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We Wuz Robbed…So Now What?
2008-10-28 22:17
by Mike Carminati

A day later a few things have become clearer as the mist clears from the Fox TV cameras. Yes, the Phils were robbed of an abbreviated clincher. Yes, the culprit was Bud Selig. Commissioner Bud couldn't cotton to a world champion muddily celebrating after a umpire's signal rather than after a Tug McGraw-esque ninth inning-two out strikeout. So who cares about the rule book anyway?

Selig may have come to this decision before the game as he claims, but if so, he should have informed the players and media, who would have in turn alerted the fans when the situation became a reality.

Also, Selig should have suspended it earlier, clearly by the end of the fifth if not earlier (maybe after the Rollins lazy fly-cum-egregious error). If he is going to ignore the rules, why did they have to orchestrate the tie before suspending the game? They should have suspended after five with the Phils leading 2-1. Waiting for the tie calls into question Selig's supposed higher motives to avoid an abbreviated clincher.

The initial reaction by Phils fans was to bemoan the apparent loss of Cole Hamels for apparently the remainder of the Series unless MLB keeps the travel day between the completion of game five and the start of game 6 in Tampa (which is currently TBD).

But the news is not all bad. Of course, the Phils get one additional half-inning of offense in the resumed game: they lead off and get last ups.

The leadoff hitter will be Cole Hamels' spot meaning a pinch-hitter, and the Phils have a wide-range of options. Maddon, if he's smart, and given his moves so far in the World Series that is hardly a certainty, will send back out righty Grant Balfour to "start" the resumed game. The Phils will most likely counter with a lefty bat. Given Manuel's moves yet far, I would think Matt Stairs will get tabbed. He prefers to save Dobbs and Stairs can regain the lead with one swing. Of course, that will bring lefty J.P. Howell to the mound and then a right-handed bat for the Phils.

Manuel may just avoid the whole mess and go with a righty bat from the start, probably So Taguchi, who could set up the top of the lineup if he gets on and who was a better hitter (and was a better hitter vs. righties this year)though he is likely a wasted AB. But they do get to pick the matchup they prefer and get to keep the extra lefty bat for later.

The Phils also do not have to announce their "starter", again if they are smart. Hamels should be their pitcher until they pinch-hit for him, and a new pitcher does not have to be announced until the start of the seventh. I am thinking they will go with Chad Durbin (or dare I say, J.A. Happ?) unless they grab a lead in the bottom of the sixth, in which case, they might try to cover the last three innings with Madson and Lidge.

So unless Bud decides to add a new home team must swig a beer at each base rule, the Phils have a clear advantage going into the resumed game. Let's hope they put the Rays away. The Cubs have the curse of Bartman, but the Phils do not need to be handcuffed with the curse of Bud-man.

2008-10-28 23:21:08
1.   Xeifrank
Please explain how the tie was "orchestrated" and how in effect one "waits" for a tie? What if Tampa Bay didn't tie the game in the 6th inning? What if they took the lead on Longoria's line drive to CF, then TB held the Phillies scoreless in the B6th? All this talk of orchestration on the part of Phillies fans (here and at Good Phight) smells of sour grapes to me. Phillies are still favored to win Game #5 and the series. Please explain the "orchestrating", with logic and reasoning of course.
vr, Xei
2008-10-29 00:16:26
2.   clopez
Crybaby Carminati. Woops, I meant to say The Irrational Phillies Blogger From The Toaster. I don't want to mention his actual name lest anybody get enraged. Despite the juvenile tone of my approach, I stand by my post and have no further comment.
2008-10-29 03:56:02
3.   Chiron Brown
1 It was orchestrated because it doesn't adhere to the rules. If they followed the rules, when the game was called it would have reverted to the last complete inning (the 5th) and the series would be over. From what Selig said he had decided that the World Series would not end with a shortened game. He said he decided this on Saturday and, if you believe him, he told officials for both teams. Somehow, though, the players didn't know this nor did the t.v. announcers so we weren't told either. So anyone watching would have to think that if the game couldn't be finished that night it was over. There is no provision for suspending a game unless it's tied after a fully completed inning. That is, untill Selig pulled out the double secret suspended game rule.
2008-10-29 06:27:21
4.   jonnystrongleg
1 It was orchestrated because Selig decided in advance that he would circumvent the rules and not allow a rain shortened game to clinch the series. So then when the game became unplayable with the Phillies up 2-1 after the top of the 5th, he allowed the game to conitnue in unplayable conditions because he had no other options. The run the Rays scored in the 6th could have covered this all up, but they chose to reveal their orchestration anyway. If the Rays had not scored, I suspect Selig would have forced the game to continue until the teams & umpires actively revolted or drowned.
2008-10-29 06:29:07
5.   jonnystrongleg
3 They changed those rules in 2007. The game no longer reverts to the last complete inning if rus are scored in the top of the suspended inning.
2008-10-29 07:41:35
6.   Xeifrank
3. Post #5 is correct, the rule was changed over a year ago. Please try again. :)
vr, Xei
2008-10-29 08:11:45
7.   das411
1 - Mike, it's "US was robbed"

2 - The solution is simple: let Jenkins get announced as the first PH, Tampa then brings in Howell or Price, then send up your best right-handed bat: BRETT MYERS!

2008-10-29 08:39:10
8.   Kevin Lewis
Now seeing that the rule was changed anyway, would you really want to win the series on a called game due to rain? Wow. What about the horrible strike zone the Rays pitching has had to deal with?
2008-10-29 09:50:23
9.   Gagne55
7 Or Myers could be the relief pitcher. This would normally be the day that he'd start...
2008-10-29 12:27:42
10.   Eric Enders
Say you were robbed if it makes you feel better, but from an objective perspective there's no way to support that contention. If anything the Phillies got an advantage because Selig and the umps bent over backwards to not suspend the game until Hamels was finished pitching.
2008-10-29 17:44:08
11.   Mike Carminati
10 If they called the game prior to the 6th, the Phils would have won. Also, Hamels said after the game that he couldn't throw the change with the weather conditions and was going with his fastball only, not an ideal situation for him.

5 & 6 Yes, they changed rule in 2007, but my point is that they allowed the game to continue until a tie was achieved so that they could invoke the rule. The conditions were abysmal from the middle of the fifth on.

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