DAVID BIANCULLI

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ERIC GOULD

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TV Hardball Doubleheader: Obama, Baseball Throw Their Best Pitches
October 29, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 

After a full season of major league baseball, and more than a year of presidential campaigning, the end is in sight for all the players -- and even at this late date, the outcome is in doubt and each move is critical.

Politically, Barack Obama is dipping into his campaign-fund treasure chest (a much deeper pile of booty than John McCain's) to finance a 30-minute political message, aired tonight at 8 ET at the beginning of prime time. What and whom will Obama be addressing, with Election Day six days away, and with a half hour to select any topics of his own choosing? That alone makes it a very intriguing, and illuminating, special to watch.

Then there's the World Series. The annual rite of baseball has been delayed many times before, by inclement weather and even an earthquake. But stopping a game in midstream, as a sort of battus interruptus, is highly unusual.

So if the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Rays play tonight, picking up where they left off with the Phillies coming to bat at the bottom of the sixth, the unpredictability factor is huge. With what amounts to a sudden death game of 2.5 innings, and the possibility of overtime, how aggressively do you swing, manage and play?

That makes this interesting to watch.

But with one game in this series not being decided until almost 2 a.m., does the prospect of watching a World Series game likely to conclude during prime time make it a huge ratings grabber? Or will a fractional Game 5 result in fractionally meager ratings, whatever the outcome?

Regardless, it appears pretty clear that tonight, Barack Obama and many of the Rays and Phillies batters all will be swinging for the fences.

 
 
 
 
 
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