- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Nolan Ryan kept tracking the storm, aware the radar showed green blobs moving closer and closer to Rangers Ballpark.

Explaining the threat of rain, Big Tex sounded totally in his element.

“There’s a disturbance out in West Texas,” the Rangers president pointed out before a recent playoff game. “I’m not a meteorologist, but they’re talking about the south-to-north line.”

“So does it lose some of its energy?” he said. “I think there’s going to be some heat build-up showers, popup showers.”

Playfully, someone asked Ryan whether he could do that well in front of a map. Kind of like a real-live weatherman.

“You know, if this job doesn’t work out,” the CEO, president and part-owner of the Rangers said, “maybe they could use somebody.”

With Texas and St. Louis starting up the World Series this week, Major League Baseball might take the help.

Two hours before Game 1 Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, it was 47 degrees with intermittent drizzle and a brisk wind. The tarp was down during the afternoon and the teams did not take batting practice on the field. It was supposed to get more chilly as the game progressed.

Play or Ppd? Talk about October pressure _ the barometric kind, that is.

After a season that included more than 50 rainouts, MLB’s highest total since 1997, bad weather intruded in the playoffs.

A game at Yankee Stadium was stopped in the second inning and suspended until the following day. A game at Texas was postponed because rain was lingering _ too bad for the teams and fans, those showers never came.

Getting it exactly right isn’t easy, said Paul Gross, a meteorologist with WDIV-TV in Detroit.

“There is a tremendous amount of weather information on the Internet these days. Everyone has access to it, everyone can try to be a weatherman,” said Gross, who has been helping the Tigers with their forecasts since the days when Sparky Anderson was their manager. “But the average person, without any formal training in meteorology, doesn’t understand that things can change very dramatically.”

“We have a joke in this business: ‘Don’t try this at home,’” he said.

No matter, check the stands at any ballpark when the skies turn dark. Fans whip out their cell phones, put the maps in motion and make their own predictions.

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