Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Who Knew?"

"...And when did they know it?"   The interesting question posed by Mike and Mike on this morning's show as baseball fans boned up on one of the game's new rules allowing for the suspension of tied World Series games.  Tell you what.  This fan had no clue that the Rays weren't playing for their baseball lives in the top of the 6th. Apparently, Carlos Pena also thought it was do or die time with 2 outs, BJ Upton on second and the Phillie's leading 2-1.  So he did.  Pena laced a ball through to center just out of Rollins reach, and BJ navigated the inch deep pools surrounding third base well enough to beat the throw home and tie the game at two.

As the world drew a collective breath, the tarps finally went on the field. By the time the umpiring crew deemed the field unplayable, the rain was coming down in half frozen sheets on a 39 degree night. Drenched players were in Flaps Down mode in their new Elmer Fudd caps. And there was no end in sight. For what it's worth, I think MLB got this one right.  Try to get the game in and do the right thing when the field becomes an icerink.

It seems that the tied game triggered the new rule, but MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said he would have invoked an indefinite rain delay to ensure all 9 innings were played.  Apparently this issue was discussed at length with both teams prior to Game 3 which started 90 minutes late due to weather. For whatever reason, the teams kept that info under their hats and the players were unaware last night.  It explains why Joe Maddon wasn't feeling the excrutiating pain of Kazmir's 6th walk quite as keenly as the rest of us. He knew it would be a 9 inning game.  And it may have put a charge in Pena's bat and the run they needed to stay in this thing.
The suspended game is set to resume in the bottom of the 6th tonight at 8pm EDT but the forecast calls for more rain.  If necessary, the game will be completed tomorrow. Or whenever it clears up in Philly.  A Rays win brings the Series back to The Trop. She and her lovely teflon roof are suddenly the talk of the town in soggy Philadelphia.
Longo also returned to the productive part of the lineup last night. He drove in Carlos Pena to put the Rays on the board in the top of the 4th.  Pena had doubled off the top of the wall in right, the ball barely escaping the webbing of Werth's to the delight of Rays fans from coast to coast. The boys are back.  In the nick of time.
Pena and Longoria somehow navigated the most bizarre and frustrating strike zone configuration the Rays have encountered all year.  For a birds eye view of what Home Plate Umpire Larry Kellogg saw, fast forward this YouTube to the 32 second mark. 

And speaking of birds eye views, let's wrap up this post with a time warp. Remember Dave Winfield's Fowl Ball?  God Bless Billy Martin in his front row seat: http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/news/2003/10/29/2003-10-29_fowl_ball__dave_winfield__bi.html

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