World Series 2011: Weather Permitting, La Russa, Pujols and Other Factors
I have been hearing this somewhat fatalistic pronouncement since I roused myself out of bed this morning. In the interest of sharing too much information, my sleep shift was from about 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 am. I am an insomniac—an insomnaholic is more apt—am helping to raise another one, and often write in the wee hours before dawn.
But, back to the task at hand.
“Weather permitting” looks and sounds so ominous that I actually clicked on this site and pointed it toward St. Louis, MO. The foreboding forecast may change in the next few hours or so, but here is what awaits us baseball fans.
Today: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then occasional showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 1 p.m. High near 64 degrees. North wind between 8 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
Tonight: Occasional rain. Low around 44 degrees. North wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
Let’s put this into perspective. The weather stinks today and probably will suck tonight in the Gateway City.
If weather permits the game to be played at all, it will be played in cold temperatures, high winds and at least some drizzle.
If there are rain delays, God help us.
Using round numbers, the average regular season Major League Baseball game runs three hours. The average Tony La Russa micro-managed regular season game runs around three-and-a-half hours. The typical, one-reliever-for-every-1.27-batters Tony La Russa anally-managed playoff game consumes about four-and-a-half hours.
So, that puts us at 12:35 am Thursday ET for last pitch—of the game, and maybe of the whole MLB season. And, that’s only if weather permits the game to be played in cold, soggy conditions that may involve expressions such as "wind chill factor."
Ouch. Kids, will you be watching?
The whole weather-permitting discussion had me pondering other permits.
Bullpen Phones Permitting
Tony La Russa might actually bring in the right (or left) relievers at the right time after Jaime Garcia completes however many innings tonight.
The Game 5 manipulations, machinations and screw-ups have already been discussed, analyzed and satirized, so I’ll only say that it would be nice if Tony La Russa does not become Tony ExCussa again.
Admittedly, it was fun to see TLR try so hard to tell us that he would never throw anyone else under the bus for his own screw-ups while trying to deflect blame yet again.
The man’s a genius.
High Baseball IQ Permitting
The great Albert Pujols will not call for his own hit-and-run plays with a slow runner on first, an 0-1 count and a pitcher with control issues employed by a manager that does not want to pitch to him in the first place.
There is no current player I admire more than Albert, but head-scratching does not begin to cover his seventh-inning strategy.
Macho Attitude Permitting
We will get to see Pujols actually swing at some strikes tonight.
It was a little jarring to see Albert—in an otherwise very compelling at-bat—chase ball four on a 3-2 count with Allen Craig (impressive young hitter and piano carrier of a baserunner) on first and no outs in the ninth.
I guess he was anxious to do some damage after being intentionally walked the previous three trips.
Injured Hand Permitting
We will get to the Matt Holliday who more closely resemble the career .315, .388, .541 slasher that he truly is.
Speaking of which...
Apparent Sports Hernia Permitting
Baseball fans will see Josh Hamilton in a healthy enough state to approximate the five-tool player that he is.
Time does not now permit me to ask for additional permission from the baseball gods.
So, until next time, enjoy Game 6, whenever it may start or end.
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