It's just past 10 a.m. here in Philadelphia and if it weren't for the orange leaves on the trees, the weather outside the window could well be mistaken for cold day in early March. It's hard to imagine there will be baseball tonight and if Bud Selig has any sense, he'll make a decision before anybody reports to Citizens Bank Park. God help him if he has 46K people show up to pay for parking, beer and souvenirs before he sends everyone home again without a resolution.
Since I'm out of clean underpants, I'm off to a fine Philadelphia laundromat and then off to a Target to buy some gloves and longjohns on the chance there's baseball tonight. And if not? Well, these final 3 1/2 innings will be completed before Christmas ... right?
Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer: "In October, the game went on. And Major League Baseball should be ashamed for allowing its most important game of the year to deteriorate into an embarrassing mess because of slavish obedience to its pimp, the Fox Television Network.
"Simply put, Game 5 is hopelessly tainted by what transpired between the time the game should have been called and the middle of the sixth inning, when it was finally suspended.
"Whatever happens when play resumes, whether the Phillies celebrate their first World Series championship or the Rays force a Game 6 in Florida, MLB can't justify its decision or its decision-making process."
Gary Shelton, St. Pete Times: "If you had begun to say last rites over the prone body of the Rays, why golly, that was a toe that just twitched! And just like that, this wasn't such a miserable night for the Rays after all."
Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports: "All we can do is sit back and get acquainted with the Doppler. There is supposed to be rain this morning. And then more this afternoon. And ... you get the point. This is a championship held hostage by its elements, a sad — and somewhat fitting — occurrence with the World Series That Can't Get It Right."
Dan Levy, The 700 Level: "You know how many emails and instant messages I've gotten from out-of-town friends an panicking locals with the simple statment: God hates Phillies fans.
"We're cursed. We know that. All I heard all day on radio was how 'over' this series was with Cole Hamels on the mound. It's like we spit in the face of the baseball God one too many times after game four and God decided to spit back, in the form of rain, wind, cold and puddles. Lots and lots of puddles.
"But screw it. We're cursed. So what? We are cursed. Philly fans. Some higher power clearly thinks we don't deserve a champion...or at least the conventional champion. But that doesn't mean this team isn't going to win. Maybe this is just some crazy curse-breaking hazing ritual or something. Honestly, would we want it any other way? After all this, would anyone out there want this to be easy?"
A.J. Daulerio, Deadspin: "Obviously, if the Phillies lose this outright in the next three games (whenever those happen), the notion that this city's sports teams are perennially doomed to fail would reach a whole new level: This isn't a black cat or Bartman or Babe Ruth - this is GOD. Yeah, HE did this to us. Probably for pouring beer on children and cornering a terrified Rays fan in a bathroom stall."
Dajafi, The Good Phight: "I understand not wanting to see the World Series end with a rain-shortened game. And on some level I think that winning a championship under that circumstance would devalue the accomplishment — certainly in the eyes of those predisposed to sneer at all things Philadelphia anyway. I don't think there was any intent to screw the Phillies here; if anything, the more rational thing to do--calling the game after four innings, with the Phils up 2-1--would have come across much more like the result of a thumb on the scale. There were no good options.
"But that doesn't change the fact that this was handled in an abysmal way, and that the whole situation was the consequence of what has become characteristic stupidity and greed on the part of Major League Baseball.
"Why start the games at a later hour, later in the year? What good can come of that? Higher television ratings, and that's it. The downside is what we've seen twice in the last few days: a game that started at 10 following a delay and ended shortly before 2, and this disaster."