Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day two - Baseball fans held hostage.

Phillies fan and climatologist extraordinary Joe Bastardi had fired off an angry 6:30 p.m. update to his blog on AccuWeather's professional site under the headline: "Cancel the Game Tonight."
At 6:30 p.m., rain was falling without a break from the Carolinas through Central Pennsylvania at an intensity and coverage that was rapidly expanding.
And why did a crew of umpires that has performed at a rookie-league level throughout the Series wait until the Rays tied it, 2-2, in the top of the sixth to order the ground crew to cover the partially submerged infield?
- Bill Conlin, Philadelphia Daily News, 10/28/2008
Tuesday night in October. The 45-degree temperature matches the wind speed. We're stuck in some sort of sports time machine where games take days to play and the complaining lasts longer. There is snow in the forecast for Wednesday and the paranoia for the local baseball team is so thick you could cut it with Bud Selig's rule book.
Welcome to Philadelphia.
We have spent the past 23 hours whining about the suspension of a World Series game that probably shouldn't have started to begin with. They're telling us that it is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:37pm, but those of us with active brain cells see that as a preposterous notion fueled by television.
Like Joe Bastardi, I too was watching the radar prior to the game, figuring that the misty rain that was falling on my home across the river was also falling on the ballpark. Starting the game was a monstrous mistake in the face of a green wave of rainfall that looked like a boiling lime Jell-O mold rising up to meet Philadelphia.
Tomorrow's game-time forecast is 40 degrees and 11-mile per hour winds (which optimists would say is an improvement) but a 30% chance of showers, which will probably make television's mistress Bud Selig delay the start until either the field dries out or we pass out from exhaustion, whichever comes first.
When professional sports sells itself out to big-time television, strange things happen. Strange things like made-up rules about suspended games and rain delays that take more than 24 hours. Such is the state of big-time sports in America.
Whether or not you think game 5 should have been played or even started at all - I am on the side of not playing it at all, and said as much prior to John Oates' Anthem - you have to admit to being dumbfounded by the extent to which Major League Baseball (I use the term loosely) went to try to keep the field dry and stretch the proceedings out until the artificial 11pm end of what we call Prime Time here on the East Coast.
Conspiracy theories abound. There are at least a half dozen of them, from the speculation that Selig was intoxicated to the speculation that they played Monday night's game so that Fox could have a clear path to show a new episode of House on Tuesday. Any and all could be correct and substantiated.
It remains to be seen whether game 5 will be concluded on Wednesday or Thursday, but either way, it is a cheap and anti-climactic way to win, if that's what it comes to for the Phillies. At this point the game is a three-inning playoff that amounts to little more than a glorified T-ball game. At $150 a ticket.
As usual, it's the fans that get the screwgy. Some forked over four-digit dollars from ticket brokers - partnered by Major League baseball - and if you turned down big bucks for your game 5 tickets you have to be feeling a lot like a schmuck right now. A couple of mortgage payments were a nice trade for being, as one fan put it, "put in a freezer and squirted with a hose."
Thanks Bud. Once again, when thrust into the spotlight you came up short. He has again made a mockery of baseball and as one unnamed player said, “I wouldn’t let him supervise one of my (bowel movements). He has no clue. Not one (expletive deleted) clue.”
At least I could give you a pretty good idea of when my next bowel movement is. I think Bud would have a hard time telling me when the next game is.

1 comment:

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