We are all familiar with the large tarps that major league baseball teams use to keep the infield dry. They also use a drying compound when a particular area gets damp. But what about those diamonds that can’t afford these large tarps and expensive drying compounds?When I took the American Legion Baseball Team to Madison one year for a double header, we found the infield very wet. Since we had already driven to Madison, the team there said “we will find a way to get this diamond dry”. Since we were at the city park, they decided to borrow a barrel of racing fuel stored in a shed by the diamond. This fuel belonged to the Miss Madison racing boat. They poured the fuel on the dirt part of the infield and lit a match to it. Fifteen minutes later the infield was bone dry and ready for play. I don’t know who footed the bill for this barrel of very expensive racing fuel.Recently at a college World Series game the grounds keepers used tennis squeegees to roll the water off the outfield. As the water was pushed passed the foul lines, it was scooped up and thrown on the warning track. Fortunately, they found a lot of squeegees and many willing hands to push them because the outfield looked like a lake before they started. It is amazing what inquiring minds can come up with if you want to play a game bad enough.
A DAY of exciting doubles culminated last evening with the Guyanese pair of Jody-Ann Blake and Trenace Lowe battling to a second-place finish in the final of the Women’s doubles, a part of the 61st Senior Caribbean Table Tennis Championships, which is currently being played at Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.Along with silver from Lowe and Blake, the host nation recorded two more medals yesterday. Lowe and Christopher Franklin finished with a Mixed doubles bronze after making it to the semi-final of that competition. Joel Alleyne and Nigel Bryan finished with a bronze in the Men’s doubles.Both bronze medal games were close battles. The two Guyanese captains, Lowe and Franklin, had the best chance of advancing to another final.The pair were actually ahead at 10-8 in the fifth set, but the Dominicans, Esmerlyn Castro and Isaac Vila, rallied back to close the game at 12-10. Incidentally, the same pair won the finals of the competition later in the night against Cubans Livan Martinez and Carrazana Fonseca.Jody-Ann Blake (right) goes for the kill during the women’s final last night.In the quarter-final, Franklin and Lowe had defeated the Barbados pair of Mark Dowell and Anthonette Riley (11-5, 11-6, 11-6).Guyana’s other strong teams in the competition were knocked out in the quarterfinals. Dominicans Santos Emil and Eva Brito defeated Bryan and Blake 3-1, while Joel Alleyne and Nathalie Cummings lost to Martinez and Fonseca by a similar margin.Meanwhile the pair of Bryan and Alleyne lost to Emil Santos and Samuel Galvez 3-1 in the Men’s semi-finals last night.The visitors stormed to an 11-6 win in the opener, but then the Guyanese pair, led by a pumped-up Alleyne rallied back to score six unanswered points.They closed that game at 11-6 after leading 9-3. In the third game, the home team led briefly before the Dominicans stormed back to an 11-7 win. The visitors looked set to finish the match with the score at 10-6 in the fourth game, but the local pair rallied back and scored three unanswered points before an unforced serving error by Bryan ended the battle.In the final, Dominicans Brito and Castro (who had just finished the Mixed doubles final) were able to muscle past Lowe and Blake 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-8).Today the competition continues with the U-21 and Masters competitions.