No, seriously. Monday’s World Series rainout is part of an enormous and ongoing Philadelphia plot to maneuver the Phillies into a favorable pitching matchup in a series in which they don’t have the better pitchers, which they do again and again by claiming they’re in a Brazilian rain forest, as The Athletic’s Matt Gelb suggested.
And frankly, we approve.
Now this may not pay off in the longer term, but moving the series back a day allows Phillies manager Rob Thomson to play cute and fast with Game 3 starter/utility reliever Noah Syndergaard, which is to say that you now get to experience the true joy of the World Series—running a pitching staff in your head.
Baseball fandom in the postseason is managing with the manager, pure and simple. It isn’t about waiting for the game itself. That’s for people whose keisters are made entirely of Halloween candy. It’s about thinking not like the twerpy general manager who is your boss at work and whom you would stab in the face for a lunch voucher, but like the manager who used to have a say about how his team worked before the shithead revolution. Using the weather to buy time is diabolical, brilliant, and part of the fun. Baseball isn’t just swinging from the ass and throwing 104-mph sliders. If it was, the game would already be dead, and Rob Manfred would be chasing ambulances as he should be,
This is the point where you point out that the Phillies aren’t in charge here, that baseball made the decision to bang Game 3 independently and that everyone involved got a say based on Jim Cantore standing in front of Billy Penn’s statue expecting lightpoles to be ripped out of the ground and hurled his way by Satan Him/Herself. This isn’t actually skullduggery, or indeed any kind of duggery at all.
But we want it to be, because that is the truest nature of baseball—rogering with the opponent for that mythical two-percent advantage, because it isn’t about screwing the other guy as much as making his skivvies run up his brown route for that half-percent of advantage that might not even be real. The illusion of cheating is always better than the reality of cheating, just as the old sign behind Fitzgerald’s Bar in Atlanta used to say, “We Screw The Other Guy And Pass The Savings On To You.” The truth is, you’re the other guy, you imbecile. You’re always the other guy, and that’s what it is to be an American. You know you’re the smartest guy in the room, which means you’re the mark, and that line out the door is other people ready to work you like the naive cluck you actually are.
Anyway, no game Monday, and your life was Nets over Pacers and Browns over Bengals and Sabres dropping a full eight-spot on the ridiculous Wings. Jesus on two sticks, what a drag. No wonder you’re pissed. And delighted, too. Rainouts make mad scientists, and therefore idiots, of us all. And nothing is better than that.