FIELD OF NIGHTMARES
The soggy saga at PNC Field in Moosic Pennsylvania is causing more than a few people to lose sleep. Local newspapers fired on the Yankees organization after Saturdays’ game with the PawSox was postponed due to unplayable field conditions. The finger pointing has begun and it seems that it could get really ugly before the odyssey is over. Despite beautiful weather on the 4th of July, the game was called off because the drainage system at the park has not been able to handle the abundance of precipitation over the last three weeks. Managers Ron Johnson and Dave Miley inspected the field with Yankees brass and league officials before deeming the field unsafe. The same took place on Sunday afternoon, even though the sun has been out since we arrived in Scranton. Furthermore, the Yanks made a bunch of enemies by not publicizing the fact the game had been postponed. Thousands showed up late Saturday afternoon, only to find they’d not see a game, just the scheduled postgame fireworks. You do the math. No game, it won’t get dark for a few hours and fireworks. Stay at the park and buy as many hot dogs, soda, and beers as you can, SUCKERS! That was the message Scranton fans got on Independence Day. According to team president Kristen Rose- “We’ll explore other options, but if the weather worsens, the field conditions worsen, we will have to look at playing at other venues.” Those possibilities include, potentially, Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse and Coca Cola Park in Allentown, Pa. Fans aren’t happy. According to a source who requested anonymity, at least one angry fan called the team office and physically threatened staff members if games weren’t played soon. In fairness to the Yankees, they have worked feverishly to try to get the surface ready, even going so far as to rent a helicopter and have it land in right field to let the rotors act as a dryer. The postponement Saturday was the third in the last two weeks because the field was too wet to play, even in bright sunshine. The drainage system seems to be the culprit. In 2007, the Yankees replaced the artificial turf with real grass. They didn’t bother to update the drainage system because according to the anonymous source- “They were hoping to get a new field built in the next couple of years.” Well, the weather has conspired to create (if you’ll pardon the pun) the “perfect storm”. Rose said- “We knew that the drainage system was getting close to the end of what it was built for, but nobody expected this much rain.” In a statement issued after Saturdays’ postponement, the Yankees said they’d already replaced 14,000 square feet of sod in the outfield. Holes have been drilled, they’ve aerated the surface and installed draining tiles. According to a separate source, also requesting anonymity, there was also a very real fear that with over 10,000 fans using the restroom facilities at the park, the already overburdened system would “explode”. Just before word of Sundays’ postponement, PawSox players stretched and played catch in the outfield, wondering if and when this series would ever get started. According to the Yankees, we’ll try again on Monday, with a doubleheader scheduled to start at 5:35 p.m.
Congratulations to the six members of the Boston Red Sox named to the American League All Star Team. Dustin Pedroia, Jason Bay, Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis. Pedroia, Youk, Wake and Papelbon are former PawSox stars. Another former member of the PawSox is on the N.L. team. Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates is joined on the Senior Circuit club by another former Red Sox farmhand, Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins.