Money over sanctity

The Phillies stumbled into a disaster last night:

Know this: There are no excuses. But also know that the Phillies were on the phone to the people in charge of such things at Major League Baseball in New York last night, expressing their concern about the way this whole thing was going down. From the time that the first raindrops began to fall, at about 4:30 p.m., there was concern within the Phillies’ organization that as each hour passed last night, the team would be put at a greater and greater competitive disadvantage for tonight’s game in Florida.

It was, in some ways, the perfect storm (you should excuse the expression). Nobody has said this out loud, but the problem was that, because of an earlier rainout, St. Louis and San Francisco already might have to make up a game on Monday in an attempt to settle the NL Central race between the Cardinals and Astros. If the two teams were still tied, they would have to stage a play-in game on Tuesday, after which the winner would start playing its Division Series on Wednesday.

However, the National League has to have one playoff series start on Tuesday because of its network television contract. If the Phillies and Nationals had to play on Monday, and then the Phillies and Dodgers had to have a play-in game on Tuesday, there is a chance that the NL would be in total chaos and unable to fulfill the television contract.

Which meant that the Phils had to wait all night.

I agree with the first sentence; the Phillies bungled enough chances in the previous 158 games that last night’s fiasco by Major League Baseball was self-inflicted. However, Major League Baseball should have a little more foresight. It’s absurd to force a team in a playoff race to start a game at 11:32 pm when it must fly to the next city when the game is over. The Phillies now must win at least two more games than the Dodgers this weekend. That would be a challenging task without the added bonus of finishing the previous game seven hours after its scheduled start time. Any other game would’ve been rescheduled, but poor planning caused inflexibility. That’s bad management. Major League Baseball must fix that when it negotiates its next television contract.