Cold Weather Gets a Chilly Response
Over the past several days, major league games in Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland have been postponed because of snow or extreme cold. But late yesterday afternoon, players huddled in the home clubhouse at RFK Stadium, pulling on stocking caps and long underwear.
“We didn’t consider not playing,” Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten said. “I don’t think there’s a real long history of calling games because of cold.”
Game-time temperature for the 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was 41 degrees, and Kasten said it was “too complicated” to move the game to the afternoon. General Manager Jim Bowden would not comment on whether he felt it was too cold for baseball.
“It’s ridiculous,” second baseman Ronnie Belliard said. “Anybody can get hurt. Your hands are freezing, your feet are freezing. You can break anything out there. Definitely, we should not play.”
The one National who might feel differently: right-hander Shawn Hill, who will start the series finale this afternoon. Hill grew up in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ontario. “This is nothing,” he said.
Austin Kearns accounted for the Nationals’ run last night with his first homer, but it almost didn’t count. Arizona Manager Bob Melvin argued that the ball — which third base umpire Jerry Meals ruled hit the foul pole in left — actually hit left of the pole. Replays appeared to show that Melvin was right, but after a huddle, the initial call stood.
“I had faith he made the right call,” Kearns said. . . .
Official scorer David Vincent made a scoring change in Tuesday’s 9-3 loss to Florida, charging shortstop Josh Wilson with an error on a ball hit by Dan Uggla in the first inning. The change means Hill was charged with one earned run in the inning instead of three — cutting his ERA from 7.20 to 3.60.
The change was made Wednesday, but club officials didn’t alert the media until yesterday. . . . Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell threw out the first pitch.