Rain in forecast for tonight in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals expect an electric atmosphere to greet them as they return home to Kauffman Stadium for the franchise's first American League Championship Series game since 1985, as long as the weather does not put a damper on the festivities.
Heavy precipitation is being forecast for the scheduled 8:07 p.m. ET first pitch of Monday's ALCS Game 3 on TBS, with the Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen and the Royals' Jeremy Guthrie scheduled to square off in the contest. Kansas City holds a 2-0 series advantage.
"It doesn't look good, they say," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You can't see it yet on the radar, but it's supposed to come over the Rockies and blow up. We might have two or three inches [of rain], but it's supposed to be good for Tuesday."
Precipitation is expected to arrive in the Kansas City area overnight on Monday, creating the possibility of a delayed start or a postponement.
"It would probably be a wet game, with thunderstorms and some heavy rainfall throughout the game period," said Pam Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Kansas City/Pleasant Hill, Mo., office. "It's going to be a pretty wet couple of days. That could put a damper on the game beginning. If it's just rainfall, they might be able to play through it."
Both clubs had a workout on Sunday in Kansas City and are proceeding as though the game will be played as scheduled. Any decisions regarding the game are in the hands of Major League Baseball, which will be in contact with the Royals, Orioles, the umpiring crew and several weather services.
"We're tracking it closely," said Michael Teevan, a spokesperson for Major League Baseball. "These things can be fluid, so we're just hoping it improves. We're going to make every effort to play. Fan safety, fan comfort and player safety are always top priorities. If it continues to be bad, we'll have to look at our options. But at the moment, we're all systems go to try to play."
Ultimately, a decision on whether to play will be in the domain of Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations. Peter Woodfork, MLB's senior vice president of baseball operations, is on the ground in Kansas City and will keep Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred informed.
"When they tell us to play, we'll play," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That's what we do."
Showalter said that he hoped the forecast would not keep both teams waiting late into the night for what he called "an 11 o'clock special."
"If the clubs are on the same page in terms of wishes, then that's certainly something that we weigh very heavily," Teevan said. "That helps us, if they're saying the same thing and have the same concerns."
In the event of a postponement, Major League Baseball could push the ALCS back by one day. Game 4 is scheduled to be played on Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET, with Game 5 (if necessary) scheduled for 4:07 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Thursday is a scheduled off-day.
If Game 3 begins but is halted, it would be deemed a suspended game and completed when possible. MLB prefers to avoid such situations, as starting a game and then stopping it is undesirable to both teams.
In 2009, MLB enacted a rule stating that no postseason game will be shortened by inclement weather. Those games instead become suspended, 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.
Murray said that drier conditions are in the forecast for Tuesday, with morning showers expected to give way to better conditions through the rest of the week.