Should MLB & Umpires Be In Control Of Rain Delays?
Today, many radio topics in the local market will focus on the rain delay on Saturday between Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs. Most Brewers fans, media and front office feel slighted by Chicago as the game could have played without any issue a couple hours later. The home team has full control over the rain delay and chooses whether or not to play the game. Cubs made the choice to postpone, and there were reasons why they should of given the roster. Should MLB make a shift to letting umpires and their home base make a call on the weather like they do for the last game of the year?
There’s an obvious case for this with Saturday’s game. MLB and Umpires can gather all of the different radars and make a call on what’s going to happen with the game. They can seize full control and leave it their hands versus the teams. This would require a bit of legwork from baseball and umpires on site. They would need to know about the draining capabilities of the stadium along with how the water holds in the outfield. This makes the job of a umpire a much tougher one as there are many nuances they need to know about each individual ballpark to know if it makes sense to cancel a game.
And that’s where it gets tricky. Umpires are not going to know about every team. They aren’t going to realize that calling a game early might save a few thousand fans’ asses from heading into the city for the game and avoid paying for parking. My guess is the fear from teams with outdoor stadiums that have rain issues at times is Major League Baseball would not understand every little thing. Take Colorado for example. They have some of the weirdest weather in all of baseball, and for that reason, Rockies are super patient with their delays because they know it can clear up pretty quickly. It’s a tough give-and-take.
Maybe, the ultimate solution is have a three-man group with the home team, MLB and umpire crew to make a true decision on what to do with a rain delay. If two of the three of them decide that baseball will not be played then it won’t, and vice versa if two outweigh the other for playing the game. A change will not happen until 2018, but I’ll be curious to see if Brewers try to make this a thing next offseason.