SBD/October 27, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Draws Praise For Decision To Postpone World Series Game Six Due To Weather

Torre announced decision to postpone game five hours before first pitch
MLB officials yesterday announced the postponement of World Series Game Six at 2:21pm CT citing “the desire to play a game of this magnitude without interruption, and an outlook with better conditions over the next two nights,” according to Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. The postponement was nearly “five hours before the scheduled first pitch.” MLB Exec VP/Operations Joe Torre during a news conference at Busch Stadium said that the decision “was made early to give fans time to make alternate plans for Game 6 and, potentially, Game 7.” Townsend notes a “steady rain began about 6:30 p.m., and the temperature dropped to the low 50s” in St. Louis, and “intermittent showers continued throughout the evening” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/27). Torre said, "You get to Game 6 of the World Series, and you want to guard -- as long as you have a forecast that we're expecting clear weather tomorrow, and if necessary the next day, I think that was more of a decision-maker than anything else, just the fact that we're anticipating rain during the game." The National Weather Service reported today “will be a drier day.” In St. Louis, Rick Hummel noted it “should be cloudy early Thursday morning, then clearing with a high in the mid 50s.” Tonight will be “mostly clear with a low in the mid 30s” (STLTODAY.com, 10/26). The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant wrote on his Twitter feed, "Tonight: Was raining - not pouring - and chilly. But you can't make decision in hindsight. MLB did best to preserve WS integrity." ESPN.com's Jim Bowden wrote, "Joe Torre made right call in ppd game in respect to new rules of playing WS games to their conclusion."

SMART CHOICE: On Long Island, Ken Davidoff writes under the header, “Tough Decision, But Right Call Was Made.” When MLB finds itself in a “no-win proposition when it comes to these scenarios, the game's powers seem to have settled on a new strategy: Better to look temporarily foolish than to have said foolishness preserved for history.” It was “better to postpone the game” in the early afternoon than to “hold a jewel event in lousy conditions, inviting a stoppage in play that would be discussed for the ages.” To take the “occasional early postponement in return for stopping in-game delays and suspensions” is a “trade any fan should accept” (NEWSDAY, 10/27). ESPN DALLAS' Richard Durrett wrote under the header, “MLB Made The Right Call On Postponement.” Durrett: “This isn't a regular season game or even a Division Series or Championship Series game. It's the World Series and a possible clinching game for the Texas Rangers.” The “last thing either team wants is a long delay or a game that starts and stops because of rain.” He added, “Don't take a chance, back the game up and let's play from start to finish on Thursday and see who wins” (ESPNDALLAS.com, 10/26). In San Diego, Tim Sullivan wrote baseball “can be played in the rain, and often at a high level, but doing so can make for a miserable night for the paying customers and wrenching moves by the managers.” If a game is “interrupted in progress, and the delay is for more than a few minutes, starting pitchers often make unscheduled exits that leave the game in lesser hands.” With a World Series “at stake, such competitive catastrophes should be avoided to the extent possible” (SIGNONSANDIEGO.com, 10/26). MLB.com’s Mike Bauman wrote MLB’s decision was a “victory for common sense.” Bauman: “Anybody who watched players trying to swim through Game 5 of the 2008 World Series in Philadelphia might have reached the same conclusion” (MLB.com, 10/26).

WHAT HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE? In N.Y., John Harper writes MLB “did the right thing by calling the game four hours ahead of time, avoiding a start-and-stop scenario that we’ve seen too often already during this postseason.” But it “continues to be a bad joke” that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig “allows his sport’s championship to be influenced by the All-Star Game.” Harper: "As grueling as October has become with two rounds of playoffs preceding the World Series, the team with the best record that survives deserves more than ever to be rewarded with home-field advantage" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/27).
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