Cleveland Guardians Apologized To Los Angeles Dodgers For Progressive Field Grounds Crew

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have become all-too-familiar with rain delays over the past month-plus, but their series with the Cleveland Guardians featured an overzealous Progressive Field grounds crew.

On Wednesday night, a tarp was rolled onto the field without any precipitation falling. Rain didn’t arrive for nearly 30 minutes after the delay began.

It lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes before the Guardians announced the game was suspended and would be resumed the following morning as part of a de facto doubleheader. Then during the ninth inning on Thursday, the grounds crew again pulled out the tarp. Once more, inclement weather did not impact the stadium until almost 30 minutes later.

After the Dodgers completed a doubleheader sweep, manager Dave Roberts admitted to being upset with the situation but expressed appreciation for Guardians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona extending their apologies, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“Here we go again,” Roberts said of his reaction to Thursday’s stoppage. “It wasn’t a welcome sight.

“Chris came over and he … apologized for the way it was handled. No one wins in that situation. They lost a starter too (because of Wednesday’s suspension). You could see they were kind of hamstrung with their pitching today. … But I really appreciate Chris coming over and Tito (Guardians manager Terry Francona) reached out too.”

Roberts rushed out of the dugout as the Guardians’ grounds crew began to cover the field in the ninth inning. He stood along the dugout railing for several minutes, visibly dismayed, as players and coaches shouted from the bench.

Some of Roberts’ annoyance stemmed from how matters were handled Tuesday night, when Clayton Kershaw was limited to just two innings. Though, Guardians coaches and players also appeared confused by the ground crew’s actions.

The rain delay lasted 1 hour and 12 minutes, and the game arguably could have been completed before a thunderstorm arrived.

Guardians grounds crew autonomy

Further complicating matters with the rain delays is the Guardians’ head groundskeeper has the ability to make such decisions without consulting the team, umpires or local meteorologist.

The autonomy is such that Dodgers analyst Orel Hershiser remarked during the SportsNet LA broadcast he’d never experienced in his playing career or while remaining tied to baseball in retirement.

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