KC skies expected to be clear for Game 1
Rain comes this afternoon, but MLB hopeful World Series begins on time
KANSAS CITY -- Wet weather forced batting practice off the diamond this afternoon, but those gray skies are expected to clear over Kauffman Stadium, permitting Game 1 of the World Series to be played this evening at its scheduled 8 p.m. ET game time (7:30 p.m. air time on FOX).
MLB held meetings this morning in Kansas City concerning the conditions, which are expected to clear after 4 p.m. CT. The league's Baseball Operations Department is continuing to monitor the situation while receiving input from a weather service.
"Looks like there will be rain early," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I talked to MLB and they pretty much asked, 'Is it a big factor if we start in a slight drizzle?' And I said no.
"This ground crew here does a tremendous job. This field handles the rain very, very well. Obviously the thing we can't have is some big front moving in where we stop this thing in the middle of the game. That's the issue it comes to."
Mike July, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Pleasant Hill, Mo., said that the precipitation should taper off in time for the Mets and Royals to take the field as scheduled. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s at first pitch.
"Around 7 o'clock, we'll probably be near the back edge of the rain," July said. "Right now, we're seeing about a 40 percent chance of rain. It'll be very light and it's going to be moving out of the area. There may be a sprinkle or two, but for the most part, it's going to be a fairly dry game."
The Mets and Royals were instructed to hit indoors this afternoon, with the tarpaulin remaining on the field. Once the game begins, July said that it should be completed without interruption.
"Any sprinkle or light rain is not going to interrupt the game at all," July said. "It would be so light that they'll just play through it."
Contingency plans have been discussed in the event the game cannot be played. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Monday that he would be reluctant to begin a game or the warmup process if the league did not believe that a significant portion of the game could be completed.
"I think you saw it with the forecast in Chicago and the game we played here on Friday night; if you get to [game time] and it's time for everybody to get ready to go at 8 and you don't have rain, I think you have to play," Manfred said. "I am a believer in that.
"By the same token, I think we know enough about the forecast that we're not going to get in a situation that we start at 8:07 and get rained out at 8:12, and burn two starting pitchers."
In 2009, MLB enacted a rule stating that no postseason game would be shortened by inclement weather. Postseason games instead become suspended if they are halted due to weather, regardless of how many innings have been played or the score at the time play is stopped. A suspended game is resumed and played to completion at the same site.