While the City Of Philadelphia continues to celebrate the Phillies’ first World Series title since 1980, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman isn’t quite finished castigating Major League Baseball for their handling of the events of Monday night. Accusing Commissioner Bud Selig of “bogarting” Monday night’s press conference, Raissman doesn’t put much stock in the Used Car Salesman’s boast “that before the first pitch of the tilt had even been thrown, he had changed the rule regarding rain-shortened games.”
Selig said that even if the Rays had not scored the tying run in the top of sixth, the contest – which was already an official game – would still be played to a finish.
Since Selig had kept his decision – which was the right one – close to the vest, this was news to everyone in that room. By not informing anyone outside his tight circle, Selig not only hung his TV (Fox) and radio (ESPN) partners out to dry, but also the entire assemblage of print reporters who were filing stories instantaneously.
The media were not the only ones left in the dark. Contrary to what Selig later maintained, the umpires didn’t know that the rule had been changed, either. According to sources close to the situation, neither did the managers (Joe Maddon and Charlie Manuel).
“This whole thing is just too fishy. The managers both saying they unilaterally didn’t tell their players (about the rule change) and nobody telling us or the other media,” said one broadcaster involved in a World Series production. “If he (Selig) really made this decision beforehand, why didn’t he announce it to everybody?
“Or even more importantly, why didn’t he make this decision before the postseason even began?” the broadcaster asked.
The fact is, Selig could not have made a unilateral rules decision without collective bargaining with the Players Association, even if he was doing it in “the best interests of baseball.”