Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bud Selig Cannot Win: The Game 5 Debacle

The Phillies looked to clinch the 2008 title in Game 5. Both starting lineups had been announced and there was a feeling of restlessness making its way through the stadium. It was somewhat ominous and many fans voiced concern as it appeared that Major League Baseball was really going to go through with this game. Also it looked like it was going to rain.

The Phillies were sending Cole Hamels to the mound. As most fans know he was having a great postseason in four starts he had four wins, to go along with his NLCS MVP award. Less well known was the success that the Rays were having with Rocco Baldelli in the starting lineup. The Rays going into Game 5 of the World Series had a postseason record of 8-7 but were 5-2 with Baldelli in the starting lineup (3-5 without). Rocco has become a fan favorite in Tampa Bay (I assume) and has catapulted into the top in nationwide MLB jersey sales (I assume). Major League Baseball now had two of their winningest players in this year’s postseason poised to face one another. A legacy could be tarnished.

But the rain. Selig had the chance to call the game before getting underway due to the forecasted rain. But he allowed the two titans to battle despite the advice of a top advisor (I consider myself a top advisor). And battle they would. Baldelli v. Hamels I took place in the top of the second. Hamels won that round forcing a pop up. But in Baldelli v. Hamels II Baldelli hit a groundball to Rollins that was impossible to handle allowing Rocco to get on. It should be noted that the groundball should have been handled; Rollins was charged with an error. Baldelli and Hamels would not face off for a third time as the rain had become enough and the game was sent into a delay, then suspended effectively ending Hamels outing at just 75 pitches. The suspension did give Baldelli the chance to take center stage. In his first Non-Cole (NC) at bat he launched the ball over the left-field wall.

The Phillies would go on to win the series, but at no fault of Rocco Baldelli. In a somewhat odd contract Tampa Bay was forced to make a decision on Rocco’s option for next season before this season, they declined. Baldelli will now undoubtedly have his choice of suitors. I do not know where he will end up. I do know that the Phillies’ left-fielder Pat Burrell is a free agent. Hamels and Baldelli on one team? Wow.

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