Tuesday, October 28, 2008
World Series Game 5 Suspended; Baseball Brass Under Fire
With Tampa Bay on the brink of elimination and rain pouring from the sky on the Phillies and Rays, the umpiring crew finally suspended Game 5 when the Rays obligingly scored a run in the top of the 6th to tied the game at 2-2 Monday night. Shane Victorino drove in a pair of runs in the first inning, but Phillies' starter could not hold onto the lead, surrendering a run in the 4th before Carlos Pena knocked in B.J. Upton with the tying run. At the conclusion of the top of the 6th, however, commissioner Bud Selig called both teams off the field and suspended play. It was the first time in World Series and playoff history that a game had been suspended, but playing conditions were unfit and deteriorating further. Ostensibly, the plan is to have the game resume in the bottom of the 6th on Wednesday night. Weather forecasts are for more rain and temperatures approaching the 30s. Some say it may even be snowing by game time, whenever that is, supposedly around 8:00 pm ET. The game could be moved back to Wednesday night, when weather conditions are predicted to be more suitable to playing baseball. There is no option to cancel out the truncated game five stats and start fresh. The Phillies will come to bat in the bottom of the 6th when play resumes. Hamels is the scheduled hitter, but he's almost certainly to be lifted for a pinch hitter, probably Eric Bruntlett or maybe even slugger Matt Stairs. Grant Balfour was on the mound at the end of the bottom of the 5th, and he'll probably be ready enough to start the 6th. Fans, coaches, players, sports writers and even the broadcasters have been openly critical of this World Series. Most complaints involve the late starting times, the horrible umpiring, the idea that the series didn't even begin until October 22, and, of course, the weather - which has already caused one game to begin after 10:00 pm and end just before 2:00 am, and now has sent the entire series into a dark, gray area.