Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Suspense is Killing Me

Last night was the night the Phillies were supposed to end their city's misery. Last night, the unstoppable Cole Hamels took the mound to finish off those upstart Rays and clinch the World Series. But alas, it was not to happen. Mother Nature, father Commissioner and Big Brother network colluded to play in terrible conditions. It was raining when the game started. And as the field turned to swamp and the base paths turned to bog, the game was not called.

The Phils went up 2-0 in the first inning. And it was not until B.J. Upton scored the tying run in the top of the 6th that the game was suspended. This is a game that should not have been started. It should have been delayed. But Commissioner Bud Selig gets different weather reports than everyone else. His reports only called for a little rain. But he was still worried before the game started. He told the managers that this game would not be called because of rain. I think that was the right call after a initially wrong decision.

Even starting the game earlier would have led to playing in terrible conditions. But there was no way that could have happened. Fox was not going to let this game be played in any spot other than prime time. Even if the forecast had been better. Bud Selig wouldn't have had the power to go against the mighty network that already dictates so much of the World Series schedule. Even the game that was supposed to be restarted today was not going to get broadcast until 8 pm. However, Mother Nature is still not cooperating. It is absolutely miserable today. Rain, possibly snow in some places, is pounding the area, and even if it stops the wind is gusting.

MLB has announced that the game will not be resumed tonight but will have to wait to try again tomorrow. This is much to the chagrin of the Rays. They had checked out of their hotel yesterday before the game. And the hotel was booked for tonight by the out of town fans. So they had to scramble to find a new place to stay last night. Let's hope they still have rooms open for tonight.

But back to Selig's decision. No player wants to win or lose the World Series due to a rain out. It seems unfair. And I understand Selig's reluctance to call the game. But there should be some contingency plans for bad weather. Especially as the baseball season gets longer and longer. The game could have been suspended before it was complete, which would have led to it being continued when the weather allowed. Selig waited too long to suspend the game. But suspending it was the right thing to do. Even if he did wait til the game was tied. Hamels had lost the ability to control the ball and couldn't pitch anything but fastballs. But Kazmir and Balfour both had to deal with the same conditions. And the fielding was equally as hard for the Rays as the Phillies. No one should have been playing in those conditions. It took away the pitchers' control, the fielders' grip, and the runners' speed. It was a miracle that B.J. Upton was able to run through the muck and mire to make it home.

But there is one other group that did not want this game postponed. It was the Phillie fans. They wanted to go to the game last night. They wanted to see their team win. They did not want another day off to wait to celebrate. The fans could almost taste the victory. They could sense the agony of 100 years without a championship was about to end. There would have been unhappy people in Philly no matter what Selig decided to do. Philadelphia may be pissed about the way last night was handled, but they would not have been happy regardless. The weather was not cooperative for them.

I'm not that upset. I wasn't really that excited about going and celebrating in the cold rain that came down last night. I'm sure the fires from the riots that I'm sure will ensue if the Phillies win might have helped to keep me warm. But I had my fill of drinking outdoors in the rain at homecoming this weekend. So maybe tomorrow night will be better. And maybe tomorrow night will finally bring the celebration this city is so craving.