Water park: Mini-flood at Camden Yards
Deluge in both dugouts delays Tribe-O's game even further
BALTIMORE -- First came the rains, initially harmless showers that turned into an unplayable cloudburst. Then came the floods, the result of cascading water in both Camden Yards dugouts combined with drainage problems that left the precipitation nowhere to go.
Never, said umpiring crew chief Tim Tschida, was there any consideration given to suspending Saturday night's game between the Orioles and Indians, a soggy 5-3 victory for Cleveland that left both teams surprised at the turn of events.
"We were confident the drains were going to kick in," Tschida told a pool reporter following the game. "That was an inch of rain in a quarter of an hour, [and] that's a lot of water. It did exactly what the radar said it was going to do -- that it was going to be light, and we were right on the edge of it. If it hit us, it was going to hit hard for about 15 minutes."
Water in both dugouts was at least a foot deep, and television replays of attempts by the grounds crew and stadium operations personnel to assuage the flooding showed water at least a foot deep, creeping toward the knees of harried workers.
Apparently, the drains in the underground tunnels leading to both dugouts -- as well as the ramp leading from the field behind home plate to the umpires' dressing room -- became clogged and water backed up in all three exits from the field.
The rain portion of the 97-minute delay with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning took barely an hour. The rest of the time was spent trying to figure out a way to get the water levels down.
"That's a first," said Indians manager Eric Wedge. "They always say in this game, you're going to see something new, if not every day, every other day. This is a ... first for a lot of us. It's hard to play if you can't get to the field."
It's not the first time Oriole Park's dugouts have become concrete pools. But the water usually subsides quickly because of the superior drainage system installed at Camden Yards. This time, something plugged up the works.
Orioles manager Dave Trembley said the watery problems didn't have an adverse effect on his club.
"I think everybody did the very best they could to alleviate that problem. But that has nothing to do with me managing the game or us playing the game," said Trembley.
The only accommodation the umpires decided to make was an access plan for the Indians, who couldn't reach the dugout from their clubhouse because of the flooding.
"For a while [both dugout tunnels] were equally bad, they were both full where neither team could get to the dugout. Eventually when we resumed play, the Orioles did have access to their clubhouse through their dugout, and the Indians were using our runway with the stipulation that they could stop [the game] anytime," Tschida explained. "Anything they needed, they could go up there and they would have access. If it was between pitches or anything, I told them, 'You're not going to have to wait.'
"Our goal was that we would make sure there was no advantage, one over the other."
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.