First Time Game In World Series Game Suspended

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This is the first in MLB history that a World Series game has been suspended. Rain stopped game 5 of the World Series Game in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night. The field at Citizens Bank Park was soaked and it was hard for the players to play on it.

The tarpaulin was pulled across the infield in the six inning with the score tied at 2. Nobody, including the Phillies, Rays, or even the MLB Commissioner, cannot decide when the game will be played because of weather conditions. There is no set time when it is expected to be removed.

The unprecedented situation creates at least one more night in the 2008 Major League season. The resumption time remains indefinite because of bad weather in Philadelphia. Commissioner Bud Selig said that the game will be resumed when weather conditions are deemed appropriate. Fans will need their World Series Game 5 tickets in order to watch the remainder of the game.

"I can't tell you tonight when we'll resume," Selig said Monday. "We'll resume, weather permitting, when the health and welfare of our players is protected as much as it can be."

Under Major League rule 4.12, the game is suspended with the Phillies due to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. Selig said that he would not have permitted the game -- which could clinch a championship for the Phillies -- to be called without nine full innings being played. Both clubs were aware of that fact before the first pitch was thrown.

"I have to use my judgment. It's not a way to end a World Series," Selig said.

When the World Series resumes, it will do so at Citizens Bank Park. They haven't even considered moving the game to another stadium. Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL will be the site for Game 6, but only if the Rays don't win Game 5.

"We'll stay here," Selig said. "We'll stay here if we have to celebrate Thanksgiving here."
Selig acknowledged that October is a month where ideal conditions do not always exist, and vowed to be "very sensitive and thorough in at least making sure that we don't have a situation like we had."

"I don't want to speculate now, we'll see what happens," Selig said. "But we're not going to resume until we have decent weather conditions."

The evening began with optimism on the part of MLB and the Phillies and the Rays. Selig said that a meeting was held, as it was before Game 3, with both general managers of the teams, the umpiring crew and the Phillies head groundskeeper.

Though Monday opened as an overcast but dry day in Philadelphia, the forecast grew worse over time. The three agencies used by MLB recommended to Selig that there would be a small amount of rain and all parties involved voted to play.

"Given the weather forecast we had, and we had monitored it over and over again, it was a decision that we made," Selig said. "And obviously I made it with some significant trepidation, but had the forecast held, we would have been OK."

Rain began falling heavily in the fourth inning. Selig met with the groundskeeper in the fifth inning. The sand-based field of Citizens Bank Park absorbs water well. The condition deteriorated over the next hour and Welke waved the teams off the field after the top of the sixth inning was over.

Freddie Brister is a big fan of Major League Baseball and College Football. Check out his Philadelphia Phillies Store or his LSU Tigers Merchandise at SportsFanTreasures.

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