Blog Entry

300 raindrops (or maybe a few more)

Posted on: June 3, 2009 11:40 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2009 11:55 pm
WASHINGTON -- So now Randy Johnson goes for his 300th win on Thursday.

Weather permitting.

We all forgot to add that qualification earlier this week, when we told you that Randy Johnson would go for his 300th win Wednesday -- which, we now know, he didn't. We forgot the most basic of baseball rules, which is that when the field looks more suited for Michael Phelps than for Josh Phelps (or Ken Phelps), they don't play.

"The players would have been under water, and the fans here would have been wet and tired," said Giants president Larry Baer, in full agreement with the decision to postpone Wednesday's game -- and Johnson's first try at 300-win history. "For a game with a player going after a milestone, you want to have something more optimal."

It's still far from certain that Thursday will provide more optimal conditions, and Baer ("I don't have a Doppler doctorate") was making no such guarantees.

As of now, the plan is for Johnson to start a 4:35 p.m. Eastern time first game of a doubleheader Thursday, for his first try at 300. If Johnson doesn't get a win Thursday, his next start would now be on Tuesday in Arizona -- and wouldn't that be an appropriate spot for history.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves, which we promised not to do. And anyway, The Weather Channel says the chance of rain in Washington at 4 p.m. Thursday is 70 percent. And a double-rainout Thursday would presumably push Johnson's next start to Friday night at Florida.

Not that we're about to believe any weather forecasts right now.

"It was supposed to stop raining an hour ago," Baer helpfully pointed out.

Around about 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Nationals said it was supposed to start raining soon, and continue raining for about an hour. Just before 10 p.m., Baer and Nationals president Stan Kasten had appeared in the Nationals Park press box, and at that point Kasten said they expected the rain to stop in 15 minutes.

"We're going to get this game in tonight," he said. "We're going to try."

A little less than an hour later, the decision was made that the field was unplayable.

Everyone seemed to agree with the decision, even though everyone seemed equally unhappy to have waited so long with no baseball being played (and no history being recorded).

"It's pretty bad out there [on the field]," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I wanted to get it in, but you don't want it to be a farce."

We can't tell you for sure what Johnson himself was thinking, but Bochy said his pitcher handled the delays fine. For the most part, anyway.

"I think it was finally starting to weigh on him at the end," Bochy said. "They made the right call, and he's all set to go tomorrow."

It was quite a day for the Giants, many of whom had a private tour of the White House Wednesday morning. While they enjoyed the tour, they never expected it to be the one highlight of the day.

"The sitting around and waiting was not cool," outfielder Randy Winn said. "The White House? That was fun."

He's right. Sitting around and waiting isn't fun. I should know that.

I should also know about rain-delayed history, because I was at Camden Yards the night Eddie Murray hit his 500th home run sometime right around midnight, in a game that began about two hours late because of rain.

For a while Wednesday, we were looking at the possibility of another midnight milestone, and looking back, we would have taken it. We would have said it was worth the wait.

Now, we're waiting until Thursday.

"Tomorrow," Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria said as he got ready to leave the ballpark. "Tomorrow is going to be a special day for him."

Weather (and baseball) permitting.
Category: MLB

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