Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Series Game 5 -- Take II

So tonight is the night. After a nearly 48-hour respite, Game 5 of the 2008 World Series will resume at 8:37pm ET this evening in Philadelphia. Even though we are now facing a 3 1/2 inning tee-ball game as Riggs put it as the Phillies' best chance to clinch their second World Series in their rich 126-year history, it is still something which I and every Philly fan out there is anticipating tremendously. While stopping Game 5 in the middle of an inning was an unconscionably poor decision made out of pure pussitude and nothing else by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, it does carry one nice advantage for the Phils from tonight's perspective, something more than countered by the even greater corresponding advantage given to the Rays on Monday night -- tonight's stub of a game will feature four innings at-bat for the Phils, and only three for the Rays, assuming no extra innings. In theory that should be good for the team that has hit far, far better overall than the Rays from the first pitch of this series to the last.

I wanted to take a minute here now a couple of days removed from the rain suspension to discuss one last time my feelings on that game. In a nutshell, the weather was abominable and the game should have been stopped much earlier than it was. Probably the middle of the third or the beginning of the 4th inning, judging by how the weather looked on the tv and from chatting with my Philly friends in the area. Unlike some people, I think trying to get the game in was a fine decision, as it was barely raining at all when the first pitch occurred, but by the 4th inning -- a good hour before it was finally suspended -- it was obvious that what was being played out there was not baseball as we know and love it. And remember, baseball isn't football, where playing in the slop or snow or sleet is just an expected part of the game. Baseball doesn't play in conditions like that, but they sat there and kept playing and playing and playing anyways, for a good hour beyond where they should have.

Why? One simple answer. Bud Selig is a goddam pussy. That's it. The rulebook says that he can't suspend a game beyond the middle of the 5th inning without calling it and ending the then-complete game in favor of the team that is ahead at the time. Now, the rules of baseball also give the commissioner absolute monarchical power to overrule any other rules if doing so is "in the best interests of the game", but of course Selig is far too much of a puss to exercise this power when the rulebook says otherwise. So instead, Selig sat there thumbing through his rulebook until he found a rule that says that in the playoffs the commish can suspend an official game until the following day for weather, darkness, etc., but only if there is a tie score. So with the Phillies up 2-0 at the end of the third and with the rain pelting down and the wind swirling madly, with a puddle forming over home plate and with the pitching mound edging closer and closer to unusable, Selig sent the teams back out there. He was not about to face the wrath of fans and writers everywhere for changing the rules and exercising his executive power to erase or suspend a World Series game. So he sent the teams out for the 4th, hoping against hope that the Rays could score two runs and tie the game up so he could trot out his rulebook and read directly from it in front of the cameras. And what happened? Jimmy Rollins dropped a popup to shortstop that the wind carried about 15 feet from the spot where it started its descent. And that runner later scored a run. A guy who should not even have been on base, but who got on base purely and totally because of the weather that across the board the players of both teams agree should not have even had the teams out there to begin with, scored a run to cut the Rays' deficit to 2-1.

This of course gave Commissioner Selig even more resolve to try to wait for a tie. After all, now the Rays only needed to score one more run after the middle of the 5th inning to give him his tie and his precious ability to hide behind the rulebook in suspending the game until later in the week. So he sent the teams back out into the wind and slop for the 5th inning. Sadly for Selig, the Rays did not score and nor did the Phillies, while the rain and wind just got worse and worse, and the field conditions became even more laughable. There wasn't a player, fan, coach or umpire out there who understood how or why these teams were playing baseball -- baseball on its grandest stage, in fact -- in this weather. Even the fucking butthead announcers Tim ShitCarver and Joe Fuck knew the game should not be being played, so you know how obvious it was. But out they went for the 6th inning. And Bud Selig got his miracle. Once again a fairly easy ground ball to Rollins' left at shortstop by Rays speedster BJ Upton to start the inning, and as Rollins picked the ball out of his glove, it squirted out of hands like a wet fish flopping on a hook. Upton, who still believes he owns all four bases every time he gets on first, promptly stole second in the miserable conditions that would have made it nearly impossible for anyone to throw out a runner, and then later scored on a single by first baseman Carlos Pena. 2-2. As Selig prayed to his god that the Rays did not score any more runs so that the game could be left in a tie, he watched and once again was given his miracle. The top of the 6th inning ended with the teams tied at 2-2, and off to the commercial break we went.

And this is when Selig made his third or fourth mistake of the night. While the fans were off watching that redonkulous Chevy Chase / Christie Brinkley DirecTV spot and the paint-dripping iPod commercial and the "Saved by Zero" car ad for the 38th time in 5 games, Selig had a horrible thought. What if the Phillies, who would surely pinch-hit for pitcher Cole Hamels after a 30-minute wait between the 5th and 6th innings already and then would bat from the top of their hugely potent lineup in the bottom of the 6th scored a run to break the tie? Here Selig had sold out his sport, the fans at the stadium, the players, the (relatively few) television viewers, everybody imaginable for the past few innings, sending players out there to play something that only vaguely resembled baseball, watching as the weather directly caused two errors (only one of which was scored an error, wrongly of course but Joe Fuck said Rollins' second error should have been a hit so you know an error was the correct call) which led to both Rays runs. He had finally gotten the tie game that he so desperately needed to be able to hold up his rulebook rather than take the blame responsibility for making the call himself, and in a split second his vagina made the worst decision of the night. The fans on tv came back from commercials to see the tarp being rolled out on to the field, and within ten minutes the game had been suspended for the night. In the middle of the 6th inning.

Try if you can to put yourselves in the position of the Phillies and their fans for a minute. We have won exactly one world title in 126 years. The players on this team, as far as I can count, have won exactly zero world championships themselves. We're up three games to one, just a few innings away from icing our incredible miracle season. We have our ace on the mound, and he's pitching another gem. The weather gets bad, clearly too bad to play, which everyone involved knows to be true. Yet they have to go back out there for three more innings in the field after that point, where two clear weather-induced errors lead to the two tying runs for the opposition. Then as you head out to bat for your bottom half of the sixth, for your chance to hit some popups and grounders that will be impossible for the Rays to field in this sloppy mess, the game is suspended. So, assuming the top of the 4th was the time when the game should really have been delayed, what happened was the Rays were given three chances to bat in that mess, leading to run-scoring errors in two of those three innings. Meanwhile, the Phillies were only given two chances to bat in the slop and try to take advantage of the unthinkable field conditions. In the entire game, the Rays were given six bites at the apple at bat in the slop, and the Phillies just five.

There's a reason that nobody -- and I do mean nobody -- ever suspends a baseball game like this in the middle of an inning. It's called fairness. You give both teams an equal chance to take equal advantage of whatever situation is causing the need for a suspension, and then you stop play once that equality has been achieved. With even a modicum of thought given to the situation, it's the only way. Sure the two shitheads calling the game had no clue about this situation, but does that surprise you? That's yet another way you know what I'm saying here today is right. You simply don't call a game like this in the middle of an inning. That smacks of a basic unfairness that nobody should ever want to see in a baseball game, let alone the Commissioner of the entire sport, and double let alone in the fucking World Series. And to think that the decision was made purely out of fear and pussyness by Bud Selig, deathly afraid to have to go before the cameras and say he was suspending a game that the rulebook otherwise dictates would be called and declared a victory by the Phillies.

Now don't misunderstand me here, I am well aware beyond a shadow of a doubt that they never would -- and never should -- end a World Series on a shortened game like that. That's why if you read my live blog from the game the other night, I kept laughing at the fuckheaded announcers who nothing short of moronically kept pointing out once we were through the Rays' half of the 5th inning that this was now an official game in case it gets called. These guys are so clueless they probably don't know that no World Series game has ever been called on less than 9 innings of play, just like they don't have even the basic understanding of the principles of baseball to know that the sport would never do that in the future either, in any World Series game most likely, let alone in the clinching game. So I was laughing at that mere suggestion from the beginning. FWIW surely I do not agree that somehow our win would be cheapened or "count less" if that's how it was awarded -- you have to look back pretty far to see a World Series where one team beat the living shit out of the other team in every single aspect like the Phillies have done to the Rays in this series so far -- but I knew it would never in a million years happen, nor did I think it should. But sending the teams out there while the Phils were bitten by purely weather-induced errors twice, each leading to a run that eventually tied the score at 2-2 in the 6th, and then rolling out the tarp within seconds of the tie being achieved, not even giving the Phillies their equal chance to even things up in the sloppy weather in the 6th, those decisions are simply not explainable and not excusable on the part of Commissioner Selig. And watching him trot out his rulebook to read his ghey little tie-score-rain-suspenion rule just seconds after calling the game tells you all you need to know about his motivations for these unfathomable decisions. Selig is a pussy and a cock, and this pussycock did whatever he possibly could to pray to get this game tied up, and then unconscionably called the game in the middle of an inning to really preserve the unfairness when he got the tie he wanted. All because he is a freaking pussy -- nothing more and nothing less. And the Phillies and all their fans -- a fan base that deserves screwage less than any other franchise's out there, mind you -- got screwed royally as a result. Sure, both teams had to play in the same slop from the 4th to the 6th innings, but to suggest that that means that it's fair what happened is just another way of saying that you don't understand the game of baseball. Just because the Rays got luckier in not having any popups get caught in the ridiculous wind or any ground balls hit five feet away from their fielders in their two innings in the slop-field while the Phils did get bit by each of those in their three slop innings, that doesn't make it fair or right that the teams had to play through that or that the Phils gave up two error-runs as a result. It's just a dam shame whenever anyone in charge lets his unmitigated pussyness screw everyone involved in whatever it is that the person is in charge of. The employees, the fans at the game, the television viewers, millions of fans of the sport in general, everybody. Bud Selig said Fuck You to everyone who has any involvement with baseball for about an hour straight on Monday night, all because he is a pussy. There it is, plain and simple.

So on we go to Wednesday night. Now the Phils will have a pinch hitter to lead off for Cole Hamels' spot, who certainly cannot continue now after a 46-hour delay despite the fact that he was once again dominating the Rays all through Game 5, and then the top of our order to start off our half of the 6th inning tonight just after 8:30pm ET. The Rays of course will get the advantage of not having to field that 6th inning in the slop like the Phillies did, but nothing we can do about that now, thanks to Bud Selig biggest pussy in sports (just for the Google keyword searches right there). So we have a 3 1/2 inning game here, 2-2 starting from scratch, for what is still the Phils' best chance to win the World Series.

If we lose the game on Wednesday, I'm not going to go crazy. What's done is done, and we still have four at-bats to the Rays' three tonight to win it all, plus two more chances in Tampa to win it even if we cannot seal the deal on Wednesday night. The Phillies were inarguably screwed on Monday, that cannot be debated if you understand things, but like so many other errors in major sporting events, there's no sense in blaming the outcome of the Series on that with so much more left to play. As I mentioned above, nobody but nobody predicted the absolute thrashing the Phillies are laying on the Rays in every possible aspect of this series, and for the Rays to come back and win three in a row at this point would be a comeback worthy of being World Series champions as far as I'm concerned, regardless of the indisputable and unforgiveable screwage of Monday night. Our lineup obviously has been utterly and completely crushing over the Rays' lineup -- not a surprise given our season performance over 162 games, but noteworthy in just how horrible everyone other than Carl Crawford on the Rays is hitting the ball, or not hitting the ball to be more accurate about it. Our fielding has not been flawless, but even with the two purely weather-induced errors on Monday -- only one of which was called an error -- the Rays still have I think twice as many actual errors on the field as the Phils have in this series, a fact known to anyone who has sat and watched every game, regardless of the fact that the official scorers have it as five errors apiece. Our relief pitchers have solidly outperformed the Rays as well, with Madson and Lidge being totally unhittable at this point while the Phils have gone off a couple of times on the Rays bullpen so far in this series. And our starting pitching has seen perhaps as large a disparity as our hitting has as far as our dominance over the Rays in this series thus far, with only James Shields putting up anything that could be called a good outing against the Phillies so far throughout. The Phils have scored in the first inning in all but one of these first five games, and we've had at least two men on in every opening inning. We've left a sick amount of baserunners on throughout these games, but the fact remains that we are getting on base left and right, and being admirably patient at the plate to the point that two of the Rays' four starters have given up their most walks of the year (or even their careers) against us so far in the Series. We are all over the Rays and have been from Game 1 in every single aspect of the game so far, so with Wednesday night's tee-ball affair and then two more shots in Tampa, I am sticking my head out there and saying that if the Phillies lose the series, it is the Phillies' fault and not Bud Selig.

But that doesn't make Selig any less of a fucking pussyshit mofo. I hope he's happy being a slave to the television networks in how he plays these games, while watching his tv ratings slide into oblivion at the same time. At least we know we have Selig rooting for the Phillies to pull this one out now tonight, to help absolve him of what he now knows was perhaps the worst in Selig's long, long, long, long line of poor decisions as the Commissioner of America's pasttime.

See you tonight at 8:37pm ET. I will probably live blog again this evening just for shit n giggles, but this time I'm gonna get ragingly hammered even before this game starts. I'm planning to leave work a little early today unlike the other night, and I'm thinking it will be Killians Red tonight instead of the Johnnny Walker blue label I've been hitting up over the past week or so. By the time the Mookie rolls around (10pm ET on full tilt, password as always of "vegas1"), I should be absolutely trashed no matter who wins this game.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Bayne_S said...

13-1
2-1
10-5
4-3

Were the scores in last years sweep

3-2
2-4
5-4
10-2
???
this year

I don't think we have to look back that far to find domination

10:00 PM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

My point was that the game should NEVER have eve started.

Selig bowed to the network and took a shot at something that everyone told him he shouldn't have to appease the money folk.

Then he makes another stupid debacle based on convenience.

No matter. all "water" under the bridge.

Ship it tonight. 4 extra innings, one becnch clearing brawl, one case of frost bite, (Rays left fielder), and one World ChampionSHIIIIP!

Have fun watching brother! I'll be all alone, until it happens. By design of course!

10:07 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Bayne,

You are focusing just on the scores of the games, which is legitimate but in the case of this series misses the point of just how badly the Phillies are crushing.

In any event, my point was not really how far back you have to go, but rather just that the Phils are severely outplaying Tampa in every single aspect of the games. If we don't win the series at this point, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

I would agree that Phillies are out hitting and out pitching Rays.

Phillies may set a LOB record this World Series LOB is not an act of dominance.

I do wonder where these Rays were during ALCS????

11:30 PM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

Obviously we haven't gotten their best effort.

But the phils haven't shined as much either, i.e. LOB stats.

and you are right Hoy. If they lose, I highly doubt anyone here in Philly land will blame this game 5 debacle. They have 2 1/3 games to shut it done.

But I reckon tonight will be the night. They have faced tougher situations and have come through.

12:30 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Its over tonight. 1 hour of baseball, an after party and bed.

Perfect hump day!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hump Day is right if they win. If you know what I mean. Wink wink.

2:55 AM  
Blogger BWoP said...

I am angry at the commissioner for denying me that extra time with Cole Hamels.

3:08 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:40 AM  
Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Take 2...

I found that Flap Cap that Rollins has been sporting:

Flap Cap

Notice they do NOT have a Rays version, only a Phillies version.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Stuart said...

Baseball sucks

4:25 AM  

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