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Sunny Beaches

The edict sent down by Bud Selig and the MLB was Game 5 would be completed when the weather permitted. Judging by the Philadelphia forecast, it looks like the game will continue tonight. It’s going to be a balmy 41 degrees or so, so make sure you’ve got those bikini tops and the sunscreen ready to go.

Gloves and hats? Who needs them? This is summertime weather.

OK, in all seriousness, who stands to benefit the most when/if the game resumes tonight? The consensus seems to be on the Rays, who have to win in order to prolong their season. Rays relief pitcher Grant Balfour thinks the weather delays are a great sign:

“I think the guys are excited with the fact that we’re still here and we still have a chance to win this World Series,” Balfour said. “I think the longer it goes on the more we believe that maybe we’re destined to do this. We’ve been through a lot this year and we’ve overcome a lot of hurdles. Maybe this is just another one right here.”

While a lot of Philly fans are understandably pissed off, a few are defying the conventional wisdom of a Philadelphia fan and are expressing confidence about the Series resumption:

The weather derailed that party for a short time, but here we are, pretty much in the same place we started, but in fact, in better shape.

Why?

The Phillies bring forth the best bullpen in Major League Baseball, from bell to bell. They have three more outs to play with than the Rays. The top of the order will get two turns, while the Rays could only see one with their big bats. Factor in the home crowd and already strong lead in the series, and guys, we’re looking very, very good.

Bonus: the confidence on display does not read like redirected fear nor does it seem forced. In fact, it’s grounded in valid points that could very well finish what the weather delayed — that is, a long-awaited Philadelphia professional team championship. Provided the game does continue tonight, it will begin where it left off: in the bottom of the sixth inning with Phillies coming up to bat. Due up are Cole Hamels (he’ll undoubtedly be pinch hit for), Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth.

As for who Joe Maddon will counter with on the pitcher’s mound, the aforementioned Balfour sounds like he’ll get the call, although, I don’t doubt a heavy dose of David Price is also being considered.