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Game 4 moved to today after two-hour rain delay



Published: Thu, October 26, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



It was the fourth washout of the postseason.

COMBINED DISPATCHES

ST. LOUIS -- With a steady rain delaying Game 4 of the World Series, Detroit closer Todd Jones didn't need a Doppler radar report to tell him it was going to be a long, miserable night at Busch Stadium.

Wednesday night's game was called after a rain delay of 1 hour 51 minutes and will be played tonight, pushing Game 5 to Friday in St. Louis, originally an off-day. It was the first World Series postponement since Game 1 in 1996 between Atlanta and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and the 40th in Series history.

"I thought there was global warming going on," Jones said. "But, apparently, there's not. They always talk about global warming during the summer."

Summer seemed like a long time ago Wednesday night, the fourth straight World Series game day clouded by inclement weather. The only day with decent playing conditions for this Series was Monday in St. Louis, which happened to be an off-day.

No answer

But playing in late October is the result of a 162-game schedule and three rounds of postseason games and no one is in favor of playing the World Series at a neutral site. It happens every year, and unless the schedule is reduced, there's no reason to believe it will be any different next October if two cold-weather teams meet.

"It's kind of crazy, because there's only one heater out on the bullpen, and it's electric," Jones said. "It's freezing cold. It is what it is, and I don't think they're willing to negotiate it down to 156 games."

Did the Cardinals have any home-bullpen advantage, like, say, an extra heater or two in their pen?

"I don't know," Jones said. "All I know is that it's a fire code here to not have propane heaters, like they have in every other ballpark. We have electric ones, and it's literally an 18-inch circumference where you're warm.

"So there's like 12 guys huddled over it, like huddling around a barrel on the side of the street and you're singing around the barrel. We're like huddling up, but it's not doing any good. I hope both teams have to have [the same number]. If we've got one heater and they've got more, I'm jealous."

Of course, everything is relative.

"I was cold [Tuesday] night, but I bet I was a lot colder than Tony [La Russa]," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Rotation issues

The postponement gives La Russa a chance to juggle his rotation if he wants. He could bring Jeff Weaver back on regular rest in Game 5 instead of pitching rookie Anthony Reyes again. Reyes, however, tossed eight-plus strong innings for a 7-2 victory in the opener.

Leyland could do the same with Kenny Rogers, who beat Weaver in Game 2 on Sunday night and extended his shutout streak to 23 innings this postseason. But Leyland specifically set up his rotation to give Rogers two starts at home, and the Series doesn't shift back to Detroit until Game 6.

A sparse crowd at Busch Stadium was informed of the rainout about three minutes after Major League Baseball made the announcement. Fans covered in plastic who had hoped for the rain to stop quickly filed toward the exits.

It was the fourth washout of a wet postseason. The Cardinals had two games rained out in the NL championship series against the New York Mets, and Game 2 of Detroit's first-round series at Yankee Stadium also was postponed.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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