Walking into the press box this afternoon was like walking into Pompeii, minus the volcanic ash. The line-up from Game 5 was still on the dry-erase board. The flags in center field were still blowing left to right. My game story was still half-written.
I'm anxious to see what tonight is like. Some of the questions on my mind:
1) Will they sing the Star-Spangled Banner? If so, this game will surely set a record for shortest time between the National Anthem and God Bless America.
2) Will they announce the line-ups?
3) How many empty seats will there be? I'm sure those who can't make it tonight will find a way to get rid of their ticket$, but what about the poor guy who mis-placed his ticket stub? I know they give people plastic ticket holders. And I know a World Series stub isn't exactly something you throw away. But between the rain and the beer and the ensuing confusion, I find it hard to believe that all 46,000 fans left the ball park with their stub.
4) On a baseball note, how will the nature of this game affect both team's bullpens? The conventional wisdom in baseball is that relievers are creatures of habit. It is why teams try to save their set-up men for the eighth inning, even if there is a critical situation in the sixth. It is why Brad Lidge's numbers in non-save situations are so much worse than his numbers in save situations. Although whoever takes the mound for the Phillies to start - I'm guessing it will be Scott Eyre - will technically be pitching in the seventh inning, their biological clock will tell them that they are pitching in the first inning. It will be interesting to see how both sides react. The Rays could go with lefty David Price, who came up through the minors as a starter. Will they have an advantage if that is what happens?
As for the weather, it is a beautiful day, minus the near-freezing wind chill. There are blue skies and cumulus clouds and no sight of pending rain. I talked to my dad a little while ago and he said the skies were looking ominous in Bucks County. But I figure M. Knight Shyamalan is just filming his next movie or something like that. Here in Philly, Mother Nature looks like she is either co-operating or setting all of us up for the cruelest punchline yet.