Let’s be clear about this – I am not a baseball fan. Baseball is a boring sport, horrible on television, and going to a game is a wonderful way to go for a nice picnic, only there’s someone there to sell you some extra beer and peanuts in case you run out.
However, when it gets to the playoffs, especially when you have a rooting interest, all that down time and boredom becomes stressful and dramatic, and it can render watching a game into, well, a nearly enjoyable experience. Sometimes. Don’t even get me started on hockey.
That said, fan or not, you absolutely have to marvel at the sheer incompetence of Major League Baseball under the “leadership” of Bud “What Do I Have To Do To Put You In This Pontiac Sunfire Today?” Selig. You had a World Series cancelled due to a player strike. The egregious calling of an All-Star game because it never occurred to him to, you know, put a rule in place to stop it at some reasonable length.
And now, we have Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, which will heretofore be known as The Game That Sort-Of Was. I’m sure you know the story, but the game started in a 40 degree light drizzle, with every weather forecast calling for deteriorating conditions as the night wore on, with higher winds and increasing rain expected. The Phillies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, and while they threatened often, the Rays pitching staff managed to hold them off. The Rays cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth, with the weather continuing to go to hell and standing puddles evident in both the infield and the outfield.
In the fifth, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, a reliable fielder, completely lost a routine popup in the gusting winds and the driving rain, and it fell in for an error. In the top of the sixth, the Rays eked out a second run, tying the game at 2. It didn’t take long for Commissioner “Pontiac” Selig to realize that the weather was completely inappropriate and to suspend the game in the middle of the sixth.
I don’t disagree with the decision to suspend the game. I only disagree with the decision to continue it for as long as they did. Like it or not, baseball is a fairish-weather sport, and it was not appropriate to be playing in the fifth, let alone the sixth.
The rules say that, one a game reaches the sixth inning, suspension of the game will result in its ending. So, if Selig had ended it after the fifth, the game would have been over, and the Phillies would have been the world champs. This would be an undeniably unsatisfying end to the Series, and Selig apparently said that he would not have allowed the season to end on that note. Which is fine, and reasonable. But, in that case, why wasn’t this fact announced before the game? Or, better yet, why not already have a rule on the books saying that a World Series game, or the clinching game, or whatever, cannot end due to weather?
As I said – I already wasn’t a baseball fan, and if I weren’t an inherent fan of all Philly sports I wouldn’t care about this in the least. But, still, I simply have to marvel at how good Selig is at shooting himself in the foot when it comes to alienating his fans…