Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Chiefs Preparing for Opening Day
The Syracuse Chiefs are scheduled to open their season tomorrow against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs at two o'clock. With Opening Day so close, members of the Chiefs organization are busy preparing. The grounds crew was out today getting the field into good playing condition. The grass field, which replaced the turf field three years ago, was being mowed, raked and watered today. Park Superintendent, Brian Elwell, said the crew is happy with the quality of the field.
"We're mowing the infield, we're raking the dirt areas," said Elwell. "We feel that it's in as good a shape as it's ever been, so for Opening Day, we were able to accomplish just about everything we wanted."
For Opening Day tomorrow, the weather forecast is saying that thunderstorms are a possibility at the time the game is taking place. If this happens, the game will likely be delayed or postponed. However, even with the rain, Elwell is hopeful the game will be played in its entirety.
"This field drains water as good as any field in any league that I've found," said Elwell. "We've got a great drainage system."
The grounds crew will have to do their best to keep the rain from ruining the field. If there are thunderstorms during the game, Chiefs' Groundskeeper, John Stewart says the crew will bring out the tarp and do what they can do keep the field playable.
"The crew is not real excited about the tarp. The tarp gets old quick," said Stewart. "We're not even into the season and we're already sick of the tarp."
With tomorrow's game being the season opener, Stewart said that he and the rest of the grounds crew face extra pressure to make sure the game does get played, regardless of the rain.
"You have your public officials in, you'll have one of the biggest crowds of the season, and we want the field looking good," said Stewart. "We want the best reflection of our crew out there on the field."