Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are You There, Baseball God? It's Me, Selig.

I have stated often and publicly that I don’t believe in baseball gods. That, furthermore, I have a hard time believing that Jesus or Ganesh or Yahweh or Buddha or whoever else care about whether or not any given batter gets a critical hit at a critical moment during a critical game. In fact, I actually kind of think it’s like a little insulting to Jesus and Ganesh and Yahweh and Buddha to suggest that they might. But on the off chance that I am wrong—that some kind of deity, baseball-specific or otherwise, is watching and controlling the factors that will determine the outcome of this World Series—that deity is apparently as bored as I am. How else do you explain the fact that, just when I was ready to write this off as the “Fall Classic” least worth watching since Anaheim played the Giants in 2002, the weather went and got all kinds of Biblical up in Citizens Bank Park on Monday?

Finally. A little excitement.

The storm prompted a suspension that began in the 6th inning of game Game 5 on Monday and that hasn’t ended yet. That will, in fact, go on until Thanksgiving if necessary, according to baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

That guy’s so drama.

Everyone knew in advance that, no matter what happened, the game was going to be played through to its completion. Well, everyone but Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and the viewing public—all five of us. So everyone that mattered knew. While a player or two for the Phils have rightfully grumbled about the fact that the game wasn’t called earlier—claiming that the Devs were only able to tie things up because the field conditions had so rapidly deteriorated—none among them seemed to be upset about the predetermined ruling to finish the game no matter what. I mean, seriously, if you’re going to win your first World Series in twenty-eight years, you’ve got to know that it’s embarrassing to do it with a rain-shortened outing. It’s sort of like being Justin Morneau and knowing that you only won the Home Run Derby because Josh Hamilton expended all his energy hitting five million home runs in the first round. And that no one wanted you to win anyway. Like that but twenty times lamer.

It’s fortunate for Selig that the Devs managed to tie it up when they did because it effectively took the choice about whether or not to resume play at a later date out of his hands. With the game tied in the 6th, it forced the suspension. True, if the Phils end up losing this Series on account of the decision not to call the game earlier, Selig probably won’t live long enough to lower his golf handicap this winter. True, also, that every journalist this side of the Mississippi has gone all Mike Lowell in a dark alley editorial-style on Selig as a result of his ineffectual decision-making skills. But it’s a small price to pay to avoid taking responsibility for changing a rule. So it worked out for the best. It’s also good that it panned out like this because if the Devs hadn’t gotten that run in the 6th, they were going to call this two-day suspension of play a “rain delay.”

Holy crap. That’s demented.

In any event, at long, long last, if and when this ballgame ever resumes, there’s a chance it’s going to be worth watching. The suspension probably favors the Devs, who will be able to avoid facing Hamels for the remainder of the game. And even before the weather went and got all squally on us, my friend, The Thunderphobe, made the prediction that B.J. Upton's slide just might just constitute the turning point in this series. The Thunderphobe is not only wise but often prescient, so I like to quote him when he offers these kinds of insights. If he ends up being right, you can say you read it on my blog, and I look good. If he’s wrong, I can just be like, “Whatever. Who’s the Thunderphobe?” It’s a win-win. (Oh, and for the record, in addition to being prescient and wise, The Thunderphobe is also afraid of thunder—thus, the name.)

Regardless, it will be exciting to see how Manuel and Maddon manage a three and a half inning ballgame. If the Phils had been ahead going into the game, maybe they pitch a starter—bank on holding the Devs at bay and try to wrap it up at home. But with a tied game, they have to feel more of a need to keep some reserves in the tank. Anyway you slice it, it’s going to be fun to watch.

So, baseball gods, if you’re out there and you did this, thanks. Same goes for real God, if perchance it was you. Also, I have some other questions about like poverty and war and stuff like that. But mostly thanks.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of things that have nothing to do with each other—like baseball and God—maybe this would be a good time to mention, apropos of nothing, that you suck Coco Crisp.

Still feels good.


Willie said...

on the subject of god and baseball I have merely one request:
Can a jewish athlete please thank either Moses or Yahweh in a postgame interview!!! For real how amazing would it be to see Gabe Kapler lean in and say "to start with I just want to thank Moses for blessing me with the skill to play at this level"

Why do the Christians get all the fun?

Josh said...

Haha, my dad's wanted a Jewish athlete to say that for years!