Thursday night’s game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg went into a delay due to a power outage.
The game was in the bottom of the fourth inning and Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was facing Travis d’Arnaud with one out, nobody on, and an 0-2 count. The TV feed on Fox Sports West abruptly cut off as the game went into a delay. Here’s what it looked like in the stadium as cell phones lit up the Trop:
Lights turned on in the stadium about 20-30 minutes later and the managers met to discuss how things would proceed. The game picked back up about 30-35 minutes after the delay, right where it left off. Skaggs returned to pitch for the Angels despite the delay and retired d’Arnaud and Willy Adames to end the inning.
The outage was due to a storm in the area, and power was affected throughout the St. Petersburg area. This is not unusual as even the national championship game in college basketball this year was affected by an outage.
Tropicana Field struck again during Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
With the Yankees leading 3-1 in the top of the ninth, the stadium lights suddenly went dark, and only emergency power kept the building from being plunged into complete darkness.
Fans used cell phones to try to light up the stadium to no avail.
To make matters worse, minutes after the lights went out, the sound system followed, leading to the Rays’ departure from the field as the game was forced into a delay.
The Rays’ home stadium has often been criticized for its strange ground rules and configuration. Not being able to keep the lights on isn’t exactly helpful, either.
Miguel Cabrera on Sunday became just the second player to hit a home run into the Rays Touch Tank at Tropicana Field.
The Detroit Tigers slugger took a breaking ball from Tampa Bay starter Jeremy Hellickson to deep right-center field in the fourth inning Sunday, and the ball made a splash landing in the middle of the 10,000-gallon tank. The only other player to make a splash hit into the rays tank was Luis Gonzalez in 2007.
The home run by Cabrera — his 25th of the season — accounted for the only Tigers run in a 3-1 loss. Cabrera continues to lead the AL in two of the three triple crown categories, and remains six home runs behind Chris Davis, who also homered on Sunday.
The Tigers also settled a score with the Rays by hitting Ben Zobrist in the first inning. They felt that was payback for Rays reliever Fernando Rodney throwing at Cabrera’s head the previous night. The Rays did not retaliate.
As we voiced earlier in the week, nobody seems to like Tropicana Field. When you have a professional baseball stadium that allows things like this to happen, how can you appreciate it? There is no reason a ballpark should affect games the way The Trop does, and no one knows more about that than Joe Maddon.
“(John Kruk) is right,” Maddon told the St. Petersburg Times before Tuesday’s game when asked about comments Kruk made made bashing the Rays’ venue. “We do need a new ballpark. He’s absolutely right. And he’s right, this ballpark is improper for Major League Baseball. He’s right. I can’t deny that.
“You shouldn’t play with all these obstructions, and all these caveats. Of course not. It’s run it’s course. It was here for a moment. It served it’s purpose. And now it’s time to move on. Absolutely it is. And to deny that, everybody has just got their head in the sand, period.”
His opinion changed in a hurry. With the Rays behind the Yankees, 2-1, in the seventh and runners on first and second, Justin Ruggiano hit a fly ball to center field. Curtis Granderson camped under it and then threw his hands up in the air as he had lost it against the white background that is The Trop’s crummy roof. The ball fell in front of him for a single to load the bases. An error on the following play allowed the Rays to tie the game and they went on to win.
“I’ve made good with The Trop — I did last year, and we’re buddies again,” Maddon joked after the game. “It worked in our favor tonight.”
Yes, the park still needs to go.