Wow. Hell of a game, huh?
Well, hell of two-thirds of a game, right? Or would it be a hell of a five-and-a-half ninths of a game? Maybe hell of an eleven-eighteenths of a game.
Putting aside my own fractional incompetence for a moment, can you imagine what kind of a mess this game could have ended up being if MLB hadn't amended the rules for the suspension and calling of games in 2007?
Oh, wait, no. Even in those rules, it seems that any game called due to weather after the game is considered official (after the fifth inning) is, in fact, official -- as in it would count. The World Series probably would have ended with a called game.
Wait, what? Does that make sense to anyone else? Could they have really let the championship be decided by a rain-out?
Never fear, ladies and gentlemen. Bud Selig, master of his domain, apparently "had a conversation" with both the Phillies and the Rays before the series began, and discussed just ignoring the rules of the game and calling a game suspended if the rains came.
Alright, look. I'm going to level with all of you. I honestly have no idea what was going on with that decision last night.
Don't get me wrong; it was absolutely the right thing to do, and I'm frankly amazed that MLB actually got it right. When you're playing the deciding game of the World Series, you change the rules a bit if you need to.
"Hey, rules say this game should just be called and a victor declared."
"Really? Fuck that, we aren't doing that."
See? Great decision.
Of course, no one in Philadelphia agrees with Selig's decision. No one. They're pissed.
On the other hand, I have to wonder, then, if there really was such a great consensus and prior understanding as to what was going to happen if the rain came, then why in the hell were the Rays still on the field in the top of the sixth?
If Tampa Bay didn't have to score a run in order to tie the game up in order to avoid getting screwed if the game couldn't be completed in order to avoid losing the championship because of the weather (is that right? I think that's all right.), then why would Bud and his cabal of baseball geniuses allow for the Tampa Bay players to risk injury in order to play a half inning of baseball that really didn't matter anyway?
See that big, long, ugly, complicated run on sentence I just had to use to describe the situation? That's literally the most concise explanation I could come up with. That, my friends, is an ugly sentence, and an even uglier situation.
Okay, so the weather is going to get even worse on Tuesday, so you wanted to try and get the game in. That's fine. I can totally understand that. Okay, so you didn't want the series to end in a rain-out, so you decided to just put the game into a suspended animation sort of situation. Again, fine. Great decision.
See, I follow all that up to there. Once again, though, I come back to the sixth inning, though. If you had already decided you were just going to freeze the game no matter what, why were the Rays on the field?
At least Bud made the correct decision this time. He waited until he was forced into it, yes, but at least he got it right in the end. Remember the 2002 All Star game? The one where the teams both ran out of pitchers and Bud had to call it a tie? You know, the one that led to the whole "This Time it Counts" bullshit? See, that was Bud not getting it right. So it could have been worse. He could have decided that in order to avoid these sorts of problems in the future, the World Series will be played on a neutral site in a warm weather area. In July. By two teams chosen randomly. Wait, not randomly. By the previous year's Home Run Derby. The two finalists' teams become the next years' World Series teams. It would have been great, I tell you!
So see, it could have been worse. This is Major League Baseball we're talking about here. We've seen these things get ugly before. Let's all just be glad it turned out as well as it did. Now let's hope that the rest of the series turns out so damned good that none of us remember this little snafu. Deal?
And in the meantime, do I ever have a treat for you. We can't watch the Rays and Phils do battle, at least not for a while.
So instead, we're going to let the mascots do the battling. So without further ado, I present to you, the loyal Rundown reader, the Philly Phanatic and Raymond, the, um, thing that Tampa has! You decide which team truly has the advantage.