"Had the forecast held, we'd a been OK." Bud Selig, 11:20 p.m. ET, Monday night.
As I argued two weeks ago, the entire baseball scheduling in the postseason is endangering the integrity of the sport - with the multiple and unnecessary days off rendering the regular season increasingly irrelevant as pitching rotations can be too easily tweaked to neutralize hard-earned pitching advantages of the best teams.
Now, with Major League Baseball seemingly ceding any control to TV interests with regards to scheduling the games, it is absolutely baffling to me that when it is finally appropriate to make a decision - and a conservative one at that - and take a day off and not play a game, Bud Selig and the powers that be at MLB decided to play Game 5 Monday night, with the end result being the first postseason game in the history of America's pastime suspended because of rain.
In no way is there any legitimate excuse for Commissioner Selig's (and the others in MLB) actions in forcing this game to have been played in the first place. Quite simply, it should have been postponed until Tuesday; and this decision could have been made as early as noon, eight hours before the game was to start.
Selig spoke frequently throughout the impromptu postgame press conference about the fickle nature of autumnal weather and how several weather forecasts showed that only light rain would threaten the on-field action. But if there was ANY rain forecast, why take the risk? After all, there is precedent for this. Precipitous weather is common this time of year and many a World Series game have been postponed because the umpires and league officials did not want to spoil the jewel of their season.
Think back to the storied World Series of 1986. After that incredible sixth game when the Mets made their great comeback, rain fell throughout the next day in New York and though there was a chance the rain would stop in time to get the game in with only a long delay, MLB played it smart and postponed the seventh game, just one of many examples. And furthermore, isn't this the time to be extra vigilant in protecting the rectitude and honor of the sport in this - supposedly - post-steroid era? But not with Selig as he'd rather blame the weathermen than disturb Fox's TV schedule.
What's even more heinous, and which rendered their actions utterly transparent, is that Selig and gang waited until B.J. Upton performed some base-running gymnastics and was able to round the bases and score on a single to tie in the game in the top of the 6th. This at least gave MLB a chance to save face - or so they thought - by leaving the game tied and avoiding an even more ferocious round of questioning had the game not been knotted 2-2 when play was finally arrested. It seems to me they weren't going to stop the game had it not been for Upton's heroic trek to home plate.
Our man Bud also quoted Leo Durocher, stating "you have to be lucky" when it comes to handling these tricky weather issues. Are you kidding me? I'm nothing more than the average over-saturated media consumer who is hyper-aware of the news but I guess I was a genius prognosticator and seer when I sent numerous text messages to my baseball-crazed friends Monday afternoon saying the game would most likely not be played if this forecast held up. In fact, I had resigned myself to watching that other sports event, Monday Night Football, because I was so sure the game wouldn't be played.
I'm desperately hoping that Tuesday night's game will end up going into the 15th inning with fans getting their money's worth for having to sit through Monday night's miserable conditions. In a World Series that has seen some of the worst umpiring in memory - and not just a crucial blown call but a seemingly systemic breakdown from balls and strikes to missed tags - to have this fiasco added to the inglorious resume of Bud "All-Star Game" Selig makes one yearn - make that beg - for an authentic, moral authority figure to regain stewardship of our good and great sport.
Bart Giamatti, we miss you - you must be rolling over in your grave.