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World Series left in limbo

by Matt Smith

Never underestimate MLB’s ability to surprise.  We entered last night’s game knowing that it could be the decisive contest in this year’s World Series.  It still might be.  We just don’t know when it’s going to end. 

The decision-making process that saw game five suspended is being debated all over the internet.  I instinctively expect Bud Selig to mess things up, so I’m a little uneasy about the fact that I think he (just about) got this one right.  There’s an argument that the game shouldn’t have been started in the first place.  It probably would have been postponed if the weather forecast for today had been positive, but more rain is predicted so the decision to give it a go was understandable.

Undoubtedly, it was correct that the Phillies weren’t handed the World Series trophy on the back of a shortened game.  Carlos Pena’s single to tie the score at 2-2 seemed to make things a bit easier, although Selig has stressed that even if the score had remained 2-1 he would have suspended the game and there was never a question of a result being declared.  It’s a shame we didn’t all know that before the game got underway and it looks like the players weren’t entirely clear on the matter either. 

Anyway, the decision has been made to suspend the game and that it will resume whenever “weather conditions are appropriate”, according to the Commissioner.  That’s a wonderfully vague way of scheduling such an important encounter.  What does it mean for British fans? 

Well, the current intention is to try to play the rest of game five tonight from 00.20 GMT.  If the Rays win, although no definitive decision has been made as I write this it is probable that the travel day will be wiped out and that games six and seven (if necessary) will be played as originally scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday night (the early hours of Thursday and Friday for us).

The only issue with this is that Five are currently due to broadcast the opening game of the NBA season at 01.00 tonight.  I didn’t stay with Five’s coverage once the covers came on to the field this morning, but I would assume that the World Series will take precedence.

However, the prospects of play tonight in Philly aren’t good.  Different weather forecasters are predicting slightly different things, but they all state that some rain is expected and it seems unlikely that they will head out on to the field if there is a significant risk that they might have to come off yet again.  Most importantly, Selig has made it clear that game five will be played in Philly.  If we have to wait several days for a clear evening then that’s how long it will take.

All we can do is keep a check on the MLB website this evening and go from there.  If the game can’t be completed tonight, the schedule gets torn up completely.  Five have some tin-pot programme called “Quiz Call” scheduled for midnight on Friday and Saturday, so I’m sure they will be showing all of the action remaining in this series regardless of when it is played and how many games are involved.

The uncertainty can’t be avoided, but it’s still disruptive whether you are a player trying to prepare for one of the biggest games of your life, or you are a British baseball fan trying to combine the competing interests of work, sleep and watching/recording baseball games played in the early hours of the morning.

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Joe Gray October 28, 2008 - 1:25 pm

Thanks – this is very useful. I was trying to piece together the same information today, but didn’t get as far as looking what Five might be able to provide.

Joe Cooter October 28, 2008 - 1:31 pm

This Is Bud Seligs fault. He should have told FOX we’re moving up the start of the game. I don’t buy that garbage about not being able to move up the start time because of television. That’s the problem with Selig, he’s allowed the sport to be run by television. That’s no way to run a sport. It’s time for the Owners to get rid of this clown. I nominate the following candidates for commissioner Hank Stienbrenner, Theo Epstien, Manny Rameriez, or even Mike Golic. Anyone of those people would do a better job than Selig and Golic is a former NFL lineman, but he can’t be anyworse than Selig.

Chico October 28, 2008 - 2:43 pm

It’s raining in Philly right now with an 80% chance all day. Tonight is calling for a 60% of showers. Windy and cold, in the 40’s. It is the same weather that we experienced in Wisconsin and it has moved east. Tomorrow they are saying 40% chance with possible snow showers. We had the same thing. If I had to guess, I would say the game will not be played tonight. This is the strangest weather related thing I have ever seen in the WS. The Rays had to move to Deleware to get a hotel because they were already checked out of the one they were staying in in Philly. Hope all of you in Britain get to see the possible final innings. Or, it may go back to St. Pete’s.

Matt Smith October 28, 2008 - 5:55 pm

It was announced a little while ago that game five will not be resumed tonight due to the weather, as outlined by Chico.

They will now try to complete game five on Wednesday (00.37 on Thursday morning in Britain). There’s currently still no word on when a game 6 or 7 would take place.

Joe Cooter October 28, 2008 - 8:06 pm

If doesn’t convince the owners of Major League Baseball that Bud Selig needs to go, then it’s time for radical action. I’m sorry, this doesn’t know what he’s doing. This is what happens when you let a fan A. Buy the team and B. Run the sport. Do I love baseball? Yes? Would you want me running a club? No. I’m not remotely qualified to run the Yankees or Major League Baseball. What baseball needs is someone with experience running a major corporation. That immediately rules out George Bush, as the last eight years have shown. I have added a few names to the list of people whom I think would do a good job. They include the following: John McCain, Barak Obama, Bob Costas, Bill Cosby, David Beckham, Sara Palin, Micheal Palin, John Clease, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Grahamn Chapman, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, ALL of People would have been a better candidate than Bud Selig. Granted atleast two on this list are dead, but that shouldn’t disqualify them in the wake of the disgrace that is Bud Selig.

In all seriousness, it’s time for Bud Selig to go back to selling used cars. That job suits him better than being the commisioner of a major sports league here in the United States.

Matt Smith October 28, 2008 - 9:04 pm

In fairness Joe, you’re forgetting what a great success Bud was during his time with the Brewers.

Oh, hang on a minute …!

Joe Cooter October 28, 2008 - 11:28 pm

Here is the thing, Bud Selig is nothing but a used car salesman. For as long as I can remember, used car salesmen have enjoyed a reputation for honesty in this country that ranks right there with Politicians and Lawyers. That is, no body trusts them.


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