Just what are they using for radar over at Fenway these days? A bendy straw, a jar of Play-Doh, and a 9-volt battery? Or did the WeatherNet system break down, forcing Ed Carroll to provide updates with a map and a box of Crayolas?
Anyone with a keen eye tilted toward the sky yesterday, or at the very least basic cable, had an inkling that the Red Sox and White Sox weren't going to be able to return to action after playing 3 1/3 innings. Yet, at the park they waited. And waited. And the more they waited, the more dark red blobs were making their way across the state, at a more frequent pace.
Almost four hours later -- the second delay of the day -- the game was finally called. The smart ones had already left. But about 10,000 others remained on hand, siphoning their wallets for more hot dogs, sodas, and popcorn as they waited out the storm. Amazingly, some had a "golly-gee, aw shucks" attitude about the whole thing. Even after four damp hours in cramped quarters awaiting an announcement that was inevitable as soon as the grounds crew rushed the tarp onto the field.
This isn't the first time the Red Sox have had a rain delay benefit them monetarily. Back in April, there were quite a few complaints when the team waited until an hour or so after scheduled game time to call a contest against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. By most accounts, it was clear the game would not be played from the get-go. Still, the team waited until the fans dropped as much as $40 to park their car and grab a few brews and a frank. Then they told everyone to go home. The suspicious among us laughed in glee as we hit an empty Storrow Drive after driving around the block for an hour or so in anticipation of such an obvious announcement.
The worst rainout in recent memory occurred during Game 3 of last year's ALCS. That night, Peter Gammons was telling everybody on the field that the game had been called as early as 4:30 p.m. Yet, the fans kept pouring into the park. Some were lucky enough to catch Curt Schilling throwing a bullpen session, just days before the red sock entered into our historical consciousness. Thousands wondered if the game would be played, but with no announcement, assumed things were a go. Those few in the know tried to spread the word, and encouraged folks to call friends who might still be on their way.
Just after 8 p.m., the postponement was announced. The reason for the delay? In order for Fox to tell the millions watching in their dry living rooms, incredulously before the people who had paid hand over fist for postseason parking and concessions.
Fast forward to yesterday. While you might want to look at it as a valiant attempt to get the game in due to the fact that the teams will have a difficult challenge finding a common date to play again, the sky and Tim Kelley painted a picture that it was evident this one wasn't going to be played. Everybody not at the corner of Yawkey and Brookline saw that.
What exactly were they looking at there? The sky or the receipts?
Storming the Cassel
After Matt Cassel's performance Friday night, and the Chicago Bears losing Rex Grossman for the season, might it be worth New England's while to dial up the Bears with an offer involving Rohan Davey? Or was Cassel so impressive that he could unseat Doug Flutie as the backup to Tom Brady? While not likely (and could cause a riot at Shopper's World), Bill Belichick isn't exactly the kind of guy that's going to be particularly concerned about public reaction.
That is of course assuming that Flutie indeed has unseated Davey as the backup. Belichick wasn't biting on that question over the weekend, but c'mon. It's good to have the David Hasselhoff equivalent (madly successful overseas, an enigma in the states) of a quarterback on hand, but it would actually be an upset if Davey KEPT his job. Besides, isn't there a quota for number of Doug Flutie stories that has to be met this season?
Cheering a cheater
They've officially lost their minds in Baltimore, where Rafael Palmeiro was greeted yesterday with more cheers than boos from the Camden Yards crowd. Again, MORE CHEERS THAN BOOS. Unreal. As bad as things have gotten in Baltimore, there are millions around the country just hoping now that it gets worse, thanks to the reaction yesterday. If they're that clueless, they certainly don't deserve to be watching anything worthwhile.
Tripping on the road
Here's a prediction Sox fans may not want to hear. Kicking off a 10-game road trip tonight in Detroit, Boston's 4 1/2 game lead over the Yankees will shrink, and by the time they return to the friendly confines, New York will have pulled into a dead heat tie for first. But with just 12 road games remaining on the season after that, Boston will easily be able to take care of business at home, where they are in a word, dominating, and win the East by at least five games.