Is there any argument left for not having replay available in the WS to fix obviously blown calls? All you need is a replay official in the booth to indicate that the play will be reviewed, and you'll have the right call in less time than it takes to argue it. Jimmy Rollins, for example, was clearly tagged out in the first inning of last night's Game 5. Jamie Moyer clearly made a super play for the out at first in Game 3. I feel bad for Moyer: 22 years and he finally gets to pitch a WS game, and instead of getting the win and an all-time highlight reel play, he gets neither. The ump put himself in the worst possible position to make the call, with Ryan Howard's 245 pounds blocking his view of the base and the ball.
Bud Selig appears to have adopted McCain's communications strategy of never fully explaining himself, and not letting his inflection give any hints as to his thinking or his motivations. His explanation, after the fact, that he was not going to let the WS end with a rain-shortened game and that "common sense will always prevail" left open the question of what he would have decided had the Rays taken the lead in top 6. Declare them the winner according to the rules, stick to the schedule and head back to St. Pete? I read and watched the news this morning and listened to XM's Baseball This Morning show for an hour with no answer on that, before calling the show and talking to the screener, and also emailing host Mark Patrick, who replied thusly:
They said they were going to play the full game no matter what...tied or otherwise in the 6th.
If they said that during the telecast, I missed it. (I was listening to both the Fox TV and local radio broadcasts and missed parts of each.) And the quote from Selig says that he is going to make good common-sense decisions in real time.
It rained all night. It has been raining all day. I drove to work today in a steady rain, 38 degrees. I see now that the suspended game has been postponed from tonight to tomorrow. That's the right call. It is miserable today. You are at the mercy of Mother Nature when you stretch the postseason into the last week of October. The unfortunate thing is that this weather is bad P.R. for Philly, where the weather was beautiful last week and is supposed to be good again next week. Oh well. Watching that game last night, I would rather have been anywhere else. I went to a game in April where it was 48 and windy, and that was bad enough. 38 and rainy and windy is just horrendous weather for a ballgame.
Why the 6th?
Why start the 6th inning last night? The weather was not going to improve, and the game was already past the necessary 4-1/2, and water was pooling on the infield, and the wind was so bad that the infield fly rule was not in effect, and Hamels went 30 minutes between pitches while the crew worked on the mound. Why not call it after 5? Under the conditions, there was no way to throw out B.J. Upton in top 6 after his single, which led to a very important run. There should not have been baseball in those conditions.
I was 12 when the Pirates won the 1979 WS. At that age I used to lie on my bed and listen to the games at night on a scratchy station out of Linesville, PA. (Then-broadcaster Lanny Frattare just retired after thirtysome seasons.) I can tell you most or all of their starting lineup that year. Now I have a 9 yr old who has followed the Phils all year and is wearing his Phillies jersey at every opportunity this month. We are making some exceptions to bedtime so that he can watch some innings, but we can't let him stay up till midnight to watch the end of these games. I understand maximizing your revenue, but aren't we concerned about the future of the game and engaging today's young fans? Heck, these games are ending well past my own bedtime. Likewise, the other parents of 9 year olds in the neighborhood are not appreciative of late night ball.
This is how the Phillies have been winning all year. Part of their lineup goes cold and another part does enough to win ballgames. All Fox can talk about is how the Phils aren't hitting with RISP, even as the Phils ride a 3-1 edge in the Series. That's how it was all year. No respect. Like I tell my liberal friends about presidential elections, "all we do is win." I hope to be able to say that again next week, on behalf of both the Phils and the GOP.