Now, certainly, Selig could be posturing. He knows that he was saved by the 2007 rule change which calls for games to be suspended even if the tying run was scored in a partial inning (thanks to the Fox announcers for pointing that one out), and by the Rays scoring a run in the sixth. He could say anything he wanted to about what he would have done, because the decision was taken away from him. I choose to take him at face value, though, and will assume that he really meant what he said. Considering that this is the man responsible for the infamous tie All-Star game a few years back, it seems that our good friend Bud has learned a few things. The fans in Tampa -- and really, everywhere else -- deserve to see their team get beat on the field with the full number of outs available to them.
My stance on this might surprise a few of you who know (1) that I'm a budding lawyer, and (2) that I believe following the rules is important. In this case, had the Phillies been leading after five innings were complete and the weather got too rough, the rules state pretty clearly that the game should be over. That rule, however, is just as clearly meant to be an expedient for a league that has 30 teams playing 162 games each. While I haven't even attempted to look at the number of games that end early due to rain each year, my guess is that there would be enough to cause some serious havoc in the schedule if the rule weren't in place.
It's just as clear, however, that weather isn't meant to determine a World Series champion. Selig says he would have just called the possibly two day delay a "rain delay" rather than a "suspension," although that clearly would not have been what was happening. Why bother with the semantics? The Commissioner has the authority to do what's in the best interests of the game -- and ending the deciding game of the World Series in the 6th inning would have been embarrassing and amateurish. In this case, the applicable rule would get in the way of the right decision, and it sounds like Bud recognizes that pretty clearly. For the first time in a long time, I find myself siding with the Commish.
Labels: World Series