An unheralded part of any baseball team is the grounds crew. They’re the ones that keep the field in optimal playing shape for teams to do battle on a nightly basis — most of the time, at least.
Ask any crew chief what his biggest nightmare is and all they’d do is point to what happened at Wrigley Field last night during a game against the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants.
Rain suddenly began to pour from the sky, prompting the umpires to immediately call a delay. That spurred the grounds crew into action, and well, this happened:
Talk about a worst-case scenario becoming a reality. After rolling out the tarp at the completely wrong angle, we had to watch the grounds crew members hastily try to pull the tarp further so it would actually cover the important parts of the infield. Obviously, those efforts weren’t successful.
Just watching this unfold throughout a two-minute video was hilarious enough, but I doubt anyone in the San Francisco dugout thought it was funny. They were down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning — if the game was called because of this folly, it would be an official game and a win for the Cubs. Trying to keep pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, every game was crucial, including this one.
Once the rain stopped, this is the infield the grounds crew was tasked with trying to fix:
Might as well taken off their spikes in favor of swim trunks.
It’s easy for the Giants to say the crew did this on purpose since the Cubs had the lead, but there isn’t much motivation behind it. Chicago is now 55-70, currently occupying last place in the NL Central and are 15.5 games back of first place. What’s one more win going to do for them?
Nevertheless, the crew worked on the field for two hours before the umpires decided to call the game and officially hand the Cubs a rain-shortened victory. And if you were lucky enough to have Tsuyoshi Wada on your fantasy baseball team, he got you a complete game shutout. Sneaky.