The Miami Marlins have achieved the unachievable. The team canceled batting practice before Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals due to rain. This is notable because the team of course plays in an indoor stadium now.
The Marlins Park roof was open when a downpour doused the stadium about four hours before the first pitch. It rained heavily for nearly 15 minutes before the roof began to close.
The grounds crew had to use the tarp to cover the infield. A number of players emerged from the clubhouse to watch the tarp being unfurled. In case you were wondering if the team kept the tarp when they moved into the new stadium, now you know.
Puddles quickly accumulated on the warning track, and thanks to a spillover from the field, muddy water soon stood eight inches deep in a photo bay near the Marlins' dugout.
It took 15 minutes to start closing the roof due to safety issues, according to Marlins vice president Claude Delomme. "We have to make sure everything has been clear," he said. "But as soon as we saw there was a cell right above us, we covered the infield. As long as we do that, that's all I care about."
The Marlins ended up with something that was not uncommon at Sun Life Stadium: some extra free time due to rained out batting practice.
Though the roof is usually closed during games, the team keeps it open during the day so the natural turf can get sunlight. Delomme said the field drains quickly after showers.
"We designed it as an open facility, because 97 percent of the time it's open," he said. "For us to get rain actually is a good thing. It's going to happen a few times a year that we're going to get surprise cells."
Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post shot video of the storm on his smartphone (below).