With the tarp covering the field and rain coming down at Citizens Bank Park this past weekend, Joe Maddon couldn’t help but think back seven years. Back to when the tarp and the rain played integral parts in the longest World Series game ever played — Game 5 of the 2008 Series — which lasted two days.
“It’s just very familiar,” laughed Maddon, in his first season as Cubs manager, following nine in Tampa Bay. “My buddy comes down from Lafayette and says ‘EverytimeI see you play in Philadelphia it rains.’
“But what are you gonna do about it?”
Back in ’08 he wasn’t laughing when Game 5 was played in a steady downpour, before Bud Selig finally ruled the field was unplayable and suspended the game with the score tied in the bottom of the sixth. Two nights later they resumed and ultimately Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske—now a Cubs’ coach — to clinch the Phils’ second World Championship.
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Maddon’s lament was they played in the first place. “It was awful,” said the 61-year-old Hazleton, PA native. “The rain was horizontal and it was freezing,
“You might’ve called a football game, it was that bad. But I was not gonna cry on behalf of the Rays.”
As it turned out he didn’t sleep much that night, either.
“The worst part was being at the hotel and having the Phillies’ fans circle the hotel at 5:00 A.M. to wake everybody up,” recalled Maddon. “It’s crazy — 2008 — that’s almost a decade ago.”
Still crazy after all these years — for Joe Maddon, being back in Philadelphia this weekend all those soggy 2008 memories came rushing back.