Born in Ohio and raised in the South, I'm a diehard Cleveland sports fan. I pass on NASCAR, play any sport but soccer and can't understand why the NFL is so undervalued in the Southeast. My favorite sport is basketball. I was a sports writer at the Columbia County News-Times from 2005 to 2007 before becoming Minor League Sports Writer at the Augusta Chronicle in December 2007.
Posted July 18, 2012 12:20 pm

Minor league baseball tarp crews don't get paid enough

Poor weather caused havoc at Lake Olmstead Stadium last week with multiple rain outs, minor wind damage and plenty of soaking rain. Please.


Check out this video of what YouTube Nation is calling "Tarp-nami." It takes place in Kodak, Tenn. (about 20 miles east of Knoxville) at their Double-A field. Obviously, the Tennessee Smokies were in a rain delay.


"Tarpocalypse" took place earlier this season in Illinois, where wind churned up the tarp so much that the vehicles weighing it down were moved. But this "Tarp-nami" appeared to have a mind of its own. Check out the poor sap running for his life at the 40 second mark.


Typically tarp crews consist of about a dozen people - some paid groundskeepers and team staff and some unpaid interns. I don't know what kind of paychecks the people in this video get, but I can tell you it's not enough to risk physical injury like this. Fans don't realize how much power and force are behind a wind-blown tarp. This storm literally tore the tarp apart.


Augusta has seen its share of baseball-related storm damage. Lake Olmstead Stadium (it's not the quaint little piece of baseball heaven some people around here would have you believe) actually lost its center field wall a year ago when severe storms blew through.


I guess a couple of rain outs last week weren't all that bad after all.