The self-appointed Super Bowl of stock car racing just finished, and it finished in controversy. Matt Kenseth won his first Daytona 500 when the race was called off because of a rain delay in central Florida. As far as we’re concerned, its the “race was called because of a rain delay” that marks the most important part of that sentence.
(Congratulations, dude. Now get back in your car and finish the race!)
How can NASCAR possibly justify awarding it’s biggest single event title before the race has actually finished? Would they call off the Super Bowl with 9 minutes on the clock in the fourth quarter because of horrible field conditions? No way. Would they award a win for a rain-shortened World Series game? No, they wouldn’t. In fact, we now know that empirically, thanks to last year’s weather-elongated theatrics between the Phillies and Rays.
So, the Phillies didn’t win the World Series last night. But the Rays didn’t win the game, either. Yup, that’s baseball for you. What almost turned into a clusterf*** of epic proportions conveniently became much easier to deal with when Carlos Peña drove in B.J. Upton with the tying run in the top of the 6th inning.
Had the Rays not scored in the inning, who knows how long the umpires would’ve insisted that the debacle continue. The field became basically unplayable in the 4th inning, but the umpiring crew didn’t want to face the wrath of Philly by bringing the tarp out then, and forcing the game to be wiped off the books and replayed from scratch when the Phillies were leading. But at the time, what we didn’t know was that Bud Selig was going to actually make a good decision, and force the game to be played in its entirety no matter the score and inning. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal was shocked at what transpired.
According to MLB.COM, Selig informed officials from both teams earlier in the series that every game would be played to its conclusion. Rule 3.10(c) allows the umpires (or commissioner) to wait as long as necessary to resume a game, even if it takes days. This rule is rarely, if ever, used in the regular season because of the nature of scheduling and the necessity to get games finished and move on. But with no other games on the schedule, it is well within the rules to wait a day to end a rain delay. The Phillies won’t be able to use Cole Hamels when the game resumes, but he’ll be OK since he gets to go home to her every night:
Thankfully, a quirk in the rules was cleared up in 2006. By the old rules, if the game was suspended at this point, Tampa’s run in the top of the inning wouldn’t count and we’d have to go back and start the 6th inning all over again. Skip Bayless‘ head would’ve exploded on “First Take” this morning.
As it looks now, it’s going to be raining all day today in Philadelphia, but the weather may be clearing up a bit by the scheduled resumption time of 8:00. It’s still going to be miserable, with temperatures likely in the upper-30s and wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour.
Brown: There is no place to go but up in your view?
Barkley: We are number 48 in everything and Arkansas and Mississippi aren’t going anywhere.
Chuck then appeared on Conan O’Brien last night and called out Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan for being “cheap.” Yeah, he’s gonna do great in politics.
The Titans beat the Colts 31-21 last night, driving Indy a little further into oblivion. It seems like this shouldn’t be it for Peyton Manning as a dominant quarterback, but things aren’t looking good this year. He has nine interceptions and a passer rating of just 79.0. That’s just better than Dan Orlovsky and below great signal-callers like Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton. The Titans, meanwhile, look like the team to beat, especially since they got rid of that Vince Young dude.
• Darryl Hall was supposed to sing the national anthem at last night’s World Series game in Philly, but he got sick. Plan B? Like you had to ask:
Apparently, Oates was just chilling at home in Aspen when he got the call on Monday morning. So he hopped on a flight (he had to sit in a middle seat) and made it in time to fill in. Now that’s dedication.
• Nate McMillan’s choice to leave Seattle three years ago to move to Portland seems like a pretty good one now, says the SEATTLE TIMES, since his old team isn’t there anymore and his new one is rejuvenated.
• Jung hit his caddy so hard with a golf ball that he necessitated seven weeks of hospital treatment. The caddy was behind him. About eight yards behind him. No wonder K.J. Choi’s the only male golfer who’s made it out of Korea. (REUTERS via YAHOO!)
• Looks like TMZ just has someone who follows David Beckham around all day. Becks got pulled over, got a “talking to” about his tinted windows, but didn’t get a ticket. Yes, this is news.
• This is just another Isiah Thomas story, from the NY DAILY NEWS, but it contains this great nugget of info: “Isiah Thomas’ son said the ex-Knicks coach will be back at work Monday.” What work? What does he do? He can’t talk to the players or make any decisions. Is he the IT guy now?
This is what happens during a rain delay at Fenway, as fans were treated to a video of Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen getting their Rob and Fab on, cranking out a remix of Milli Vanilli’s “Blame It On The Rain” while waiting for play to resume between the Red Sox and Cardinals (video thanks to the BOSTON GLOBE’S EXTRA BASES blog.)