Writing > Game three postponed

August 25, 2011: Game three postponed

Diablos Rojos del México - Tigres de Quintana Roo -
7:00pm Wednesday August 24, 2011
Time: -:--
Attendance: a lot of people with wet shoes

It's the Serie del Rey right now. That's Mexican for World Series. Diablos Rojos vs. Tigres. Up until the start of this century, Tigres used to also play in Mexico City. Then they upped sticks to Puebla, and now play in Cancún. So, there's still a whole bunch of Tigres fans in Mexico City. The regular season games have been better attended than when any other opponents were in town. Because the Zona Sur beat the Zona Norte in the All-Star Game, Tigres have home field advantage. The series began at the weekend. Game one was due for Saturday, but rain postponed that to Sunday, which Tigres won 8-2. Two great pitching performances in game two, and the Tigres again won, this time 1-0. So Diablos come back home trailed 2-0 in the series, absolutely needing a win. Aside from an abysmal first inning in game one, when two errors and a further two shitty plays let the Tigres put up five runs, it's been tight all the way.

There is general admission at the ballpark here. Four different pricing categories, but once you've got a ticket, you sit where you want. So, I got there early. I was in the queue at 4.50pm, ready for the gates to open at 5pm. And a few minutes before the gates opened, so did the heavens. I got my big red plastic poncho thingy out of my bag, cursing slightly that the gates weren't open. My ticket was for a part of the stadium without a roof, so the concrete bleacher seats were already wet by the time I dashed in and staked my claim to a front row, first base line "seat." And it was pissing it down. The poncho kept most of me dry, but not my jeans, and certainly not my shoes. Forty-five minutes of rain, and the clouds disappeared, I got a plastic bag, and sat on that to protect my arse from getting wet. All good. Grounds crew out, raking the infield, putting dirt on the mound. And then there was this contraption for soaking up the water from the warning track.

It's a modified oil drum, with a kinda big flat lemon squeezer top thing. It was comical to see the grounds crew with these squares of foam that looked like they'd been taken from old sofas. They were methodically placing the foam on the warning track, to soak up the water, then dripping them all the way to the man with the squeezer, and going back. They were trying to do this for the whole warning track? I don't know. Before they could get that far around the track, the rain started again. My plastic bag seat, folded up in my jeans pocket, and I stood up in my poncho for another 25 minutes. It was strange to see the vendors trying to sell popcorn during a downpour.

There were also vendors selling merchandise. Rattles, various noise making things, flags, foam fingers. They were selling Diablos stuff and Tigres stuff. This to me is stupid. I understand that baseball here isn't a huge business, and they have to make money where they can, but really: this is your home field. Your team is 2-0 down in the series. Let's hold onto whatever small advantage playing at home gives the team, eh?

I saw a guy in a Diamondbacks: 1999 Western Division Champions cap.

The rain stopped, the tarp came off. I like watching the grounds crew remove tarp. It's aesthetically appealing how methodically it works. And just as the tarp was off and the sponge guys were out again, the rain started again. It was becoming clear: the Diablos don't consult any weather forecasting people about rain. When this shower stopped, it was 7.45pm. The game was due to begin at 7pm. And for the first time, the PA announcer let us know what was going on: Liga Mexicana rules state that there has to be 90 minutes of rain delays for a game to be abandoned. Not sure if that means 90 minutes after the advertised start time, or does that include field prep time, too?

Tarp off again, spongers out again. And the warning track was just a sludgey Glastonbury Festival mess. Two dudes in Liga Mexicana jackets were talking to a guy who looked like he was some sort of head groundskeeper. Grim faces. The PA was playing "Lessons in Love" by Level 42. The Liga Mexicana guys scuttled off to the area behind home plate. I looked over into the visiting team's dugout, and saw the Tigres players leaving the bench. Four umpires stood with the Liga guys, and then waved their hands in the air to the announcer in the press box type area. Game three postponed.

Still, at least I got to sit and stand in the rain for three hours. Not often I do that. Fingers crossed we get a game tonight. And fingers crossed it doesn't rain, cos I've only got two pairs of shoes, and last night's are still soaking wet.