Oct 29

Talkin’ Baseball: Does it end tonight?

Talkin' Baseball: Rays trying to take Series home.

Talkin' Baseball: Rays trying to take Series home.

Cole Hamels will be out of the game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rays have the advantage for the end of Game 5 tonight. They might have gained a sense of momentum after tying the game, but let’s not forget the Phillies have a rested bullpen.

As the weather becomes a storyline in this World Series, unfortunately we could be hearing a lot tonight and in the near future about the showcase event being played at a neutral site. Yeah, that was me you heard screaming.

There are some things that shouldn’t be considered, and that’s one of them.

Oct 28

Commentary: I believe Selig, but ….

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Message to Bud: Don't pray for it, make it happen.

Bud Selig said it and I believe him.

After Carlos Pena’s single drove in B.J. Upton with the tying run, and the grounds crew practically following him across the plate, Selig said he would have not allowed the Phillies be crowned champions with a rain-shortened victory.

“It’s not a way to end a World Series,” Selig said. “I would not have allowed the World Series to end that way.”

I believe he wouldn’t. He would have played his “best interest in baseball,” card and done the right thing.

Giving that, why couldn’t he have done the right thing earlier? Perhaps not start the game at all, given the forecast? Or, once it started, said, “if we have to stop this, we won’t have a rain-shortened winner?”

The late start times and scheduling are other matters he needs to correct. My thinking is the World Series is the ultimate. It’s baseball’s showcase event, and it should be treated that way. Too often MLB lets those who don’t love it make the decisions and that has to stop.

If Selig’s words are to be believed, he must follow them up with actions that mean something. So far, his legacy as commissioner has been the steroids era, interleague play, new divisional alignments and a work stoppage that killed the 1994 World Series.

Time to change that for the better. Schedule the Series start times so people can see the game, and if worse, to give you more leeway time with the weather. If you don’t like playing this late in October, then you’re going to have to do something about shortening the playoffs?

Since you won’t reduce the number of games, then you must alter the regular season schedule. I have already suggested in these pages to have at least one day-night doubleheader a month. That would give you six days to play with. There are things that can be done, and in the end they won’t hurt as bad as the embarrassment that was last night.

Oct 27

Quote of the Day: Phillies anticipating.

Howard: Has regained stroke. Ready to drop hammer on Rays.

Howard: Has regained stroke. Ready to drop hammer on Rays.

“It will be absolute bedlam. It will be one of the craziest places on Earth. It’s kind of scary to imagine.’’ – Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on anticipating the crowd reaction if Philadelphia wraps up the World Series tonight at home.

Oct 27

It could all end tonight ….

Hamels: Can wrap up title for Phillies tonight.

Hamels: Can wrap up title for Phillies tonight.

The World Series started with classic hopes. Both teams made destiny arguments with their grit persona that suggested we could have a Series for the ages. We still could, but the Rays have to beat Cole Hamels tonight and take it to Game 7 back in Tampa.

Let’s face it, the odds are long.

The last two games remind us how fragile things could be. Game 3 is the turning point of the Series, but the Phillies scored in the first and ninth innings with the benefit of a wild pitch putting the runner in scoring position.

A lot has happened to the Rays, but mostly their offense has disappeared since the end of Game 5 of the ALCS with Boston.

I’ll be blogging Game 5 with the hope it is compelling enough to where I won’t switch over to watch Peyton Manning. Join me tonight at 8.-JD