The emergence of a sinkhole at the ballpark seems like a pretty solid reason to cancel batting practice. When a sinkhole opened up at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, the team decided to do just that.
A broken pipe caused a small sinkhole to appear behind the pitcher’s mound at Rangers Ballpark on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. The Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians both decided to cancel their pre-game batting practice to let the grounds crew to look into the problem.
Rangers Ballpark workers dug more than three feet into the ground to fix the pipe, which is used to water the stadium’s infield, AP reports. At one point, one of the workers could be seen only from the waist up.
Luckily, the sinkhole didn’t last for long. Repairs were complete about an hour before Tuesday’s game, and the infield grass was put back into place. Grounds crew workers even hooked up a hose to the repaired pipe and watered the infield before the game.
For the Indians, stuck in an eight-game losing streak, the Rangers’ ballpark sinkhole might have provided the perfect excuse to skip out on Tuesday’s game. But manager Terry Francona wasn’t willing to take the bait.
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''I didn't do it,'' Francona said, according to AP. ''We're not there yet. We're frustrated, but we're not there.''
Meanwhile, the hometown Rangers took the field about three hours before game-time as part of their usual stretching and batting practice routine. However, after stretching on the outfield, the squad decided to take batting practice in an indoor cage.
In the end, Cleveland the game won 5-2.
Tuesday’s sinkhole incident was the latest example of unplayable field conditions at Rangers Ballpark. Two weeks ago, a game between the Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks was postponed after a severe thunderstorm soaked the stadium.
The grounds crew struggled to get the tarp out onto the field, and officials determined that the ballpark’s dirt basepaths had become too soft for safety. It is unclear if that thunderstorm played a role in the emergence of the sinkhole.