The fifth and decisive game in the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees was supposed to be played on Monday. Mother nature, though, had other ideas.
At 6:21 p.m. ET it was announced on the verified “MLB Communications” announced on Twitter that the game would be delayed. At 9:36 p.m. ET, the same feed announced that the game would be postponed until Tuesday afternoon. In the more than three hours in between, there were no updates from that page, MLB’s official Twitter account, or the accounts of either the Guardians or Yankees.
Fans spent hours at Yankee Stadium. Many no doubt spent money on concessions. Aside from that, fans spent hours at the stadium on a weekday, which will certainly throw a wrench into school and work plans on Tuesday, for a game that was never even played. Naturally, baseball fans were upset.
Per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Chris Marinak, MLB’s Chief Operations and Strategy Officer, later issued a statement.
In it, he said (among other things) that “To have fans, players come to the ballpark and then ultimately not get to see a game, that’s obviously the worst outcome from our standpoint. Clearly, if we had a forecast that indicated that this was the rangewe were going to get, we would have made a decision earlier in the evening to just postpone the game and take a run at it tomorrow.”
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) October 18, 2022
Adler later clarified that some of the grammatical issues, like “hame” instead of “game,” were hers, as the statement was read to her over the phone and she was typing and walking.
Unfortuntaely for MLB, this statement was widely panned for several other reasons.
Not entirely sure who MLB is consulting with for weather, but I am fairly certain any forecast received from any reliable meteorologist would have indicated that "this was the range" they were going to get. https://t.co/HeZs7YW5bN
— Matt Lanza (@mattlanza) October 18, 2022
The older you get, the more you realize how the majority of people, and hence organizations, are utterly incompetent https://t.co/lV3ORo5m49
— tolkienfanatic (@tolkienfanatic) October 18, 2022
You can really feel the genuine sympathy with the “et cetera” use https://t.co/86KB8Hr17N
— Michael Kelly (@ByMichaelKelly) October 18, 2022
The Backbone of Major League Baseball:
– Et Cetera https://t.co/r6P9OK0ScD
— Math (@BigMEMath) October 18, 2022
MLB thinks they got it right! 👍 https://t.co/guuq4IMD5d
— Dan Rozenson (@SixToolPlayer) October 18, 2022
Manfred should be fired over this. https://t.co/2lHLYEvWm1
— John Tackeff (@jtackeff) October 18, 2022
— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) October 18, 2022
Making matters worse is that not long after the game was called, the skies cleared.
By the way, the skies have cleared and the field looks playable. Oh well. pic.twitter.com/4TcgGxobRZ
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 18, 2022
Obviously, MLB has no control over the weather. And while rainouts are frustrating, they are a part of the game, particularly in open air stadiums.
That said, this was handled horribly. And to act as though MLB didn’t have access to a readily accessible weather forecast is either disingenuous, a sign of incompetence or some combination of the two.
MLB would do well to figure out some way to make it up to the fans who were inconvenienced by what happened on Monday. Maybe that’s a free hot dog and soda on Tuesday, complimentary tickets to a game next season or something else entirely. Whatever it is, some sort of olive branch should be extended.