Game 5 will not resume on Tuesday
Poor weather continues in Philly; eyes turn toward Wednesday
PHILADELPHIA -- Game 5 of the 2008 World Series will not resume Tuesday due to inclement weather, Major League Baseball announced. Game 5 is now tentatively scheduled to resume on Wednesday evening at 8:37 p.m. ET, weather permitting.
In a statement, Commissioner Bud Selig said: "While obviously we want to finish Game Five as soon as possible, the forecast for today does not allow for us to continue the game this evening.
"We are closely monitoring tomorrow's forecast and will continue to monitor the weather on an hourly basis. We will advise fans as soon as we are able to make any final decisions with respect to tomorrow's schedule."
Rays manager Joe Maddon is expected to address reporters via conference call at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, after his club was forced to relocate lodging 25 miles away to Wilmington, Del., following the suspension of Tuesday's game. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is scheduled to speak at 3 p.m.
As expected, wet weather continued into Tuesday in the Philadelphia area, as Major League Baseball officials studied radar data to determine when Game 5 of the World Series would continue under conditions deemed "appropriate."
The Phillies and Rays remain tied at 2 going to the bottom of the sixth inning in a suspended game at Citizens Bank Park.
Early forecasts for Wednesday offer some hope for baseball. The Weather Channel predicts partly cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of precipitation for 8 p.m., with temperatures in the low 40s and 15-mph winds from the west.
AccuWeather agrees, forecasting partly cloudy skies and 43 degrees for game time. Weatherbug marks the chance of precipitation for 20 percent at first pitch on Wednesday.
The forecast for resuming play on Tuesday evening never appeared promising, as early afternoon presented overcast skies, continuing precipitation and medium winds as Philadelphia woke up to a cold and gray scene. By game time, the continuing rain and winds would have made the temperature feel as though it was in the 20s.
Ultimately, the decision on when and whether to play remains in the hands of Selig. During the regular season, pregame postponements are controlled by the home club, and then after a game begins, by the umpires. Selig makes those decisions during the World Series, and he said he made the ruling to start Game 5 with some trepidation.
Up to this point, there had never been a rain-shortened game in Series history, and this was the first suspension.
"I had a nagging fear, because these forecasts have changed so much," Selig said after Monday's game was suspended. "I don't want to speculate now; we'll see what happens. But we're not going to resume until we have decent weather conditions."
Game 3 of the World Series, played Saturday evening, was delayed one hour and 31 minutes by rain. The Phillies and Rays played uninterrupted after the delay, with Philadelphia winning, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth on Carlos Ruiz's bases-loaded infield hit.
The field at Citizens Bank Park is playable in a steady rain. The system in place allows the grass to drain and a sand-like substance is used to keep the dirt portion of the infield from saturating. As a backup, the system is equipped with a vacuum that pumps tons of water out of the drainage pipes.
Games 6 and 7, if necessary, would take place in the domed confines of Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, though no determination has been made on the scheduling of those contests. They were originally to be played Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.