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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Rain-delay issues upset Rangers

By Calvin Watkins

NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers were irritated with Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.

A tremendous downpour forced the Rangers-Yankees game to be called after a 1-hour, 49-minute rain delay that had all sorts of problems.

"It doesn't seem right," Rangers GM Jon Daniels said when it was over.

The Yankees were rewarded a 2-1 victory that lasted just 5 1/3 innings.

When the rains came down, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew took 13 minutes to get the tarp on the field. The crew had pulled the tarp halfway across the infield, but it wouldn't go any farther, so it was drawn back into the outfield. During the process to get the tarp ready to go across a second time, the heavy rains drenched the field to the point where the dirt turned to mud.

Once the tarp was put back on the field, the heavy rain turned into a steady stream as the fans, at least most of the 37,585, gave out a mock cheer.

The Rangers weren't laughing because once it stopped raining and the tarp was taken off, the grounds crew needed to turn mud into something playable, and while things looked good on the surface, manager Ron Washington said the field felt like rubber.

The umpires told both teams to warm up their pitchers and Rangers starter Yu Darvish did that. After he completed the task, the umpires met and a decision was made to call the game.

"There were some tarp issues," crew chief Dale Scott said. "That combined with the massive amounts of rain in a very short amount of time, that field was inundated with water. We were hoping after we took the tarp off and looked it over, that we, working with the grounds crew, that we could get it playable."

That wasn't happening and Washington, worried about two players dealing with ankle issues, Alex Rios and Shin-Soo Choo, wasn't taking any chances. Washington wanted to protest and called Daniels, who was back in Dallas watching the game.

League officials said a protest wasn't allowed.

"Just walk the field, it was sinking, it was very soft especially around the base paths and base lines," Washington said. "Around each bag you couldn't get a lead at first base."

In terms of Thursday's 1 p.m. EST game, there is some concern about starting that game on time as well. Weather reports indicate it may rain overnight, which will keep the tarp on the field. The grounds crew would then have to move pretty quickly to resurface the field again to make sure the mud is nearly gone.

It was a frustrating night for the Rangers, who had their ace, Darvish, pitching and were involved in a one-run game.

"We certainly didn't feel like one run was going to hold us," Washington said. "We felt like we were going to be able to get something going. To lose Yu Darvish is particularly tough."