The worst nightmare of an MLB groundskeeper has to be when the decision to go into a rain delay comes just a bit too late for the crew to get the tarp on the field before the worst of the weather hits. We’ve seen that happen before, but it’s not often that you see issues arise because the tarp gets rolled out the wrong way to begin with.
Amid a heavy downpour in Washington, the Nationals’ grounds crew simply could not get the tarp unrolled properly, leading to a ridiculous scene in which various members of the crew frantically tried to figure out why things were not working as intended.
Nationals grounds crew literally can't get the tarp unrolled. Never seen anything like thispic.twitter.com/RtHtzrsPXt
— Kendall Baker (@TheKendallBaker) August 9, 2020
The grounds crew was still struggling with the tangled tarp nearly 15 minutes into the delay, by which point the entire infield was already a muddy mess.
4/ They haven't even made it to 2nd base — 13 minutes into delay
ANNOUNCER: The damage is done, though. I think what you're looking at is 2020.
— Bad Fox Graphics (@BadFoxGraphics) August 9, 2020
The rain wound down, but the inability to get the infield covered led to a messy disaster.
Scenes of grounds crews in heavy rain and high winds desperately trying to get the tarp to cover the infield are not unprecedented. That’s not what this was. This crew simply rolled the entire tarp out upside down, leaving them scrambling in vain to fix the error.
The Nats’ crew might want to take a cue from their counterparts in Philadelphia regarding how to deal with a soaked infield, because they’re going to have to figure out how to dry that out.