The Houston Astros played the Chicago Cubs Monday night at Wrigley Field. The Astros won, 2-0. In actuality, however, every player who walked off the field alive was a winner.
Chicago was hit by severe weather, including a tornado warning. The game was delayed after the 6th inning for nearly three hours because of the severe thunderstorm. When the game resumed, the teams were able to play about another inning and a half before lightning again streaked through the sky. When a bolt hit near Wrigley, Astros center fielder Lance Berkman ran off the field before the umpires could make any decision about the game.
Good for Berkman. He should be given a medal. In contrast, Wally Bell, the crew chief of the umpires working the game, should be strung up a flag pole during a thunderstorm.
You simply do not put people out in an open field with spikes on their shoes and a lightning pole with an American flag hanging from it at the top of the stadium. I would love nothing better than to see the Cubs win the World Series this year (the 100th anniversary of the last time they won the World Series, as the ESPN anchors like to remind us at least 47 times a day). However, in order for them to accomplish that feat, they need to be alive. Bell's inaction put the Cubs and the Astros players at serious risk. I sincerely hope the Commissioner's office will take prompt disciplinary action against Wally Bell for allowing the players to be on the field in such dangerous conditions for as long as they were. Lightning is the #1 weather killer in the United States. Because of Wally Bell's indecision 18 men could have suffered that fate -- as an ESPN audience watched. They could have resumed the game today before the regularly scheduled game or played a day/night double-header.
Former Cubs pitcher Geremi Gonzalez, a friend of Astros pitcher Humberto Quintero (the pitcher on the mound when the game was called) was killed by a lightning bolt earlier this year, although not on the playing field.