Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees
As Jayson Stark points out (we heard him talking this morning on ESPN radio), this is the New York Yankees 40th World Series. Tomorrow night, the Phillies will be playing in their 32nd World Series game. He went on to talk about other daunting stats, but at the end of the day I don’t really think that matters a lot in this series. There’s a lot of talk about there being too many days off in postseason play, and that it is affecting the quality of baseball on the field. In that situation–a player like Derek Jeter who has played in 132 postseason games–will have the edge over the guys on the Phillies who have played in a dozen. He’s going to be more comfortable. But Jeter is an anomaly. Remember, throw a lot of the experience stuff out the window because in terms of who was in this spot last, the Phillies won it all last year.
We’ve went back and forth a lot on this series. The Yankees were our pick before the season started to win it all. They’re deep. They’re due. They’ve got the sexy names. It would be very Yankee-like to christen that new ballpark with a championship in the first season they played there wouldn’t it? But the fact is the Phillies are damn good. In fact, scouts are saying that the only position that the Yankees have the edge is at third base (Alex Rodriguez over Pedro Feliz). We’d also like to add that the Yankees have the nastier bullpen. The starting rotation will depend on which A.J. Burnett shows up.
Managerially, you have to like Joe Girardi better we think. Sure, Charlie Manuel won a World Series last year and for all the jokes about him being a dumb hillbilly, the guy knows his baseball. He has to. But Girardi will pull out more close games we feel. In this series, you’re going to see a lot of close ballgames that are decided late.
Throw in an emotional factor that the Yankees know this could be George Steinbrenner’s last World Series. Just like at Grandma’s last Thanksgiving, you want it to be special and sentimental. They won’t disappoint. We could actually see the Yankees getting down in this series 2 to 1; then storming back for the final three games to win it. Either way, celebration will ensue after game six in New York. The gold will be back in title town. The New York Yankees will win an exciting World Series that is full of stars on both sides.
Diamond Hoggers Prediction: Yankees in 6 games