or delays brought you block after block of Odd Couple reruns on WPIX. Even better was the programming that WOR trotted out when stormy skies broke out over Shea. If there was a better rain delay movie than The Thing with Two Heads starring Ray Milland and Rosie Grier, I donâ€™t know what it is. The original Blob starring Steve McQueen was a close second.
Speaking of which, would it kill teams to purchase a movie or two to show at the stadium during delays? Most parks now have video screens so big they rival the Ziegfeldâ€™s! It seems that sitting around would be so much more bearable if they were showing The Blues Brothers or The Natural or even something completely ridiculous like Breakinâ€™ 2: Electric Boogaloo. Failing that, bring back Rick Dempsey. That clown who did the belly flop onto the soaked course at the U.S. Open last week brought back memories of Dempseyâ€™s antics during rain delays when he was playing for the Baltimore Orioles. (By the way, I have full faith that the Matts can find this footage and post it.) He did a routine that was right out of a silent era comedy.
Anyway, at the bare minimum, maybe some of these players should come out and sign autographs every now and then. A guy like Luis Castillo, for instance, could go a long way in winning fans back if he would come out and mingle with them during a stoppage. Some of these understudies playing for the Mets right now should do likewise. In the meantime, we all continue to wait out the rain and anticipate one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory. Hey, maybe if the Mets can stay in contention long enough, wait out the injuries and buy themselves a truckload of bug spray, their competition will fall victim to West Nile Virus this summer. Yeah, stupid thought, but whaddaya want, Iâ€™ve got water on the brain.
Maria At Bat on deck…