The Baseball Desert

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rainy days and Thursdays

One of the much-vaunted beauties of baseball is that it has no time-clock (see no. 72), so it always strikes me as a little incongruous when a game is called due to bad weather, as the Red Sox game was last night. I understand that the games can't be played in heavy rain, but I've never worked out why there is this somewhat arbitrary '5-inning' rule in the rulebook (4.10 (c)). If, as Boz claims, the three-run comeback is a common occurrence, then wouldn't it make more sense for the rule to state that a rain-shortened game - no matter how many innings have been played - be replayed, or at least continued, at a later date?

Maybe I'm just sore because the Sox ended up on the wrong end of the 3-1 scoreline (having had Terry Francona's 'let's rest the big guys and keep 'em on the bench for later in the game' strategy blow up in their face), but there is just something about the rule that seems to go against the spirit of baseball - it puts up an invisible, but very real, barrier, in a sport whose essence is a tendency toward the infinite.

It's unlikely that my moaning is going to get the rules changed, so I guess I'll have to go with Tito's flow:
"That's the way it goes," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You can't figure out a way to beat Mother Nature."