The Nationals are saying they’re sorry to frustrated fans who sat through or waited out a rain delay—when the rain never came.
“We are extremely sorry for delaying the start of yesterday’s game and the inconvenience this caused our fans,” the statement began. “
A message from the Washington Nationals: pic.twitter.com/xsXOBvTDyJ— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 7, 2017
The game against the Braves was supposed to start at 7:05 p.m. The first pitch didn’t happen until three hours later.
The team pointed to cloudy skies and rain south and west of Nats Park. It wasn’t raining at game time.
So, what happened in those three hours of sitting and waiting?
“A couple sprinkles, light, light shower,” described WUSA9 Chief Meteorologist Topper Shutt. Even he said that didn’t happen until the 9:00 hour. “If they had been playing, they would have never stopped the game.”
Instead, fans inside the stadium were treated to the Phillies-Pirates game on the Jumbotron—which also suffered a delay—but the teams eventually played through the rain one hour late.
The Nats delay—understandably—left fans furious.
so far ive spent $300 and still haven't seen any baseball— John S (@jschillmaier) July 7, 2017
Finally, around 9:30, the team responded to the outcry.
“The weather system that we have been monitoring is beginning to reach the ballpark and should pass through shortly… Thank you for your patience,” the Nats said.
And then at 10:10 p.m.—“Play ball!”
Fans who had left the park were invited to come back. But by then, Nats fans were fuming. Some of them saying they wouldn’t be able to watch all 9 innings and still make it home because Metro shuts down at midnight.
I want my refund. I can't stay for a six hour game! With a train system that stops at 11:30!— 44zeex (@44zeex) July 7, 2017
Are you kidding me @Nationals ??????? If you want a rest day for your starters, then PLAN accordingly. Don't lie about rain.. $$$$— Hills11 (@Hills11DFS) July 6, 2017
And after all of that, the Nats lost 5-2.
Here is the Nats’ full apology to fans:
We are extremely sorry for delaying the start of yesterday’s game and the inconvenience this caused our fans.
We monitor the weather very closely via a weather service, along with Major League Baseball. Our decisions on any weather-related issues are mad in conjunction with Major League Baseball, opposing teams, umpires and the Players Union.
Last night’s decision was obviously very difficult. We could see weather heading our way and wanted to be proactive, but the timing of its arrival kept shifting.
We know you came to see a game, and we hate that we made you wait—understanding some of you had to leave before we even got started.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and support.
Sincerely,The Washington Nationals