KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A steady rain has fallen at Kauffman Stadium all day, and temperatures have fallen into the low 40s. While it's practically tropical compared to the snowstorm bearing down on the Twin Cities, it's not exactly baseball weather here.
Yet the word in the press box is that the Royals intend to get the game in tonight if at all possible (it's up to the home team to decide whether to play), and earlier forecasts predicted that the rain might let up by 6 p.m. or so. (Others say the skies won't clear up until shortly before 9 p.m., so there obviously no guarantees.)
Why play tonight, in front of what figures to be a crowd in the dozens? Because the most likely makeup date is tomorrow -- both teams are off -- and the weather is still expected to be wet and cold. (I'm told the Royals aren't crazy about playing tomorrow, either, since the world premeire of "42" is being held here, and many players are committed to a function at the Negro League Museum.)
The Twins return to Kansas City for two more series this season, but rescheduling the game around the trip in early June would violate the rule that prevents teams from playing more than 20 consecutive days. The Twins have an off day after the trip in early August, but the Royals don't. And Kansas City, like most major league franchises, is reluctant to schedule a doubleheader, if it can be avoided.
None of this matters, of course, if the clouds break within the next few hours. So check back for updates from Kauffman Stadium, including lineups within the next half-hour or so. Liam Hendriks is scheduled to pitch for the Twins, who will face Wade Davis of the first-place Royals. And yes, the Kansas City Star made a point today of calling them that -- it's been awhile, after all.
UPDATE: The rain let up momentarily, and players began playing catch on the field, until the precipitation returned. Now the grounds crew has begun pulling the tarp, and the Royals have opened their gates -- I count a half-dozen fans visible under umbrellas -- so the game may start on time.