Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series Talked About By Me

While talking to my Philly friend (Orioles fan) about how I'd love to drive down to Philly and see if I can grab a (relatively) cheap ticket for tonight's game, he pointed out that I'm on record as saying I don't care about the series. He's right, but I will explain further what I meant:

I really want the Devil Rays (when a team takes away the coolest part of their name, and then is pompous enough to fine people who say it the old way, I in turn eternally refer to said team as their old name) to lose. Yes, they have a few guys I like, but overall, come on. Screw those guys. I'm an underdog fan, but I don't do it on a blind basis. If an underdog is digging holes in my underyard, it becomes my underenemy.

So. I clearly care about the outcome of the series. But it doesn't mean I have any interest in spending any time watching it. The Yanks are out--we've all won already. If the team I'm rooting against happens to win, I'm not gonna lose any sleep. That's where the non-caring comes in.

And like past similar World Series', I'll happily tune in at the point where the team I'm rooting against is about to lose. Like how in 2003 I kept my eyes shut tight until the Yanks were on the brink. (Of course, unlike this year, if the team I was rooting against had won, I would have lost sleep, and lots of it.)

So we go to Game 5, part 2, tonight. Alas, I have not driven down to Philly. But if I lived down there, I sure would have given it a shot. Two days gone by--there have to be people who have left town and need to give up their tickets. I have heard that season ticket holders can get reprint tickets through the team. So if they sold theirs, but are available to go the game tonight, they can ask for a reprint, saying they lost their stub. And then sell THAT ticket, or go themselves. And then it's a race to the gate--if the season ticket holder gets there first, the person who bought their original ticket who's trying to go tonight with that stub is screwed. (Or maybe they have a way to avoid this, I don't know, but it makes it that much more of a risk if you're buying a ticket for tonight on craigslist or wherever.)

And that game the other night--AJM said in comments he agrees with Selig that it wouldn't have been right to have the series won on a rain-shortened game. I say, dem's da rulez. I can't believe he went and changed them by himself behind the scenes. As soon as I turned on the game in the fourth, I started talking about how the Phils should try to hold the lead until the fifth, and then get the win should the rain not stop. I talked about how crazy it would be at the moment they call it off after a delay--the Phils would all come back to the field and celebrate, winning the World Series having not played any ball for hours. And of course Kim brought up how I'd think it was unfair if the Sox were in Tampa's position. But Joe Buck even said it shortly after I did--there's no special rule for the World Series. (Or so we thought!) A game is official after 5. So you better be winning after 5! Seriously, what if it had been 8-1 instead of 2-1. The Phillies then should have gotten credit for the win, as stated clearly in the baseball rules, with everyone in the stands and across the world watching on TV believing those rules would be held up. But Selig changed it, and supposedly told the teams beforehand--which Maddon used to his advantage by not telling his players. I just think the whole thing is ridiculous and would have been completely unfair to the Phillies had they been way up.

But the thing is, dem's NOT da rulez. There's NOTHING in the rulebook that requires the umpires to call the game over after five innings due to rain. They are allowed to suspend a game indefinitely, which they did. If you're looking for a precedent, Game 6 of the '82 WS had a rain delay of over two hours, even though it was an official game (bottom of the 6th inning) and the Cardinals were leading the Brewers 8-0 at the start of the delay. They ultimately ended up winning 13-1, and they played nine innings.

I didn't happen to catch Selig babbling to the press, but if he claimed that any rules were changed on the fly, he's wrong. The umps had that discretion to begin with, and they used it properly.
I'm not saying they had to call it--go into a 10 hour rain delay for all I care. But Selig said "there's no way we were letting it end without going 9." If you can have a rain delay last two days, why can't they do that in the reg. season? For every game that has to stop with one team ahead after 5, why not pick it up later in the year? There's so much time to do that, but they say nope, game over. What's thepoint of the "official game" rule--you could just finish every game, reg or post season. They should've changed that rule before a season started, not during a WS game. Or not started that game in the first place. Or called it before it was official so it could've been replayed in its entirety.
Ok, you just confused me; I thought you were saying that they had to call it?

Anyway, the answer to your question is pretty straightforward:
1. Logistics. There are a limited number of open dates to finish suspended games during the season, and the travel that would be required often ends up being prohibitive.
2. WS games are almost always more important than any one regular season game.

And again, no rules were actually changed during the game Monday night. MLB always has the discretion to either suspend or call a game due to weather; I think in this case they're just saying that Bud had decided in advance that they would only do the former. Apparently, from what I've heard, both teams' front offices knew that in advance, but the coaches and players did not. Bad communication. And I agree that the game should have been stopped well before the point they chose.

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