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Poll: World Series

October 22, 2008

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(The photo from US presswire)

Thirty teams have been whittled down to two, and seven more games—or less—will leave one standing.

The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays will open the World Series at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, with each franchise looking to change its fate in one way or another.

The Phillies have been the historic doormat of the National League for over a century, winning the World Series only once (1980) in 125 years of existence and becoming the first franchise to top 10,000 losses last season.

But with a team full of home-grown superstars making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, Philadelphia can erase some bad memories for both the franchise and the city, which hasn’t celebrated a championship since the 76ers won the NBA title in 1983.

The Rays are in their 11th year of existence but are in the midst of their first winning campaign, somehow navigating the waters of the treacherous American League East all season and outlasting the Boston Red Sox in the AL Championship Series to reach this point.

Also built largely of players from its own system, Tampa Bay has the second-lowest payroll in the game and a World Series win would not only put it on the map as perennial contenders, but would strike a blow for the little guy in a sport that has long been dominated by the big-market teams.

Scoreboard:

Hitting: The Phillies have enough depth to score without relying on power from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell. Timing could be an issue early because of weeklong layoff. Edge: Phillies

Pitching: The Phillies have an efficient bullpen with a lights-out closer in Brad Lidge. No. 1 starter Cole Hamels is the key, but Jamie Moyer must rebound. But I’d match the Rays’ rotation against anyone. Price might be right as closer. Edge: Rays

Defense: The Phillies pitch to contact, putting pressure on a solid infield. Pitchers trust catcher and unsung hero Carlos Ruiz. The Rays got here on defense, but it became an issue in the ALCS. Edge: Phillies

Manager: Heavy-hearted Charlie Manuel came through on early promise of Phillies advancing farther than in ’07. He keeps it simple and feels the team pulse in every situation. Preparation is an asset for the Rays’ Joe Maddon, who exudes control and decisiveness. Edge: Rays

Intangibles: The Phillies will try to erase the sour memories of 1993 with their balanced and poised team. An extra bat as a DH in the AL park will help. The Team of Destiny has the Trop, the cowbells, and the desire to prove to anyone that the Rays are here to stay. Edge: Rays

With home-field advantage, thanks in part to All-Star Game winner Scott Kazmir, the Rays will be hard to stop. The story of last-to-first playing in the tough A.L. East is too good to come to an end. Rays in 6 games.

With home-field advantage, thanks in part to All-Star Game winner Scott Kazmir, the Rays will be hard to stop. The story of last-to-first playing in the tough A.L. East is too good to come to an end. Rays in 6 games.

Schedule:

Game 1, Wednesday, at Tampa Bay (8:35 p.m., FOX); Game 2, Thursday, at Tampa Bay (8:29 p.m., FOX); Game 3, Saturday, at Philadelphia (approx 8 p.m., FOX); Game 4, Sunday, at Philadelphia (approx 8 p.m., FOX); x-Game 5, Monday, Oct. 27, at Philadelphia (approx 8 p.m., FOX); x-Game 6, Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Tampa Bay (approx 8:35 p.m, FOX); x-Game 7, Thursday, Oct. 30, at Tampa Bay (approx 8 p.m., FOX).

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Categories: Poll
  1. .
    October 22, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Go Phillies, predict game 7. I know Rays are good team and hard to beat with wonderful pitchers and powerful hitters. The series can be upside down. winks

  2. Noone
    October 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Phillies in Game 6

  3. Deafnewspaper
    October 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Both are SUCKS I rather with Colorado Rockets

  4. Anonymous
    October 26, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Deafnewspaper, you can’t spell your baseball team right, it is Colorado ROCKIES. Obviously, you are not a loyalty fan, maybe bandwagon with your ‘LOW FUNCTION PEOPLE’.

  5. October 26, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Apparently, Phillies will win the World Series? Phillies now lead the series (3 to 1).

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