Bizarre and Magnificent Game 5 ends Bizarre and Magnificent 2008

We'd never seen anything like it before. It almost reminded me of Super Bowl XLI, which was the first one ever played in a driving rainstorm. Tuesday night was the first time a World Series game had been suspended due to rain.

It was a microcosm for just how wacky the 2008 MLB season was.

It was a season where...

-A long dormant baseball town (on the national stage, at least) who hadn't seen success since 1982 awakened and passionately supported the Milwaukee Brewers through their first playoff appearance in 26 seasons

-A shrine of baseball closed in the Bronx and ironically, for the first time in 13 years, didn't host a postseason game

-One of baseball's most dominant pitchers got traded and, somehow, became even more dominant after the trade, as CC Sabathia commanded Cy Young talk in the NL after only pitching it for half a season

-The Chicago White Sox, stocked full of veteran leadership, needed two wins in two single-game playoffs after the end of the regular season just to fend off a pesky, young and robust Minnesota Twins squad

-The Florida Marlins continued their final-day-of-the-season dominance of the New York Mets, once again knocking the Amazin's out of the playoffs in game 162

-The LA Dodgers made quite possibly the most prominent trade in their history and actually saw it pan out, as Man-Ram donned #99 and led Los Angeles to their first NLCS since 1988

-A team in Motown with so much expectation and so much hype start 0-7 and finish dead last in the AL Central in a harkening back to...well...four seasons ago

-A team in Cleveland who stumbled just as badly after being a handful of outs away from the World Series in 2007, yet still trotted out baseball's most dominant pitcher every five days

-The Chicago Cubs bucking every trend in history, grabbing 97 wins and their first...well...I guess somethings actually never change

-The Tampa Bay Rays, baseball's version of Larry, Moe and Curly since 1998, proved to all of us that patience is a virtue, that a guy with Hanson Brothers-style glasses CAN manage a baseball team and that even the most futile of teams can do something special. The best part about it is that this nucleus is going to be in St. Pete and be young for a very long time, making their run in 2008 less than a fluke.

-A city that went 100 pro sports seasons between titles finally got theirs, and just to prove that the odds were against them, they had to do it in 27 degree weather. The Phillies, despite their recent regular season success, World Series victory still felt unlikely. They weren't the team that made the big deadline deal to get over the hump, they weren't the team with the curse and the "a few wins too early" signs, they weren't the team with the Nation behind them and they certainly weren't the media darlings from Tampa. They were simply the best team in baseball come October, and they proved it in five terrific baseball games.

It was everything we wanted in a baseball season and more, and it leaves this writer hungry for more in 2009.

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