Of Baseball's Litany of Dumb Rules, the Wet Dream Tops the List. Right, Mitch Moreland?
Or am I?
Maybe I'll go and sit in traffic and have a hot dog and two cold ones and Martin will dazzle with a two hits and a stolen base and...then it will rain and I'll drive home like it all never happened. Like it was all some big...wet...dream.
Yesterday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
pitcher Matt Harrison pitched four scoreless innings, Mitch Moreland hit his first career grand slam and Texas finally won a series, beating the Oakland A's 7-0 nothing happened. Nope, because it rained and rained and rained some more in the middle of the 4th inning, the game officially was washed out. Stricken from the records. Redacted from the standings, if not our memories.
Harrison didn't throw a pitch. Moreland didn't jack one into the seats off A's pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Julio Borbon did not extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. The Rangers didn't send 13 batters to the plate in the 3rd inning, because there was no 3rd inning.
Said Gonzalez, "One apology I want to make is to Mitch. Sorry, buddy. I'll definitely sign you over a check or something, whatever you want. I got away with one and I admit it."
First time since 2002 the Rangers have played three innings of a game that ultimately was canceled.
Not just saying this because Texas lost a win, but because the "postponed" game is one of the dumbest rules in what is at times a nonsensical game.
In baseball, managers -- wearing uniforms, no less -- slowly walk onto the field to change pitchers. Players and managers can argue with an umpire on a judgment call for as long as they please. And, if so desired, a pitcher could legally make 20 consecutive pick-off throws to first base.
But trumping them all is the rule -- 4.12 (7) -- implemented yesterday that states that a game is not official until 4 1/2 innings have been played with the home team ahead, or 5 innings with the visiting team tied or in the lead.
A baseball game should be nine innings. Calling games off after 3 1/2 innings or calling them complete after 7 innings is ridiculous.
Imagine the Cowboys leading 28-0 at Giants Stadium at the two-minute warning of the first half of a Monday Night Football game when lightning/weather delayed the game for three hours. Now what if NFL rules deemed that game unofficial, to be replayed from 0-0 at a later date? Or what if the Mavs lead the Thunder by 18 points in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals just before half and the lights go out at American Airlines Center, to never come back on? Think the NBA would call for a do-over, or simply pick up the game where it left off? You finish half your In-N-Out burger at lunch, then eat the rest later. Unless you've got time and money to burn, you don't throw it away and go buy a new one next time you're hungry.
You get the point: Only in baseball and sex do you totally start from scratch if you don't finish what you started.
Instead of a complete re-do, why don't the A's and Rangers just resume the game in the bottom of the 4th next time they meet? If it's not Gonzalez's or Harrison's turn in the rotation, so be it. It is, after all, a team game over a league of individual stats, right?
A lof of baseball's rules are simply maddening, but this one packs a competitve effect. If the game is replayed and the A's win and somehow Oakland edges Texas by a single game for the AL West title...
If this reads like sour grapes, just pretend I never wrote it. After all, it might rain today.