April is starting out in the weirdest way possible.
The city of Boston had a tame and mild winter, devoid of the snow pounding it became accustomed to in the beginning months of 2015. The first days of spring came and went with the occasional 50 or 60 degree day, and thanks to our old pal El Niño, many of us probably had tee times in preparation of getting our minds right for The Masters this weekend.
Then came Mother Nature.
The first weekend of April brought snow across the region, including an inch or two on Sunday morning and another couple of inches on Monday (from morning until night). Thanks to its late arrival, roads became treacherous, driving became bumper cars or a demolition derby, and a city which didn't really have tons of snow in its winter became a shaken globe of falling white fluffy stuff.
For Boston College baseball, it's the perfect time to throw in a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This weekend's snow turned out to be a lot more than expected, resulting in the cancellation of the final game of the Florida State series.
That home game against Holy Cross on Tuesday? Remember when the freak rain day in between a bunch of sunny days forced its move? Yeah that's moved too.
Critics look at the northern schools and immediately wonder why the scheduling gods put southern teams on the road at northern schools. FSU fans and players tweeted about the snow when they woke up on Sunday, and social media lit up with comments about why the ACC would send its "centerpiece program" on the road to northern schools when weather could still be this bad.
First of all, the weather isn't normally like this. Last year's winter brought over five feet of snow in a month with cumulative season totals of record amounts, and the last slushy snow pile didn't fully melt until July. Besides a freak blizzard in 1997 that brought over two feet on April Fool's Day, that's the last time I think I can remember a decent snow amount lasting into the first full spring month. Also, for what it's worth, we've had only 36 inches of snow this season if you include yesterday's six inches (which was a record for April 4). Last year, we had 36 inches for one storm, then got three more just like it Both extremes are pretty rare.
Second of all, blaming the ACC for scheduling games in New England in April because of the chance of snow is a lot like blaming the car dealer because a guy backed his truck into your family sedan at the nearest Publix. April starts the second half of the season, and there's absolutely nothing a team can do to control the weather. The fact that snow is falling on April 4th highlights the fact that Mother Nature starting nipping at the wrong hooch again.
The fact remains that the game being cancelled could've been potentially prevented - by an artificial turf field. I know that this is something I've beaten home nearly several times, but the snow isn't a factor if the field isn't natural grass. Saturday's game was always going to be a washout because of the deluge of rain, but as soon as the snow stopped, any precipitation on an artificial surface would've either melted/dried or been easily swept away by blowers and plows/throwers.
I feel like a broken record, but all this weekend did was highlight the need for that artificial turf baseball stadium I've highlighted several times. At least one of the FSU games would've been played, and the Holy Cross game could've been saved because the snow stopped by 8 PM on Monday, giving BC approximately 17 hours to plow the field. If the Eagles had artificial turf and lights (a reasonable expectation for virtually every field in the ACC), they probably could've played everything.
Then there's the other ramification. Even though the Eagles play against UMass on the road tomorrow in the Beanpot, they've lost at least two or three days this week where they can take live batting practice, shag fly balls, and work on fundamentals. That's happened as the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers stand on the horizon, due to arrive this weekend for a three-game series at the Birdcage.
Taking batting practice outside in bad weather is insane. Swinging an aluminum bat in the snow in an outdoor batting cage is also the only option with the loss of Tuesday's game. If baseball is about muscle memory and about getting the body in sync with reflexes at the plate or in the field, then BC is losing time and ability to get ready for a high-profile opponent - one that's also entering this weekend at a very beatable 6-6 in the ACC.
There still have been no announced design plans for the upcoming new baseball stadium, but the fact remains that if Boston College administration doesn't give the baseball team (or anyone else for that matter) competitive resources, they're going to hamstring the teams for years to come. They have to do this right, and that means an indoor batting cage facility attached to a baseball stadium. They need to give this team the ability to compete, a need that's highlighted with each postponement whenever Mother Nature wants to get crazy.