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World Series Game 5, Pt. 2: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, and Obama's On the Horizon
October 28, 2008  | By David Bianculli
Suspending Game 5 of the World Series last night may have been a logistical nightmare -- but resuming it is likely to be even trickier.

When the Tampa Rays tied the game at the top of the sixth inning, it made it much easier for baseball's powers that be to suspend play. When play resumes, the Philadelphia Phillies will be up to bat at the bottom of the sixth -- and even though the Phils have lost a chance to field their ace pitcher for one more inning, that's the biggest inequity of restarting Game 5.

But when?


Game 5 could resume tonight, and that's what Fox and Major League Baseball want most. But I live outside Philadelphia, and the weather, as of this morning, doesn't seem conducive to a prime-time start. The forecast tonight is supposed to be colder and wetter than last night, which says it all. But if Game 5 is restarted, I hope both sides have decided to forego the usual pregame hoopla and start pitching precisely at 8 p.m. ET. If the game is resumed under threat of rain, every moment will count.

But what it tonight is a rainout? Postpone the ending of Game 5 to Wednesday night, and you're running into another sort of unpredictable storm. Barack Obama has bought national time, 30 minutes' worth, to lead off prime time tomorrow night with a special political message. His campaign has bought time on CBS, NBC -- and Fox. Presumably, sports trumps politics in this case, so if the game is played, Obama's special, pitted against a pivotal World Series game, will be robbed of millions of potential viewers.

And what of Tampa? Wednesday's World Series game, if it came to a Game 6, was scheduled to be played back in warm, sunny Florida. If Game 5 isn't played until Wednesday, and is concluded in the same Philly park in which it began, then what happens if the Devil Rays win, and force a Game 6.

Does that make Thursday a travel day, and push the conclusion of the World Series into next weekend, when the networks, Fox included, all have scheduled expensive first-run programming for the November sweeps (which begin Thursday)?

If Game 5 resumes and concludes tonight, and the Phillies win, all other schedules remain unchanged. Otherwise, the domino effect of another delay will impact not just baseball, but entertainment television and, one week before the election, presidential politics.

Play ball! We hope!




ceolaf said:

When Obama bought the time on Fox, he got them to agree to delay the start of that night's baseball game, if needed.

Obviously, game 5 was supposed to be in the books by then, the the principle should hold.

I don't think Fox will air the game in place of Obama's infomercial.

Comment posted on October 28, 2008 10:46 AM

Bernie said:

This issue was already reported and resolved. The game will likely be delayed until after the speech- http://www.newsday.com/news/local/politics/ny-spwsad1017,0,3721884.story (That agreement was reached before a late start might jeopardize the game resuming that night at all. We'll see. - David B.)

Comment posted on October 28, 2008 11:07 AM
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