News & Politics

Mystery Leak Sends Water Gushing Out of Outfield Fence, Halting Indians-Royals Game

During Friday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals, what may have been a malfunction of the outfield fountain halted play in the 4th inning and sent groundskeepers to the outfield to try and contain a flood, resulting in a 30-minute “fountain delay.”

Shortly after Indians outfielder Yonder Alonso hit a home run that landed in the Royals’ bullpen in the top of the 4th, players and coaches came running out of the pen, waving their hands to stop the game in progress. Water poured out of the bottom of the outfield fence as groundkeepers with brooms and squeegees rushed to remove the water from the field, sweeping it toward a single drain in the bullpen.

Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City features a large fountain behind the outfield bleachers that spans the length of the outfield. It was not clear at the time of publishing whether or not a problem with the fountain was the cause of the problem. The Kansas City Star speculated that a “broken pipe or a ball valve that was stuck in the open position” may have been responsible for the flood.

“They’re trying to cut off that water in that area at this point in time,” Indians announcer Andre Knott said 15 minutes after water began pouring onto the field. “This is UNREAL,” Knott tweeted. He said umpires were unable to make a decision about whether the game should go on as it wasn’t immediately apparent what the source of the problem was.

Fans from both teams weighed in on Twitter:

After the grounds crew dumped dozens of bags of diamond dust onto the field and leveled the track near the outfield fence with a Bobcat, play resumed, exactly 30 minutes after the flood began. At the time of publishing the Royals were winning, 2-3 in the top of the 4th inning.

“You’re going to have to be very careful out there if you’re a right-fielder,” said Indians announcer and former centerfielder Rick Manning, pointing out that the area around the outfield fence was likely to be slippery.

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