So Rich and I decided to take in another Bisons game, just because it seemed like a good idea. We meet at rookie camp to watch Luke Adam impress once again, and after that it kind of turned into, “Hey, let’s go to Buffalo.” So, uh, we did.
It all seemed nice and orderly, with a little bit of fog rolling into the city just as the first pitch was tossed. There was a big crowd on hand to watch future superstar Shelly Duncan grin and weakly ground out to third for the Yankees; which is something he seems fond of doing at the major league level as well.
It started like this. Nothing awful, but very… creepy with respect to atmosphere. (I’ll be holding off on the “eerie/Erie” jokes tonight) It certainly wasn’t your prototypical “baseball weather”, even in a town that gets games snowed out early in the season. Still, it wasn’t anything catastrophic, and you could, well, see at the time.
Then this happened:
I’ll be honest, it was worse than this. The camera on my phone makes everything seem further away than it really is, including the Silent Hill fog rolling into the city. I half expected Jeff Karstens to morph into a zombie and start feasting on Morgan Ensberg’s flesh. No, really, he’s on the Bisons. (I know, right?)
The fog was a minor distraction to say the least, and things got dicey when they announced the fireworks display was canceled. (Note to self: don’t ever tell a group of people they can’t blow s$%t up, it never ends well.) The announcer, who must have been sweating bullets at this point, promised two makeup fireworks shows, and a free ticket to either of those games. I forget the two dates, I was too busy loading my shotgun and helping Rich find a shovel to beat back the undead with.
Meanwhile, the Bisons clung to a one run lead they manufactured with a Duncan-aided triple and a sac fly, all produced well before Dunn Tire Park resembled a Civil War battlefield. Conditions continued to get worse, but no one on seemed to be concerned with the visibility issues.
Suddenly it was the 8th inning and the outfielders were giving the universal “iunno” signal with every fly ball. USRT has a much better summary of what happens next (complete with press passes!), but let me conclude by showing you this:
This is what it looked like behind the plate, just seconds before the game was called.
Yes, in hindsight it probably should have been called. However, it certainly wasn’t handled properly by the umpires, who should have pulled the teams off in the 8th when things got really bad. If they were hinging on the Bisons closer finishing the job (to be fair, he was one strike away), well, they shouldn’t have the entire game resting on the hope that he keeps the ball on the infield.
Just a crazy way to end a crazy night in Buffalo. Hey, that’s what happens when you build a ballpark on the ocean.