The Indians-Rays game Friday night didn’t end until 2:53 AM Saturday morning. It had five hours of rain delays in all, causing the cancellation of a fireworks show and dollar dog night at Progressive Field which drew nearly 30,000 fans, which is is pretty darn good for Cleveland.
Yesterday team president Mark Shapiro apologized for the delays:
“We feel terrible about that type of circumstance for our fans,” Shapiro said. “That’s not what we’re looking to do here. We’re looking to provide the best experience possible for our fans. To have them wait around that long with that much uncertainty is something we want to work to make right.”
What “make it right” means is unclear, but the team asked fans to hold on to their ticket stubs to the game.
The reason for trying to get Friday’s game in rather than suspend or cancel it was a crappy weekend forecast in Cleveland overall which threatened both yesterday’s and today’s games too.
Rain happens. It’s good of the Indians, however, to realize that even if it happens that it can really be a pain sometimes.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.