Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was like many onlookers as the Nationals Park grounds crew were comically unable to roll out the tarp during a rain delay earlier this week in that it left him cringing over the nightmarish scenario.
Still, Rizzo admits that he cannot help but feel horribly for the grounds crew due to the mishap receiving such unflattering attention. What’s more, the crew still has Rizzo’s respect and support despite what occurred during Sunday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.
“These guys work extremely hard and they’re so good at what they do, so I just felt terrible for them,” Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday, as transcribed by NBC Sports Washington. “I went down there and tried to make them feel better after they called the game off. We all make mistakes, I’ve made bad trades and bad signings, [the Junkies] have had bad shows. They had a bad day at the office and their bad days are seen by millions of people.
“I support those guys,” he said. “[Director of Field Operations] John Turnour is the best in the business,” he said. “He’s got a really difficult geographical city to be a head grounds crew member in Washington D.C. The weather is really tricky here and he navigates is terrifically.”
Given the response to the footage of the embarrassing scene on social media, it should go without saying what transpired made for an painfully awkward sight. To wit:
Nationals ground crew attempting to get the tarp on the field with Yakety Sax, as one does pic.twitter.com/FT3pRU3rSm— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) August 9, 2020
Rizzo went on to laud Turnour’s leadership and ability before making a “guarantee it won’t happen again.” To say the Nationals’ beleaguered grounds crew certainly hopes that’s the case would be an understatement.