Memo To The A's: You Need To Bend Your Rainout Policy

This is how you put a tarp on an infield. Any questions? - Ezra Shaw

I get it. You have 81 home dates and you can't just throw away gate revenues left and right in the name of good P.R. That's why when games are postponed or canceled, the policies aren't the most fan-friendly: Come back to the make-up game or don't.

Tonight's situation is different from most rainouts and the Oakland A's would be well advised to avoid turning one train wreck into another. This rainout was not an "act of God". From all appearances, it was an unfortunate act of incompetence by a grounds crew that is highly competent and award-winning but had, to put it mildly, a bad day. The game wasn't rained out because it rained too much; it was rained out because the tarp that is supposed to cover the infield was, rather inexplicably, not put on the infield last night.

I'm not sure which is more baffling: Not putting the tarp on the infield based on the advice of a "weather consultant" who apparently cannot see the dark clouds I saw from my Berkeley home, or the grounds crew not frantically texting each other in the middle of the night and coming to put the tarp on 20-30 minutes into the unexpected downpour.

In any event, fans who walked up to buy a ticket for tonight's game had every reason to believe a rainout was not possible. These fans, many of whom work weekdays when the rescheduled game might be played, some of whom may well be from out of town, cannot just come back to some date and time selected by the two teams.

And they shouldn't have to. The A's, having already embarrassed themselves by having to cancel tonight's game in the first place, should do the one thing they can do for the fans who showed up tonight: Honor that ticket for any future home game. Anything less would, in my opinion, constitute incompetence on par with tarping the 3rd deck but not the infield.

I hope someone in the A's P.R./administrative office has the sense to bend the stated policy, a policy that has legal legs but which makes no sense in this particular situation. No one can control the weather, and even highly skilled professionals mess up. What you can control is how you respond to the damage that is done, and some damage control is needed on this one.

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