Play Ball

So at 6 a.m. today, the forecast was pretty much the same as it was this time yesterday. Chance of rain and storms about 50 to 60 percent.

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Welcome to the 2014 Oxford Regional.

Day one was a wash out. Night one was nice. But there was no baseball. Such is this particular sport of baseball, the weather during this season which runs from late winter nearly into summer, and decisions that go along with it all.

The later it got into the day Friday, the less likely baseball became. If there is one thing the NCAA tries to day with these tournaments it is to make them as fair as possible for all teams. Who among us doesn't want fairness for all student-athletes?

The subscribers of this site and the fans of the Rebels, of course, want what's best for Ole Miss, and rightfully so.

So there's still a clean slate for all teams starting Saturday. The trouble is that forecast. If it's roughly the same as yesterday, who knows what later today holds?

Washington Coach Lindsay Meggs quipped Thursday during the press gatherings that there was no doubt his team had dealt with and played in more rain than any of the others here. The Northwest has the reputation and the facts to prove it. Senior Day for the Huskies had parents and staffers holding umbrellas on the field for players and their families to be honored.

The Huskies wanted to get here a day early so they could, in their words, get used to the heat and humidity and time change. So what they've mainly gotten is Seattle weather with a little humidity, at least so far.

They were supposed to get here at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Six hours later they arrived at the hotel, and their wakeup call was delayed several hours to allow players to rest up from the long and delayed journey.

The other three teams are all from basically the same region, a north Mississippi, north Alabama, north Georgia stretch of about 300 miles. Deep south schools that deal with the same type weather and climate given their location.

The who decided what and what all went into the decision to delay the tournament and start the whole thing today is now behind us. So we move on from here.

Hopefully, even with a similar weather forecast, a delay of games is not in the forecast today.

But baseball can be this way. We deal with it and do so in some form every year.

I remember an Ole Miss-Auburn game at Swayze Field on a Saturday in a weekend series when Don Kessinger was head coach that begin at 2 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m. – eight hours and three tarp pulls but a Rebel victory.

If you'll recall, the first game of the Ole Miss-Texas Super Regional of 2005 in Oxford started on a Saturday night, went three innings with the Longhorns leading 2-0, was suspended due to bad weather, and was picked up right where it left off at noon on Sunday. The Rebels came back to win the game, scoring enough runs off the nation's best closer, J. Brent Cox, to move Ole Miss within one win of the College World Series.

The weather the rest of the way was good. But Ole Miss couldn't find that second win against Texas to advance.

Some have mentioned this weekend's delay messes things up for Ole Miss, or whomever advances from this Oxford Regional, to a Super Regional, as far as days of rest and time between the final game here and the start next weekend. Not necessarily.

Remember Super Regionals are staggered starts. Some will begin on Friday midday, while others won't start until Saturday night.

Nobody has reported this, but you would think the one involving the champion of the Oxford Regional would now get the Saturday start time at some point given everything is already pushed back a day.

But what if it's two days?

Let's just leave that contemplation and consideration alone for now, and move on through Saturday to see how it actually turns out. Teams, coaches, and fans from Ole Miss, Washington, Georgia Tech, and Jacksonville State all await.

And they're all in this together, along with a team of administrators and tourney staff who are trying to do what's best for all concerned.

Play ball soon.

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