Mother Nature Strikes Out Caps

April 11, 2003
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COMSTOCK PARK—Cold temperatures, high winds, freezing rain and snow left the West Michigan Whitecaps with the franchise’s worst opening home stand in its 10-year history last week.

Five straight postponed games, after a chilly season opener, led to revenue losses, an amount the team wouldn’t reveal. But a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders played last Wednesday and Thursday on more seasonal-like evenings helped to salvage some of those lost receipts.

Vice President of Baseball Operations Jim Jarecki told the Business Journal last week that if a string of postponed games had to happen, he would rather have it do so before the walk-up, ticket-sale season gets into full swing – which is usually in late May.

“The saving grace is, if there is one, is I’d rather take these punches to the stomach now rather then in June and July,” said Jarecki of the club’s 70 home dates. “We just need to go 65 for 65 the rest of the way.”

Not only was this latest disruption the biggest ever for the Whitecaps, it also was the biggest one in Jarecki’s career and in the Midwest Baseball League.

“It’s been the biggest I’ve ever experienced and I’ve been in baseball for thirteen years. The people that I’ve talked to in Lansing, Kane County and the team in Wisconsin, have had problems but nobody has ever experienced this before,” he said. “So it was a first for a lot of people.”

The Whitecaps have eight more home dates this month and four more in early May. West Michigan returns to Fifth Third Park on Saturday for a 4o’clock game against Clinton.

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