In light of the end of April and the “April Showers” we’ve had in Atlanta, I wanted to blog this week about rain delays. We’ve actually been lucky this season and haven’t had too many long ones so far, other than the two-hour rain delay at our home opener.
Just like when an airline experiences weather delays and the passengers have a few extra minutes to pass, baseball players find some really creative stuff to do to pass the time during a rain delay.
When it looks like the rain delay is going to be shorter, maybe 15-45 minutes, we all try to stay warm so that we can get back out on the field and be ready to play. Position players like me (non-pitchers) will usually head to the batting cages inside the stadium and take a few extra swings to keep the blood flowing. The starting pitchers generally stay in the bullpen to keep their arms warm.
The key with hitting the cages, though, is to stay warm without wearing yourself out. So if the delay looks like it’s going to be a little longer than expected, I’ll sometimes sit down and watch video of the opposing pitcher, or take a look at video of my own swing and critique that.
Then you’ve got the rain delays that can last several hours. When these happen, guys start to get more creative and turn to non-baseball activities.
I think the most common thing baseball players around the league do during delays is play cards, dominos or other kinds of games. During the fall, there’s always a little bit of fantasy football going on. And depending on if you’re in your own home clubhouse, we’ll have video games, or guys on computers playing online, booking flights and sending emails. This time of year, you’ll hear a lot of guys sitting around talking NBA Playoffs. And then you’ve got the Canadian guys who are talking NHL Playoffs.
If you’re not playing some sort of game or talking sports, you’re probably watching TV, sleeping or eating. Our clubhouse attendants always have a great selection of food in the clubhouse, whether it’s cold cuts for sandwiches, fruit or snacks.
Rain delays aren’t my favorite part of the game, but they’re inevitable and unavoidable since we can’t control Mother Nature. It’s all about what you do to pass the time.
What do you do to pass the time when your flight is delayed because of weather?