Chat with Rob Neyer
Neyer's new book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," can be ordered now!
Send in your questions now and join Rob in The Show on Tuesday at noon ET!
Rob Neyer (12:02 PM)
To paraphrase a recent TV commercial: I'm ba-ack. Chatted last night during Game 5, chatting now, and chatting during Game 5 again tonight. Strange days...
Mark (Portland, OR)
If Selig made the call before Game 3 that every game will go at least 9 innings with delays if necessary, shouldn't he have told the press and fans? I think it's clearly the right call, but it seems odd that nobody knew until after using the rule (possibly not even the team managers).
Rob Neyer (12:07 PM)
Mark, this is one of the points I made in my blog this morning. Listening on the radio, I kept hearing after the top of the fifth that the game was "now official". But what did that mean, really? Apparently this eventuality was discussed prior to Game 3, and I don't understand why it was a big secret until the sixth inning of Game 5.
Rob, doesn't mlb realize that it's greed is turning away fans? They want to maximize ratings but starting the games at 8:30 ET and playing the World Series so late in the year are ruining the game.
Rob Neyer (12:08 PM)
Move to Denver or Seattle. You'll be glad you did.
Adam (Boca Raton)
How is fair for the Phillies when they had to play for 3 more outs in those conditions. If they knew that they were going to go a full 9, they should have stopped it after 5. For that matter, why not roll it back to the end of the 5th and pick it up when the weather improves. If Selig is going to invoke "best interest of the game", would that be the fairest option?
Rob Neyer (12:10 PM)
You can't put the top of the sixth back in the bottle, Adam. But I agree with you about this: the top of the sixth never should have been played.
Hi Rob. If I'm Joe Maddon, I start the game in the bottom of the 6th with Price on the mound. Agree or Disagree?
Rob Neyer (12:12 PM)
I start the bottom of the sixth with Grand Balfour on the mound, and see which pinch-hitter Charlie Manuel sends to the plate. If it's Matt Stairs or Greg Dobbs, I bring in David Price.
Rob, if tonight's resumption also gets rained out, what happens next? Can the Tampa games logistically be pushed back to accommodate finishing Game 5 here in Philly?
Rob Neyer (12:15 PM)
There's not much of a choice, Jerry. I don't imagine anything else is scheduled for the Trop this weekend...
Wait, why start Balfour or Price? It's 4 innings. Why not put a starter in there? It's a must-win game!
Rob Neyer (12:18 PM)
Which starter are you thinking about? Someone who just pitched two or three days ago? Someone who then wouldn't be available for Game 6? If you check the Rays' individual ERA's, you'll find that relievers typically are better than starters when it comes to run prevention.
Rob, Price would not be an option in teh 6th b/c he will be the 4th batter in the 7th. A double switch would not work b/c Maddon would not remove one of his top 5 hitters. Price would not enter until the 7th.
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
Ah, I'd completely failed to consider that part of it. I would tend to agree with you, but on the other hand the Rays need somebody to retire Utley and Howard. I'll bet Maddon didn't sleep well last night...
How is it that this has never happened in a WS before???
Rob Neyer (12:21 PM)
Just dumb luck, I guess.
Kenny Rogers & Reba are playing the Trop on Friday.
Rob Neyer (12:24 PM)
Honestly? I have to check . . . Nice work, Chris. You made me look. The Gambler's actually in Australia this weekend. Play ball.
Rob when did David Price become cy young? Everyone is acting like the rays have already won game 5 when it resumes, because david price is going to pitch, last time I checked the philles have 4 at bats to the rays 3 and the phillies were able to score off him in tampa the other night, so hes obviously not untouchable
Rob Neyer (12:25 PM)
I haven't found anyone acting like that, PJ. The Phillies have to be considered favorites to win this thing because they have 12 outs left and the Rays have only nine.
Isn't it unfair that the Phillies had to field in the mess that was the top of the sixth, but they didn't make the rays squeeze in a half an inning in the stuff before calling it? Upton scored because of the weather more than anything.
Rob Neyer (12:27 PM)
Yes, it certainly was unfair. Should have been stopped after the fifth.
If the series goes 7, could we see Cole Hamels starting for Philly? He only threw 75 pitches last night.
Rob Neyer (12:29 PM)
Not unless Game 7 is delayed until Friday, in which case we may see him again.
Brett (Mount Prospect, IL)
Why are people not making a bigger deal of Baldelli not running out the high pop up dropped by Rollins? Little Leaguers are taught to run everything out. Yet this guy does not do it in the WS, despite the conditions that made everything possible. If he's on second there's no DP ball and maybe TB pushes a run across in the top of the 5th.
Rob Neyer (12:31 PM)
Fair point, Brett. After the game on ESPN Radio, Dave Campbell was railing against the lack of hustle on display last night. I will say this, in mild defense: When the conditions are as bad as they were, players sometimes sort of forget who they are and what they should do.
If the game stopped in the 5th the Philly fans would be crying that Hamels only got to pitch 5 innings and that gives the Rays an advantage.
Rob Neyer (12:34 PM)
Perhaps. Understandably, Phillies fans would have found something to complain about. After all, they were so, so *close*.
Kellen in Kansas City
Will there be a day of rest after game 5?
Rob Neyer (12:35 PM)
I doubt it, Kellen. I meant to do some research this morning before the chat, but didn't.
Cesare (Jet City, Wa)
Who would you rather sign to a 5 year deal: Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard or Manny Ramirez?
Rob Neyer (12:37 PM)
Wow, that's a tough one. I'll go with Dunn, though. Especially if I'm an American League team and can gradually shift Dunn to DH.
Someone from MLB told WIP's Howard Eskin that tonight's game is officially off. Announcement at 2 pm.
Rob Neyer (12:38 PM)
Really? That would be big news!
With all due respect Rob, we would have found something to complain about because we're Phillies fans. No other reason is necessary. That said... they should have suspended it after the 5th or played through the bottom of the 6th.
Rob Neyer (12:39 PM)
I don't think the latter was a reasonable option. But the former certainly was.
Rosenthal reported last night that one of the reason the umpiring has been so bad is because umpires are not allowed to be in two straight World Series. Is it really the case that there are less than 10 competent umpires in the entire league? What should be done about this?
Rob Neyer (12:41 PM)
It's true that MLB spreads the wealth around. Theoretically, we're seeing the best 50% of the umpires over the course of the postseason. But I'm skeptical about the system used to arrive at that 50%.
the rays had checked out of their hotel and their rooms had been filled. any idea where they slept last night?
Rob Neyer (12:43 PM)
Wilmington, Delaware, I think.
Why wouldn't Stern have simply postponed the game if he had serious doubts about the weather before the game and the fact that it was raining here before the game started? He apparently said that he had favorable weather reports according to Jason Stark, but I have been hearing for awhile now that it would rain all last night and today.
Rob Neyer (12:44 PM)
Yeah. What did he know and when did he know it...
Rob-Would your Balfour/Price idea even be allowed? Once Balfour is announced, doesn't he have to face a hitter?
Rob Neyer (12:47 PM)
He's already *been* announced, Greg. Remember, he pitched the bottom of the fifth (and escaped a terrible jam). So at this moment he's actually in the game.
Andy (Farmington, MI)
You mention in your blog today that the strike zone does not seem to be a problem with the umpiring crew for this World Series. Joe and Tim on Fox seem to disagree and so does the "Tracker." Last night for example, the zone was wide and high. Have you noticed this. Thoughts?
Rob Neyer (12:49 PM)
I wrote that blog post before Game 5; the strike zone last night wasn't real good. Again, though, when the conditions are lousy everybody's going to make more mistakes. Including the umpires.
Rob, Jon Bolaris is on WFAN now and said they told Bud that it would be light rain from 8 to 10 and then be heavy therafter. BUD LIED!!!! Alright I'm not that surprised.
Rob Neyer (12:51 PM)
I don't know that he lied, precisely. I have noticed over the years that his idea of "truth" and mine sometimes aren't exactly the same.
Technical question about the rules. If the phillies score in the bottom of the 6th, and then go on to win, does Hamels get the win or ND. I know the rule is leaving with the lead, but when does he technically leave? when he's pinch hit for or when another pitcher throws a pitch? I'm just trying to focus on something other than the sick feeling in my stomach.
Rob Neyer (12:52 PM)
He's still the pitcher of record, so if the Phillies take the lead in the bottom of the sixth and never lose it, Hamels gets the W and probably is Series MVP.
Nate (Houston, TX)
Rob, it seems that you're finding reasons to criticize Selig, but don't get into the why and what should have been done instead. You're better than this.
Rob Neyer (12:53 PM)
Nate, I went into some detail in my blog this morning, and also concluded that Selig's ultimate decision was the right one.
Rob, you probably got a chance to see J.J. Putz pitch alot more than I did this season. As a Mets fan, do I want my team trading for him? Does he look like he can return to '06-'07 form at any point?
Rob Neyer (12:55 PM)
Without checking, my memory is that he was pretty dominant in September, looked just about recovered from his injury. I don't know that we'll ever see the '07 numbers again, but I suspect he'll be a solid closer for a few more years.
Why exactly can't they just play in the rain? Football players need much more agility and athletic ability to run and cut and stop and they never stop playing because of rain.
Rob Neyer (12:56 PM)
Well, just to name one reason . . . Football players don't actually have to stop. I mean, if they don't stop it really doesn't turn the game into a farce.
Did the announcers mention how cold it was on the field? I could have sat through that rain in the middle of July, but the cold combined with the wind and rain made last night the most brutal baseball game I have ever been to.
Rob Neyer (1:00 PM)
They talked about the cold a bit, but I think you had to be out in the open to really know how awful it was. And as I've argued many, many times over the years, that's not really baseball.
Football players don't field a ball rolling through puddles, it would be a joke.
Rob Neyer (1:01 PM)
That too. Thanks for all the questions, and I'll be back tonight for Game 5. Or tomorrow night. Or whenever.
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