Monday, June 19, 2006

Rain is good for Manatees

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. – Nuke LaLoosh, Bull Durham.

In the Florida State League, rainouts can be just as good as wins. With two games remaining in the first half of the season, Brevard County stands to benefit greatly from games they didn't play.

Because of rainouts, the Manatees will play four fewer games than rivals St. Lucie and Palm Beach. If the Manatees end the season in a virtual tie with Palm Beach, Brevard will be given the crown based on winning percentage.

This has Palm Beach fans a little steamed. Rightly so.

The disparity in rainouts is peculiar on several levels. The county of Brevard was so dry during the first half of the season that it was under a fire watch. The Manatees even had to move the location of their fireworks for fears that they could start a fire.

Sure, Florida received plenty of rain over the past month, thanks in large part to Tropical Storm Alberto. Brevard couldn’t play back-to-back games because of rain that came with Alberto. Palm Beach, just an hour south, managed to play three games during that same two-day span.

Did Brevard call rainouts to improve their chances of winning the division? Probably not. Had the Manatees won the four games they missed this season, they would be leading the division instead of relying on mathematicians.

But that doesn't change the fact that the title may be decided as much by games that weren't played instead of those that were.

With the amount of rain that annually hits Florida, the league should schedule at least one extra day during the All-Star break to ensure there is time to make up at least one game. In addition, the league needs to change the rule so that the team with the most wins in a half claims the crown. At least that will give teams extra incentive to play games that otherwise might not be considered financially lucrative.

The FSL is in the middle of a fantastic pennant race. It needs to take measures to make sure the title is determined on the field.
will let you know how this race ends.

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