After the most memorable night in Major League Baseball history Wednesday night, I was excited to watch baseball yesterday. In case you don’t know what happened Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the National League Wild Card by overcoming an 8.5-game September deficit to the Atlanta Braves, who led the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth inning with their closer on the mound, only to lose in thirteen innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays overcame a 9-game deficit to the Boston Red Sox in the month of September, and a 7-run, eighth inning deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in 12 innings three minutes after Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a save, and the game, against the Baltimore Orioles, to win the American League Wild Card berth.
The first game of the day pitted the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers, but this game wasn’t very compelling, as the Rays jumped on Rangers starter C.J. Wilson early, scoring three runs in both the second and third innings, to go on to a 9-0 win. Matt Moore, making only his second career Major League start, was dominant, giving up only two hits over seven innings.
I considered the first game the appetizer, and was anxiously awaiting the main course, which pitted the 19-8 New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia against 24-5 Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Unfortunately, because of very poor decision-making on the part of Major League Baseball, the game was suspended after one and a half innings.
I, like 50,000 people in Yankee Stadium and hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of New York Yankee, Detroit Tiger, and baseball fans everywhere was excited about this match up, and now, unfortunately, there is a chance that it may not happen. Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Why am I blaming this on Major League Baseball? I didn’t look at the weather, but a friend of mine, who is a huge New York Yankees fan (he actually sent me a picture of him and a friend with Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay) predicted the game would get rained out, and he was right. Surely he is not privy to more information than Major League Baseball, as he is a construction worker, not a meteorologist.
The idea of Major League Baseball putting two of the game’s best pictures on the mound in a potentially dangerous situation is disheartening. Not to mention how much it compromises both teams to have their superstars and aces pitch in a wasted effort essentially. I applaud both managers for not bashing anyone from MLB but Girardi’s sarcasm in the post (partial) game press conference showed where he stood.
In the top of the second inning, on what would eventually be the last pitch of the night, Sabathia slipped on the mound, as it had already been raining since the bottom of the first. The foolish decision not to stop the game earlier compounds the original decision of beginning the game in the first place. What if Sabathia or Verlander, or one of the position players would have gotten injured? These teams would be even more compromised. I say even more, because the decision to start the game leaves both teams with limited availability from their aces, with less than 30 pitches thrown by each.
Major League Baseball needs to immediately figure out a system to making sure this doesn’t happen again. They have the resources to do so. Unfortunately, it may take the injury of a player for the league to do what he should already have done.