A little before Thursday’s scheduled start time, the Washington Nationals announced on their assorted video boards and social media accounts that the beginning of the night’s game would be delayed due to incoming weather.
In theory, the move was the right one, as every radar for the area had a huge storm coming through the area, at some point.
Then the rain didn’t come. So, instead of starting the game and playing through it or delaying the game in the middle of an inning, the Nats held on to the belief that the rain would eventually come. It continued to magically evade the ballpark.
The fans were the first to begin to get annoyed:
We are now at a point where even the Nats Park scoreboard is getting existential pic.twitter.com/Ug4EjvgISj— Mina (@maddc8) July 7, 2017
Then the tarp came out:
The Nats grounds crew now rolling out the tarp onto a bone-dry field. Fans are booing them and leaving. Have never seen anything like this.— Jim Powell (@Jim_Powell) July 7, 2017
That’s about when the beat reporters started expressing some frustration.
That was the worst mishandling of a weather situation that I've ever seen at a baseball game. Just total bush league. #NatsRainDelay.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) July 7, 2017
Then, the players started getting in on the action.
This No-Rain delay is something i've never seen before!!— Ender Inciarte (@enderinciartem) July 7, 2017
Can't. The tarp is dry. https://t.co/Nomy7ROZ7x— Ender Inciarte (@enderinciartem) July 7, 2017
The delay just kept on going. And going. And going.
Here's @kapaya1234 updating everyone on the weather situation at Nationals Park and ... uh ... yeah we still don't get it, either.#ChopOn pic.twitter.com/dOmVlWpFZn— FOX Sports: Braves (@FOXSportsBraves) July 7, 2017
The Nationals just issued this statement. pic.twitter.com/ySscaQUkza— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) July 7, 2017
Finally, the (completely dry) tarp rolled off the field.
They are pulling dry tarp off the field at 9:40 p.m. Seriously, this could not have been handled worse by #Nats officials. Total, epic fail.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) July 7, 2017
Tonight's starting pitchers have headed to the bullpen and all six of the fans left in the stadium cheered a little— Kelsey Wingert (@KelsWingert) July 7, 2017
Thus began the process of getting the fans back on the side of the team. And, y’know, doing the pregame festivities that were supposed to be done before the game was delayed for three hours.
They're giving out Skittles, but that's' not gonna cut it...at least not until they bring some up here.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 7, 2017
How about this? The Nats used their in-game entertainment boss to sing Natl Anthem. Original scheduled singer went home during delay. Haha— Chip Caray (@kapaya1234) July 7, 2017
Tiny Lester Fuentes, who has been sitting for three hours, just nearly threw a strike from the mound. So the pros should be able to, too.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 7, 2017
More fans than you'd expect for a 10:10 p.m. home game. #Nats pic.twitter.com/Xoohd62uzX— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) July 7, 2017
Nationals staff have told us we can all move down to the lower bowl. There's plenty of room...— Jason Woodmansee (@jasonwoodmansee) July 7, 2017
Fans with tickets to tonight's game are welcome to re-enter the ballpark and watch the game.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 7, 2017
Of course, the Metro played a factor:
This message flashed across the #Nats Park scoreboard at the start of the 3rd inning. pic.twitter.com/bZAOnIgIOD— Aaron Oster (@TheAOster) July 7, 2017
But the Nats had freebies for those who stayed:
Nationals announce they'll give free soda, water and ice cream to everyone who stayed. There you go.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 7, 2017
Well that's nice pic.twitter.com/i0Q303xbhW— Yo (@NLBeastNats) July 7, 2017
And those who stayed mainly enjoyed the game. And the Spongebob ice cream. Which got MLB Insider Dinger on the side of the Nats, so maybe we should try this more?
dude still chilling at upper level paying more attention to his phone is living his best life pic.twitter.com/y82xTaTDyk— sonny webinars (@stuker) July 7, 2017
My dude pic.twitter.com/yns6SgqpYT— Yo (@NLBeastNats) July 7, 2017
"I'm just going around and around" says the 12-year old boy who has already gotten two free ice creams and is in line again— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 7, 2017
Hey it was free pic.twitter.com/n5ndstCwXf— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 7, 2017
I retract all bad things I've said about the Nationals because they have these at the ballpark https://t.co/9ogDveDBqj— MLB Insider Dinger (@atf13atf) July 7, 2017
So, that’s about where we’re at right now. More updates as they come, I guess? It’s pretty late. Go to sleep...