A’s manager Bob Melvin said this afternoon that forecasts called for a break in the rain between 5 and 9 p.m. Lo and behold, right around 5:30 p.m., the sun broke through and we’re currently looking at blue skies (with some clouds) over O.co Coliseum, where the grounds crew just pulled the tarp off the infield.
Whether the game starts on time is a matter of two things -- the rain continuing to hold off and the conditions of the field. Some areas of the outfield just at the edge of the tarp are looking pretty wet, but they’re trying to work that water into foul ground. At about 4 p.m., Melvin said the field conditions were not as bad as they were Saturday, when the field was "literally unplayable." So there’s that.
Regardless of when this game does get going, Melvin said he doesn’t intend to try to outwit nature by having a reliever ready to start, thereby saving Sonny Gray from an outing that could potentially be delayed or shortened by rain. Gray will start the game. No announcements have been made about a delay, so we’re still looking at 7:05 p.m.
The A’s want to get this game in. For one thing, it’s a sellout. For another, they haven’t played since Friday after the last game of the Bay Bridge series was rained out. Melvin pointed out he doesn’t want his players having too many days between games, and the forecast for tomorrow is -- again -- wet.
As for whether rain tonight could dampen the festive Opening Day atmosphere, Melvin said that depends. "If the introductions and so forth were wiped out, maybe it takes away a little bit of the excitement. But my guess is it’s still going to be a pretty full house."
Some fans have already filed in, many wearing ponchos and looking bundled up pretty tightly. Pre-game stuff is supposed to get underway at 6:38 p.m., with introductions of the Cleveland Indians, so we’ll have a better idea then whether things are on time.
For now, here are the starting lineups, first for the A’s behind Gray:
And for the Indians, who start right-hander Justin Masterson on the mound:
"I didn’t hear the results, but I heard he felt good," Melvin said of Cook, who is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Saturday.