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Home » April 2008 Game CommentsApril 2008 » Delay


Game 12: April 12, 2008
Yankees 3 L: Mike Mussina (1-2) 6-6, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 4 W: Josh Beckett (1-1)
H: Manny Delcarmen (2)
H: Hideki Okajima (3)
S: Jonathan Papelbon (4)
6-6, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: Regarding rain delays, Rule 3.10(c) states, “The umpire-in-chief shall at all times try to complete a game. His authority to resume play following one or more suspensions of as much as thirty minutes each shall be absolute and he shall terminate a game only when there appears to be no possibility of completing it.”

Fox broadcasters weren’t brimming with enthusiasm as the rain delay lated eleven or so minutes over two hours (three hours less than it takes to jackhammer an Ortiz Red Sox jersey out of concrete). One would think their producers could goad a tad of passion into their on-screen talent (using the term loosely) since the company will shell out $257 million per year until 2013 for the rights to MLB games.

Instead, Jeannie Zelasko and company were as antsy as grade-schoolers being held after school as punishment for misbehaving during class. They pouted and whined for 131 minutes, and then Fox had the gall to cut away from the last batter of the game to switch to NASCAR.

Only in my mind did I hear the bawdy opening riff of Dirty Water and the line of Red Sox players congratulating each other for a well-deserved victory since I didn’t find the sister station in time to share in the festivities. Had I switched, I would have seen the end of a 10-pitch battle between Robinson Cano and Jonathan Papelbon.

The Yankee keystone sack man lasted longer than his corner-infielding teammate Alex Rodriguez. The former MVP looked anything but as he couldn’t stomach the three-scoop dish of blazing fastballs the Red Sox closer served. Rodriguez got a nibble of the first helping but tasted nothing else as he greedily lunged two more times to finally conclude the top of the eighth.

The home team notched the first run of the game in the fourth. Mike Mussina hung a curve right in Manny Ramirez’s kitchen and the slugger’s blast could have knocked over the Sausage King cart on Lansdowne if a sign hadn’t interceded.

Josh Beckett lost his bearings in the sixth and allowed consecutive singles to bottom-of-the-order batters Jose Molina and Alberto Gonzalez. Joe Girardi isn’t long removed from his days managing a National League team: he directed Johnny Damon to sac bunt and Melky Cabrera flied out deep enough into center that even Molina could tag up from third.

I was truly attempting to avoid using the word “speedy” with the replacement shortstop’s surname, so let’s just say Gonzalez was quick enough to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Youngsters Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, while respectful of the game, are exactly the type to answer back to their elders. The former singled and the latter doubled, putting their team in position to take the lead with David Ortiz and Ramirez backing them up.

Ortiz’s struggles continued, however, and he frustratingly struck out on a foul tip. Mussina somehow talked Girardi into keeping him on the mound to face Ramirez. Perhaps the pitcher has incriminating photos he found in the locker that he took over from Girardi.

Ramirez again took Mussina deep, lofting yet another fly ball into the triangle. The Red Sox took the lead and through rain and delay would not relinquish it.

Tonight the rubber game will be carried by ESPN, whose broadcasting team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan are if anything overly respectful of baseball establishment. Thank goodness for mute buttons.

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