Archive for Saturday, April 7, 2007

Final strike eludes Indians; snow postpones game

April 7, 2007


— Swirling snow, lengthy delays, a near no-hitter, a tireless grounds crew and baseball fans bundled up for a football game.

It was a home opener unlike any in the Cleveland Indians' 107-year history.

And, officially, it never happened.

"A weird day," Indians starter Paul Byrd said.

A strange night, too.

One strike away from putting their first home game in the books, the Indians had their opener with the Seattle Mariners postponed Friday when daylong snow wouldn't stop and the playing surface became too dangerous.

The game finally was called after 173 minutes of stoppages, roughly the same amount of time as a regular AL game. This one was anything but normal.

The Indians were leading, 4-0, with two outs in the top of the fifth, when the umpires, who pushed back the start by 57 minutes, halted play for the third time.

One hour and 17 minutes later, crew chief Rick Reed called the game at 7:41 p.m. - 4 hours and 36 minutes after the scheduled first pitch - ending a bizarre day and night when the Jacobs Field grounds crew, armed with backpack blowers, shovels and brooms to combat the snow, had spent more time on the field than any players.

"I was concerned about the players' welfare," Reed said. "Ultimately, it gets down to the players' safety."

At one point during the final delay, Reed summoned Indians manager Eric Wedge and Seattle's Mike Hargrove for a meeting. Earlier, the two managers had a heated on-field discussion.


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