Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Convenience of Rain Before A Nationally Televised Game

On Friday night, the Mets and Braves were about to start the ninth inning of a 5-5 game when the drizzle failed to fizzle.  The downpour caused the umpires to call for the grounds crew to put the tarp on the field, where it remained until the game was suspended just before midnight.

There would be no fireworks at 4am, no Keith Hernandez making six outs and still hitting for the cycle (although Ike Davis was making a bid for six strikeouts) and no Rick Camp exhumation for an unlikely homer in the 18th inning.

No, that was in 1985.  The 2013 umpires are a tad more reasonable (except for Angel Hernandez) and they decided to resume the game on Saturday at 6:10pm, approximately one hour before the regularly scheduled game at 7:15pm.

Why was a suspended game the best case scenario for Papa Smirk and Little Jeffy Wilpon?  It's all about the national TV audience.

The conveniently-timed suspended game is sure to turn the Wilpons' frowns upside down.

Tonight's regularly scheduled game was picked up by FOX.  The Mets have other games on the FOX Saturday schedule this year, but this was to be the only night game aired by the network.  It's also the only Saturday night game scheduled at Citi Field this year.

According to, any fan who was in attendance at Friday's suspended game can exchange their ticket stubs for both the conclusion of the game and the regularly scheduled game (seats subject to availability).  They are also entitled to the John Franco bobblehead giveaway and the post-game pyrotechnics display, which was originally set to go off last night before the rains served as a natural extinguisher.

Putting two and two together (no, we're not adding Ike Davis' daily strikeout totals there), that means fans who went to last night's game and fans with tickets to tonight's game have the right to occupy seats at Citi Field tonight.  So the ballpark is going to be more packed tonight than it would usually be, especially with the dozens of fans who are sure to brave the elements once again.

Hmmm, I wonder if the Mets' decision to allow fans from the first game to stay for the second game has anything to do with those national TV cameras that will also be in attendance covering the game for the FOX network?  I mean, it would surely make the team look really good for the national TV audience to see more fannies in the seats, don't ya think?

Rainouts are never a good thing for the players, umpires and fans.  But suspended games can be wonderful for a team's image.  And the timing of last night's called game and tonight's resumption has everyone involved saying "how convenient".  Maybe that'll wipe the smirk off Fred Wilpon's face once and for all.

Live from New York, It's Saturday Night (at Citi Field)!

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