Put your brooms away, Detroit.
MLB has canceled tonight’s game 4 of the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees tonight due to forecasted thunderstorms which are scheduled to hit the area around 10:00 p.m. Up until the announcement had come at around 9:30 p.m., the Detroit area had yet to seen a drop of rain.
So with either the Tigers completing their sweep, or the Yankees beginning a historical comeback, being put on hold, fans will now have to wait until 4:07 p.m. tomorrow to see what happens. Though tomorrow could still pose an issue as there is a 75% chance of rain.
So this leads to the question: Is MLB making the right decision when they decide to call off a game in anticipation of rain?
Part of me wants to say no; that rain is a part of the game. I mean this is why rain delay rules were put in tact to begin with, weren’t they? Postponing a game could have a great impact on a team’s performance. It gives certain players an extra day to rest their aching bones. It could benefit a pitcher to have that extra day to study their opponent, or it could negative affect a pitcher who felt on top of the world before he stepped on the mound. So should MLB really be making a call when they aren’t absolutely forced to do so?
Look at game two of last year’s ALCS. Since game one was delayed due to rain, MLB figured they would try to avoid the same scenario for game two and canceled the game altogether due to the forecast. The rain never came that night. Who knows would have happened the night the game was supposed to be played?
But then I look back to nights like game five of the 2008 World Series in which I was in attendance, and my goodness it was just downright horrible playing conditions. It was raining from the second I arrived at the stadium. The field conditions became horrible and I could barely even see the players, so I don’t know how they could see anything. The game was delayed in the middle of the sixth inning that night, and would actually have to wait two days to be resumed.
When two variables come into play, one being human (MLB’s decision) and one being uncontrollable (rain), unless your team is the one who wins after all is said and done, you will find a reason to fight for the side that affected the team you cheer for.
In my opinion, in this particular circumstance, the decision to not play just delayed the ALCS ending by a day, and the outcome will not be any different then if the game were played tonight.