Fans' plans are also suspended
Ticket holders affected by delay; Floridian has flight home Tuesday
PHILADELPHIA -- To see Game 5 of the World Series, Colleen Morrissette traveled more than 1,000 miles and endured whipping 40-degree winds through the game's first six innings.
But she probably won't get to see it end.For the first time in baseball history, Monday night's World Series contest between the Phillies and Rays at Citizens Bank Park was suspended because of a downpour that battered South Philly. No one is sure when it will resume. Commissioner Bud Selig said the game will start back up when he believes weather conditions are appropriate. That wasn't good news for Morrissette, a resident of Palm Harbor, Fla. Expecting Monday night's game to end at a reasonable time -- and hoping a Rays win would force a sixth game back in Florida -- she had booked a flight home that leaves Philadelphia at noon on Tuesday. "We were supposed to finish playing tonight," Morrissette said. Would the airline understand her plight, and allow her to fly home one day later?
GAME 5 SUSPENSION
|Commissioner Selig cited rule 4.12(a)(6) in explaining the suspension of Game 5. According to the rule, enacted for the 2007 season, any official game halted with the score tied "shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date."
In this scenario, rule 4.12(c) for suspended games is enacted: "A suspended game shall be resumed at the exact point of suspension of the original game. The completion of a suspended game is a continuation of the original game. The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup."
Prior to 1980, a game called due to inclement weather would have reverted back to the beginning of the inning, with the Phillies leading, 2-1, since Philadelphia did not bat in the bottom of the inning. In 1980, the "reverting back" was discontinued and the game was henceforth declared a suspended game. Rule 4.12(a)(6) was added after the 2006 season so that any game suspended after becoming official would be declared a suspended game. Therefore, Game 5 will resume with the score tied at 2.
"The airlines aren't that understanding," said her friend, Jon Sechler, a Phillies fan from Pottstown, Pa. "Especially not to a Tampa fan."Sechler, however, will be holding onto his ticket stub. He plans to make the hour-and-a-half drive back down to the ballpark to watch the game's final 3 1/2 innings (or more) -- whenever that may be. "I'm on vacation," he said, grinning. "I'm lucky." Meanwhile, 14-year-old Andy Leopold stewed over what he saw as unfair handling of the situation. The wet conditions gave an edge to the Rays, the Phillies fan from Ambler, Pa., reasoned. He explained that, in the sixth inning, the torrential rain may have hindered Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels and led to the Rays scoring the tying run for a 2-2 deadlock. Of course, the Phillies won't get that same edge when the game resumes in the bottom half of the sixth. "We're gonna bat in the bottom of the sixth," Leopold said, "and their pitcher is gonna get sunny, perfect weather." Even though she probably won't be in attendance to see her favorite team complete Game 5, Morrissette tried to view the situation in a positive light. "I'm glad that we tied it up," she said.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.