While it hardly rained, the second game of the American League playoff series between Detroit and the New York Yankees was postponed on Wednesday.
In an odd sight, fans sat in Yankee Stadium for nearly two hours waiting, even though it wasn't raining for much of the time. While a light rain fell occasionally, threatening weather was in the forecast.
"Where's the rain? Let them play!" one fan yelled over and over after the postponement was announced.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, reached at his home in Milwaukee, declined comment, referring questions to Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office.
"We wanted to get the game in. We thought we could," Solomon said. "The forecast indicated we could get in two, three innings tops and would have to stop against for an hour-and-a-half to two hours. We didn't want to burn up two pitchers if we had that coming through. We reconvened, talked and we made a decision jointly with the commissioner."
New York won Tuesday's opener of the best-of-five series 8-4, and Game 2 was due to be played yesterday afternoon with Justin Verlander starting for the Tigers against Mike Mussina. The travel day will be eliminated, and Game 3 will be tonight in Detroit.
Game 2 was scheduled to start at 8:09pm. But shortly after the national anthem the teams went back to their clubhouses and the tarp was put over the infield.
A light rain began at 8:24pm, and it rained off and on until the grounds crew removed the tarp at 9:37pm. During the regular season, games usually continue through rain of that magnitude.
Verlander went to the outfield to start throwing. But at 9:55pm, even though it wasn't raining, the grounds crew put the tarp back on. Bob Sheppard made the announcement to fans 10 minutes later.
Mussina, the Yankees' scheduled starter, never emerged.