Philly Ray Cyrus 2008â€”The Unlikeliest of World Series
Too cheesy? Other possible titles included Philled with a Ray of Hope, Itâ€™s Always Sunny in Philadelphiaâ€¦and Tampa and finally,The 2008 World Seriesâ€”Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bayâ€¦Seriously.
So the wait is over. One of these two teams will be champion for the next six months. If someone told me that they predicted a Philly/Tampa World Series at the beginning of the postseason let alone the beginning of the year, I would tell them to hold on a second because Vince, Ari and the boys are coming to pick me up and Iâ€™ll listen to the rest of that story when I get back from La-La land. Itâ€™s crazy talk.
But here we are anyways. The networks may not love this matchup. Vegas may not love this matchup. Every single one of my friends may not love this matchup. But this is a matchup of the best two teams over the last couple months of the baseball season. Both teams have shown an amazing amount of heart.
Philly led a late season surge to rally past the Mets and into the playoffs for a second straight year. They fought off CC and the Brew Crew and while they couldnâ€™t contain Manny, they battled against the Dodgers to secure their first pennant in 15 years. Itâ€™s clichĂ©, but it really was a team effort. When Rollins, Utley and Howard take a backseat to guys like Victorino, Dobbs, Ruiz, Madson and Stairs as the heroes of your series, a team effort is the only way to describe it.
The Rays came soaring out of the gates and were the talk of the league all year. After joining the league as an expansion team in 1998, theyâ€™ve generally been the doormat for the rest of the AL East. Well, it just goes to show you that 10 straight years of losing can turn around in a hurry with wise drafting and intelligent spending. Led by the Zen Master of MLB, Joe Maddon and some guys who just got their drivers licenses, the Rays have dispelled the Cinderella moniker and replaced it with ALCS Champs. Evan Longoria, Scott Kazmir, Carl Crawford, the consistent Upton brother, James Shields, Carlos Pena and the talk of the town, David Price demonstrate how this practice can turn a team thatâ€™s never had a winning season into the World Series favorite.
Here is probably the time to tell the 8 of you reading that Iâ€™ m a pretty strong supporter of the Phillies. Thatâ€™s not putting it accurately. I have a passion for Phillies baseball that I might warrant some serious therapeutic discussion. I love the players. I love the uniforms. I love the flowerbeds that outline their tiny, tiny ballpark. So with that said, Iâ€™ll be trying to keep my personal feelings shielded from the commentary in the blog. Although, the purpose of a blog is to distribute opinion and share in discussion with readers, I think on this subject, Iâ€™ll need to dial it back a bit. Who knows, maybe weâ€™ll even get Jake to get his first post up there. Either way, bear with me for the next week or so, as it should be trying time for me personally, but a great time for baseball on the whole.
Until next time, Phillies in 6.