Update (1:17 PM): The MotherShip’s Karl Ravech is reporting that the final 3-1/2 Innings of game 5 have been postponed until tomorrow (Wednesday) night. Play will resume at 10:37 PM Mountain time. It is snowing in Philadelphia.
Last night around midnight, Bud Selig looked like someone had just shit in his cereal (even more so than usual). He had just suspended game 5 of the World Series in the bottom of the 6th. Never has there been a World Series game shortened by rain. There was no way that Bud would have let it end without a 9 inning decision, and he said that if there had not been a tie score (it was 2-2 with the Phillies coming up in the 6th, and the Rays had just tied the score in the top of the inning) it would have gone to rain delay. It would have stayed that way for days if necessary. However, the score was tied and the game was suspended for the first time ever. This decision was made based on the fact that the weather had gone from very nice October baseball conditions to a monsoon in the matter of a few innings. They will try to resume the game tonight, but the forecast calls for cold (29 Degree windchill), precipitation (snow?) and generally unfavorable conditions. Should be very interesting.
It should be a different type of atmosphere in the ballpark as they resume the game (maybe) at 8:29 pm tonight (Dammit, I was excited for the new episode of House). The game will be three and a half innings (not two and a half like Ravech, Phillips and Gammons said while freezing in the right field dugout after the game), with the home team batting first and last. It will be a battle of bullpens, as Kazmir was already out of the game, and they can’t run Hamels out there again (he was good, but couldn’t hold on to his lead once it started raining). This is a major advantage for the Phillies as their pen has been sterling while the Rays haven’t had the same type of production since they collapsed in game 5 in Boston. Another result of this is the fact that while the Phils got to go to their nice warm homes after the game last night, the Rays had to drive to Delaware (35 miles) to get another Hotel, as they had checked out and their rooms had been filled.
I’ve never been involved in a suspended game so I have some questions for those in charge. Will they sing the National Anthem again? Do we need to stretch in the 7th if only one inning has been played that day? Can the Phillies wear their alternate jerseys for the second half of the game? Will Bud be sad until the game is over, or just until it gets to start again? Do we get our free Taco Bell tacos today (Jason Bartlett stole a base last night and won everyone in America a free taco, just like Jacoby did last year but without the obvious plant of Royce Clayton talking about it on a mic in the dugout) or do we have to wait until the game ends?
The real question about the situation is when the game will be played. The aforementioned forecast is horrible and if they can’t play tonight, the game will have to be further pushed back. This will also move back games 6 and 7 in Tampa. In this case( a few days of delay), we could see Hamels again if the Rays are able to win and drive the series to a 7th game (like Tiant in the 75 Series, the Best World Series Ever). Even if the Series this year has little allure to anyone outside of Barack Obama (who bought 30 minutes of ad time and is the only person happy to see it being most popular in Pennsylvania and Florida), this turn of events should keep people interested (at least until the game restarts and people get pissed that House is being Preempted).
Even if the game is not played, there is something else to watch tonight. The Celtics will raise their 17th World Championship banner to the rafters of the Garden (it was always the name. Raising a banner to the rafters of the Fleetcenter just sounds wrong), and starting their season against their next big acquisition (some guy named LeBron). They have been picked by everyone on the MotherShip (ESPN) and SI to waltz through the east again and lose in the Finals. Thats right, Kevin “I’d chop off a pinky to play a regular season game” Garnett, someone is doubting you, and people don’t know if you are hungry to win this year. (The rest of the league just got very afraid.)