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Game 5 postponed -- again



Resumption of Game 5 of the World Series has been postponed again due to continued bad weather in Philadelphia. The latest plan is for the game to be resumed at 8:37 on Wednesday, weather permitting.

That means if the Rays win, Game 6 at Tropicana Field has been pushed back to Thursday, and Game 7 would be moved to Friday.

Rain continued to fall in Philadelphia on Tuesday, with temperatures in the 40s and wind gusts up to 40 mph. Some forecasts call for rain and snow flurries this afternoon before the skies begin to clear Wednesday.

"While obviously we want to finish Game 5 as soon as possible, the forecast for today does not allow for us to continue the game this evening," commissioner Bud Selig said in a conference call. "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."

The Rays found hotel rooms in Wilmington, Del., about a half hour from Philadelphia, and manager Joe Maddon said they were handling it fine, crediting travel director Jeff Ziegler for his quick work. "It was really organized despite all the chaos in front of us,'' Maddon said.

Tuesday, most of the Rays were hanging around the hotel, creating what could be another situation that brings the team together. Maddon compared it to "a snow day" where people can't go out so they get together, explaining that when he went down to the lobby this morning there were Rays personnel, and their family members, all hanging out. "It's one of those moments when a whole organization gets to come together,'' he said.

Maddon said he spoke to the team after the suspension on Monday to make sure they understand the situation, and he felt good about their chances when play does resume. Plus there is the added benefit of having Phillies ace Cole Hamels out of the game.

"Getting him out is important,'' Maddon said. "Us coming back like we did and sitting on it for a day or two possibly could work in our favor a little bit. I'm not sure yet. Both bullpens are rested so there's no telling what will happen at this point."

Game 5 is tied 2-2 with the Phillies -- who lead three games to one and can clinch the championship with a win -- about to start batting in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reliever RHP Grant Balfour is pitching for the Rays; the Phillies are expected to start with a pinch-hitter for pitcher Hamels, who likely would have remained in the game had it not been suspended.

Maddon didn't want to discuss his strategy, such as whether he would also have a lefty warming up in case the Phillies use a left handed pinch-hitter. And while he said the remaining 3 1/2 innings would be played as a normal game, he did acknowledge the odd circumstances: "It's kind of like overtime in a sense.''

Maddon also said they had no issues with the way MLB handled the process, with an original plan to play through the rain and then deciding to suspend play. "For me, I had no problem with it, and I mean that sincerely,'' Maddon said. "It just got to the point where it became unplayable. When they called it I thought they did it at the right time.''

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:43am]


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