From a "wanting things to work out quite neatly" standpoint, this 2008 season just hasn't gone Bud Selig's way. Here we sit, in the middle of a rain delay spanning at least a day, and maybe more, while the country tries to figure out what happened to the World Series, while players, coaches, ticket agents, and the commissioner himself all try to get fans in the seats, broadcasts on television, and water off the field in time to play the last 3+ innings of Game 5, which may or may not complete this year's World Series. I'm sure any neutral party is now hoping for the full seven games, at least to make it worth it; the final two games don't have a weather problem, because, after all, what could possibly go wrong in a dome? (Don't answer that.)
Tangentially, the reason why tonight's game might not be in a dome is because of a different Selig rule; shortly after The Great Tie of 2002, Selig decided that the All Star game would "count", and nearly paid for that decision this year, as it took 15 innings to decide a winner. Complain all you want about ending in a tie, but if it was one of our position players (the imaginary A's All-Star slugger) who was next in line to pitch, I'd certainly rather end the game some other way, even in a tie. Selig was in a lose-lose situation of his own making; if he has the authority to change the rainout rules for the World Series, he certainly could have set up a Home Run Derby, winner-takes-all situation to end the All Star Game, couldn't he?
And let's forget about Prime Time programming needs for a minute (which I know is ironic, considering how pleased I was with the A's/Twins approximate 6:00 AM start time for the 2006 ALDS), and consider the poor baseball fans on the East Coast, who must regularly stay up (or at the ballpark) until midnight, one, even two in the morning to get some of these games in. I'm all for making games watchable for everyone, but at least on the weekends, would it be the end of the world if baseball started at 5 or 6, East Coast time?
And for the love of all things baseball-related, unless you live in California, November is not a terrific month for outside games. Yet the late start to the World Series next year would put the possible Game 7 on November 5th. I'd like to take Stadiums Covered In Snow for $1,000, Alex.
The commissioner is never going to please everyone; such is the nature of the beast, but he is certainly not getting any help this year. The All-Star tie made people mad? Sure, let's make it count from now on. Inevitably, there was going to be a game that went fifteen innings with no available pitchers.
The Dodgers and Phillies play each other in the NLCS? The team with the current beautiful 85-90 degree weather without a cloud in the sky can't win; ensuring that the middle games will be played in a virtual monsoon in Philadelphia, forcing Selig to read up on every conceivable rainout rule before making a series' decision.
And even though two games managed not to be rained out, a game that was already pushing it with a 8:30 PM start with two East Coast teams was delayed two hours, and nearly went extra innings, sending the exhausted, but happy, crowd home about the same time as the bars closed.
And just for the fun of it, amidst all the talk of instant replays, and the integrity of calls in a game, let's have the umpiring crew have their worst series in years; blatantly missing calls all over the field. That would be fun too. As if getting Tampa Bay/Philadelphia instead of Los Angeles/Boston wasn't bad enough.
What is a commish to do? Are there things that you would do differently in the position that may please a greater majority? How do you think Bud has done this year? How has he handled the tough MLB issues, i.e. steroids?
Tentative game time 5:37 tonight.