Rain, snow, cold cause major issues for Wis. minor league teams

CREATED Apr 23, 2013

  • Print
  • Archive photo by Tom Lynn/TLYNN@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM Image by Tom Lynn

APPLETON and BELOIT, Wis. - Our cold, snowy, rainy April is raining havoc on minor league baseball teams in Wisconsin who have had to postpone and cancel a bunch of games. 

Rob Zerjav runs the Milwaukee Brewers' class A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Appleton. 

He told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jay Sorgi that bad weather has brought on the cancellation of five of his team's first nine home games.

"If it's not cold, it's snowing, or it's raining, or it's sleeting," explained Zerjav.

He said they can't make up those games.

"It's quite a bit of havoc," said Matt Bosen, the GM of the Beloit Snappers.

His team has had the same issue.

"We've had seven home dates.  We've only played on four of them," Bosen told Jay.

"We put out our rain gauge, and  in about a week's span, we took in about 15 or 16 inches or rain."

Zerjav says he's had people joke about building a Miller Park-type roof at the home of the Timber Rattlers.

"If I had a dollar...it's been a lot," said Zerjav.

"We had someone seriously come in and talk to us about putting up a seasonal bubble dome over the stadium.  The problem is that it would be too low of a ceiling, and it would be easy to hit."

Could these teams play on rainy gamedays at Miller Park?

"It's an option to reach out and ask.  What's hard is that ion such short notice, to play a game like that, it's difficult from a staffing standpoint," explained Zerjav.

The weather cancellations are affecting both team's bottom lines.

"It's been six or seven months and we haven't had a lot of revenue streams coming through the park," aid Bosen.

It's also affected the team's lineups on days where they play doubleheaders to make up the missed dates.

"It affects the pitching.  It will be tough for those guys to make sure they get enough bodies (to pitch)," said Bosen.

But, he adds, "It's never good for us to have crummy weather here, and small crowds, but if there was a time that I'd pick in the entire season to have crummy weather, it's the very beginning, in April."

Both say there's plenty of good weather dates left for fans to come out for baseball this year.