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MLB rules barred umps from calling Game 1

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  August 27, 2011 06:51 PM

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In case you were wondering why the first rain-delayed game of today's double-header between the Red Sox and A's wasn't called after a pair of delays totalling three hours, it was it because MLB rules prevented the umpiring crew from doing so.

Tim McClelland, the umpiring crew chief, explained the game needed to be completed even though the Sox set a precedent in 2009 at Fenway Park vs. Minnesota for having the first game of a doubleheader shortened by rain, then starting the second game.

''That was an aberration,'' McClelland said in a pool report prepared by ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes. ''I talked to Joe Torre [during the delay] and he said that was an aberration. According to the rules, that can't happen or shouldn't happen. They didn't want that. They wanted this game to finish.''

The Red Sox slogged their way to a pair of rain delays totalling 3 hours, the second for 2:15, before completing a 9-3 victory over the A's in Game 1. The 5 p.m. start of the nightcap was delayed 1 hour 52 minutes.

Asked if a game had to finish before playing a second game, McClelland replied, ''Yes, That's what Joe told me.''

McClelland indicated that in his experience he could never recall a precedent similar to the one the Sox set in '09.

''No, I remember being somewhere else and I saw that and I thought, `That's really bizarre,' " he said. "No, I've never heard of that. If you can't play the game you're playing, how can you play another game?''

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