Major League Baseball once again embarrassed itself on the national stage tonight. I was at the game, so I can't speak to what was going on with the interviews of baseball figureheads. What I can tell you is this: by the middle of the fifth inning, the conditions had deteriorated to the point that the field was unplayable, the ball was not grippable, and the fans were being abused. And yet the game played on, and the Rays tied the game in the top of the sixth.
Whoever made the decisions clearly wanted the game to be called without the Phillies in the lead. And even if it wasn't a conscious decision, it sure seemed that way to the 45,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park. Why were we left to drown in 40 degree weather when our team was up at the end of regulation play? Why was our ace forced to take the mound again when no human being could possibly control what happened with the ball? Why wasn't the game called when it was clear that the weather was only getting worse? No doubt 45,000 fans thought it was to make sure that there was no possible argument that the World Series should go to the Phillies since they were leading after regulation. By tomorrow morning, the rage in those fans and the rest of the Phillies Nation will be enormous. Bud Selig better not show his face in any public place in Philadelphia in the near future.
And what do we face now? Things could be worse. We have 12 outs to outscore a team that has 9 outs. We still have our home field advantage. And we're still up 3 games to 1.
But is there any doubt that rookie-phenom David Price is going to pitch a considerable amount of tomorrow's continuation? And of course there's no way Cole Hamels, our phenom, who threw only 75 pitches tonight, is going to pitch again in 2008. The Rays and MLB have removed our ace from the World Series equation. And they have their three top post-season pitchers ready to go: Price tomorrow and Shields and Garza in Games 6 and 7.
Tonight could easy go down as one of the worst nights in Philadelphia sports history. It will take on that omni-present controversy-suffix and be "Raingate."
That is . . . unless the Phillies storm back and win. They can come out with anger tomorrow night and blow away the Rays. They'll have 45,000 angry fans behind them in the stadium, as well as millions of frustrated, confused, and beleaguered fans watching on TV. Tomorrow night is revenge for all that MLB screwed up tonight.