Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Tampa Bay Rays — who played in the sensory-depravation tank but weather-proof dome known as Tropicana Field — wind up coming back to win this World Series because of rain?
It is certainly possible, and a lot more probable than when baseball made the ill-advised decision to start game five Monday night. Everything was going the Phillies way — a 3-1 lead in the series, with their ace, Cole Hamels, on the mound at home before a sold out crowd.
The decision to suspend play in the fifth inning with the score tied at 2-2 — the right call following the wrong call to play — now puts the Rays in control of the pitching matchups again.
The game will be picked up where it left off, meaning a four-inning game if either team takes a lead. The Rays have their explosive young hurler, David Price, ready to pitch probably all four of those innings, while the Phillies, whose bullpen has outpitched the Rays in the series, don’t really have anyone who presents as big a challenge as Price does.
If Tampa Bay manages to win a resume game five, the series goes back to the Trop, and the Rays will have the pitching advantage of James Shields against Brett Myers.
The odds are still heavily in favor of the Phillies, but the Rays hand got a little stronger because of the rain.
Of course, everyone knows that all of this is wrong — playing the World Series this late in the season, starting the games so late — and it is all because of the dictates of television. That is hardly news. It stinks, and is shortsighted, but no one seems to want to do anything about it.
Loverro on the Radio
I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM on Monday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com