It's been nearly seven years since the Phillies and Rays met in the 2008 World SeriesGetty Images

With the tarp covering the field and rain comingdown 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 2008Series—which lasted two days.

“It’s just very familiar,” laughed Maddon, in hisfirst 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 wasplayed in a steady downpour, before Bud Selig finally ruled the field was unplayableand suspended the game with the score tied in the bottom of the sixth. Twonights 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 horizontaland it was freezing,

“You might’ve called a football game, it was thatbad.But I was not gonna cry on behalfof the Rays.”

As it turned out he didn’t sleep much that night, either.

“The worst part was being at thehotel and having the Phillies’ fans circle the hotel at 5:00 A.M. to wakeeverybody up,” recalled Maddon. “It’s crazy — 2008 — that’s almost a decade ago.”

Still crazy after all these years — forJoe Maddon,being back in Philadelphia this weekend all those soggy 2008memories came rushing back.

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