The Clippers broke a 36-year streak last night on the fifth anniversary of the opening of Huntington Park. This was not a good thing.
A string of thunderstorms that stretched south to the Gulf of Mexico found Columbus in time for Clippers president and general manager Ken Schnacke to postpone the home opener against Indianapolis.
“This is the first opening day that we’ve lost in 37 years,” Schnacke said. “Wednesday, it was 75 degrees, and you’re walking around here in short sleeves, and look what happens (a day) later. A couple people stopped and said, ‘It’s April in Columbus. It’s not a surprise.’ ”
The two teams will try again at 7:15 tonight. Daisuke Matsuzaka, the scheduled pitcher last night, will start the game for the Clippers against Kyle McPherson. Ohio State guard Aaron Craft also will return to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“I told him that I wanted more than a couple of hundred people to honor him,” Schnacke said. “I think he’s a pretty special young man in our community.”
The start of the season has been as fickle as the Ohio weather for the Clippers. Injuries have hit the parent Cleveland Indians hard and forced them to reach down to Columbus for five players.
The call-ups included both Clipper catchers — Yan Gomes and Omir Santos — on Tuesday. Roberto Perez came up to the Clippers from double-A Akron to catch, and infielder/outfielder Adam Abraham is the emergency catcher.
“It’s been crazy,” manager Chris Tremie said. “We’re just seven or eight days of the season to have this many (moves). But it’s part of the deal, though.
“Lucky for us, (Abraham) can do a little bit of everything.”
Schnacke toured the field to examine its condition before announcing the postponement. A few fans booed, but moods brightened as soon as he announced his plan to give fans vouchers to two future games.
Ticket sales, he said, have been brisk.
“They’re every bit as good as last year and maybe just slightly ahead, and that was our second-best season,” Schnacke said. “Had this been Wednesday and a sunny day, I would have expected 8,000 to 10,000 people. Had we played tonight, we would have had 3,000 or 4,000.
“I always ask myself this question, ‘Will I take my family to a game tonight if I don’t have to be there?’ Tonight is a night, if you have kids, you’re probably going to say no because it’s going to rain, and it’s not going to be good baseball experience.”