Friday, February 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Snow, rain halt Rays-Royals game in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the Rays and Royals played for 1 hour, 9 minutes in miserable cold and wet conditions, then spent another 2:20 waiting as the rain turned to snow, Thursday's game was called off.

The Royals' 1-0 lead through 3½ innings is erased and all stats are wiped out as a new game will be played from the start on a date to be determined.

In essence, it was like Thursday's game never happened.

In reality, it never should have started.

"It was an ill-conceived idea from the beginning," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It didn't look very good from jump street."

With the front moving differently than forecast, the decision was made, with a nod to rescheduling issues since it was the Rays' only visit, to start the game in hopes of getting in at least the requisite five innings.

So they began with a temperature of 41 degrees, a feels-like of 32, winds gusting to 30 mph and rain falling. It got worse, including large puddles on the infield. By late afternoon, snow accumulated in the outfield.

"It was miserable to say the least," Rays third baseman Evan Longoria said. "It was like an ice-skating rink. At that point you have to worry about every step you take. And then you're trying to throw a wet ball."

The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the third off Roberto Hernandez, former Ray Elliot Johnson singling, stealing second and scoring on a ground ball by Alex Gordon that squirted by second baseman Ben Zobrist.

"Kind of a routine ground ball on a normal night," Longoria said.

Maddon praised umpire crew chief Ted Barrett for handling the play, the stoppage and the cancellation, with the game six outs from being official.

"He told me, 'We lost the field.' That was the phrase that he used, and I think he was absolutely correct," Maddon said. "They did the best they possibly could, and it was not going to get any better, and I think they did the right thing.

"Regardless of the score, I think they did the right thing because it's not about just playing five or 4½ innings, it's about playing nine, and if you don't think you can get nine innings, then I think it's the appropriate thing to do."

Because of the weather, the Rays had to fly out of Kansas City International rather than the downtown facility and were delayed more than an hour for the plane to be de-iced.

 
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