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MLB statement regarding rain-shortened game

NEW YORK -- The Rangers' rain-shortened 2-1 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night led to some confusion and disbelief.

Major League Baseball issued a statement Thursday afternoon on why the game was called after nearly a two-hour rain delay where the Yankee Stadium grounds crew had problems getting the tarp onto the field once it started to rain.

MLB Statement:

“Last night’s game was called because of the sudden onset of extreme rain, which affected the ability of the grounds crew to put the tarp in place. Because no ‘malfunction of a mechanical field device,’ as prescribed in Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3), contributed to the unfortunate circumstances, the game did not meet any criteria to be suspended.

“We trust the judgment of last night’s Umpires, who deemed the field unplayable despite the legitimate effort of the sufficiently-staffed grounds crew to cover it. Because of the condition of the field following the heavy storms, we believe the right decision was made from a player safety standpoint.”

The rule, 4.12 (a) (3) on suspended games states: A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons: Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under the control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment.)