Living in Southern California, baseball players never really ever get used to rain or playing inclement weather.
Things have changed.
Throughout the month of February and into the beginning of March, the weather in the Santa Clarita Valley has been uncooperative, to say the least, causing headaches for baseball players and coaches alike.
“Since I’ve been playing and coaching since the 90s,” said Golden Valley head coach Matt Sorensen. “I can only remember three seasons like this. Ever since I can remember March 1st is always when we get going, so you have most of January and all of February to get your teams ready coming out of the winter break.”
Some coaches speculate that moving the season’s start date up two weeks has a lot to do with it.
“Well it’s been, no pun intended, a perfect storm,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “We have had the season moved up two weeks this year for the first time, so we have started our spring season earlier than ever. We have happened to run into some of the wettest weather we have had in a long time and between the two of them it has wreaked havoc with anyone who is trying to do anything outside.”
“Not too happy about it,” said Saugus head coach Carl Grissom. “It pushes everything, especially because February is usually our wettest month and especially this year it’s been crazy and it just seems that it’s too early to get it really going, but I don’t make those rules. I’ve been accustomed to baseball season being warm. To me, this is still like football season.”
Due to Friday’s sudden rainstorm, all three Foothill League baseball games — Hart vs. Golden Valley, Valencia vs. Canyon and Saugus vs. West Ranch — were all postponed and rescheduled for a later date.
Saugus and West Ranch will play tomorrow at Saugus at 2 p.m. while Hart and Golden Valley will play at Golden Valley on Monday and Valencia and Canyon will play at Canyon on Monday. Both games are scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Since the beginning of the season on Feb. 9, Golden Valley has had two reschedule games: its opener against Palm Springs and Friday’s game against Hart, West Ranch four games and Hart has been the lucky winner so far postponing just today’s game.
As far as practices go, Foothill League teams are all in the same boat, having to spend the majority of their practices hitting in the cages, working on blacktop and in the gym. Grissom said he sends his team to the weight room or the track.
Hart head coach Jim Ozella said the lack of consistency in practices affects player development.
“It seems that we are constantly juggling whether we are on the field or not on the field, hitting in the gym again and just as I said, there’s no routine so it doesn’t assist us in developing guys’ abilities to where we want them to be,”he said.
For the most part, the problem with the fields have been that the amount of water over a small period of time doesn’t allow the field to be drained properly, creating swamp-like conditions in the outfield.
“The way our field is is it’s mainly all the grass areas that are completely saturated for whatever reason,” Sorensen said. “The water just doesn’t drain and that water doesn’t percolate down. Very swampy is how I would describe it.”
With rain in the forecast for this weekend (according to AccuWeather.com there is a 53 percent chances that it rains on Monday afternoon), the remaining four Foothill League teams will have to watch the weather report closely to see if they will be able to finally take the field.
“We have been underwater since the season started four separate times, maybe five,” Ozella said. “We take a lot of pride working our field, but it’s just getting old a little bit.”