It’s Going to be Rainin’ Outdoors
You better come on in my kitchen
It’s going to be rainin’ outdoors.
- Robert Johnson
from Come On In My Kitchen
Tomorrow is opening day for major league baseball and fans are looking forward to the start of the season. I know, I know. There was a game half-way across the world last weekend and then another game scheduled for tonight. But those seem mostly ceremonial. Certainly commercial in a more overt manner than usual. As far as I’m concerned these are just “soft launches,” using the business and marketing speak of the day. The Australian extravaganza was essentially an expensive extension of spring training that the big boys believe will ultimately help line their pocketbooks – a traveling circus of sorts. The season for most of us starts tomorrow and Tuesday. That is, if the weather cooperates.
The long, cold and wet winter continues in most of the country. Rain is in the forecast for Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, Chicago and Cincinnati. It’s supposed to snow in Denver, where accumulation was far below normal this past winter and in Milwaukee, where it’s been very snowy and cold since November. Games scheduled in these towns, other than Milwaukee, where there is a retractable roof available, will be at risk of cancellation due to the weather And oddly enough, we’re even expecting rain in the San Francisco Bay Area.
California is going through its worst drought in the record books. It’s been grim out here. Precipitation of all sorts – snow, rain, sleet – throughout the state has been dangerously low. The snow pack is 24% of the normal level. Some municipalities and water districts are hanging on with less than four months of supply. They are scrambling and looking for miracles that aren’t in the works.
“As our state’s rainy season nears its end, much of California has received only about 50% of normal precipitation for this rainy season. Heavy rain and snow would have to fall throughout California most days in April to reach average annual rain and snowfall levels, which is highly unlikely. Even with such precipitation, California would remain in drought conditions, due to low water supplies in reservoirs from the two previous dry years.”
– State of California Weekly Drought Brief, March 24
This drought has been strengthened by atmospheric high pressure that has been sitting over a large section off the coast of western Canada since January 2013. This abnormality blocks the storms from reaching California and pushes them north. As a result, our winter was warm and sunny – one day after the other. We welcomed and enjoyed any bit of rain that came our way. Given the continuous stretch of dry weather, nobody was imagining that the A’s home opener would be at risk of a rain out. But indeed, that may very well be the case. We shall see soon.
Lots of light steady rain would do us a lot of good. Too much too fast could cause trouble with landslides and flooding. All things considered, I think even the biggest of baseball fans in California will prefer the rain; the games can wait. It’s a long season and there will be plenty of time later to fit them in. The potential for a cancellation might make the teams’ owners squirm and pace however, since every one of these games mean big bucks. Doubleheaders are messy and not as profitable for the owners, so the MLB avoids them when possible. Heaven forbid that the fans watch two games for the price of one. Hold on to your nation sack when you start laying your money down for this sport.
The Giants will be in Phoenix to play the Diamondbacks tomorrow, so weather won’t be a factor for them. My evening commute is shaping up already. It always does when the summer soundtrack of Bay Area baseball plays on my car radio.
Here’s a good quality tape of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr playing Come On In My Kitchen in 1971.