The Table Is Set

The Major League Baseball play-offs seem like they have lasted forever this year. I’m sure a lot of that is a result of the Diamondbacks being out of the post season picture since May. It also doesn’t help when the Red Sox and the Yankees were both in meaning we have to listen to their self-righteous fans belittle all the other fans in baseball as backwards hicks.

Finally the American League Championship Series ended with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim imploding much like they did this whole series to give the New York Yankees their 40th pennant in franchise history.

While it was a nice sentiment for all the Yankees to comment how they wanted to win this one for owner George Steinbrenner that message didn’t resonate with all baseball fans. Considering the ridiculous monetary policies of the Yankees (and the Red Sox for that matter) it is hard for the fans outside of the northeast to feel any kind of compassion for winning one for “the Boss”.

Most non-New York fans probably feel like the Yankees have had more than their fair share of success during the Steinbrenner era and will therefore be rooting against the boys from the Bronx.

A World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees is not the dream match-up that Fox Sports had hoped for but given the diehard fan base for each of these franchises this should be an intense series.

With the Yankees winning game six behind Andy Pettite it sets the pitching match-ups fairly well for each team. Game one at Yankee Stadium will feature the Phillies Cliff Lee versus the Yankees CC Sabathia.

I give the Yankees the advantage in Game one. While Lee had success in the National League he will be back facing the Yankees who have a much more formidable line-up than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Game two I will give the edge to the Phillies. Although they will be playing in a loud and obnoxious Yankee Stadium, they will be sending Pedro Martinez to the mound. Martinez loves pitching on the big stage and it doesn’t get much bigger than Yankee Stadium during the World Series.

Overall I think these two teams are fairly evenly matching. Both have some questions on their starting rotations and will most likely go to a three-man rotation during the series. There are enough off days during the series that decision probably won’t make a huge difference.

Both teams are capable of playing long ball and I anticipate the games to be high scoring outside the games pitched by Sabathia and Lee. The Phillies speed could become a factor if they can get the top of the order on base in front of Utley and Howard.

In the end I think it will come down to a Game seven at Yankee Stadium and we will be reminded of Bud Selig’s idiotic idea to make home field advantage be tied to the All-Star game. With Sabathia pitching on short rest the Yankees will beat the Phillies with Mariano Rivera getting the save to bring a World Championship to the new Yankee Stadium.

Going seven games will mean that the World Series will conclude in November for only the second time and the New York Yankees will be the only franchise to have played in every World Series that goes beyond October. The first time that occurred was 2001 when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the New York Yankees in Game 7 on November 4.

Going seven games will also give the Arizona Diamondbacks a few more days to decide whether to pick up Brandon Webb’s 2010 option since that decision must be made five days after the World Series. You have no idea how hard it was to predict the Evil Empire would win the World Series led by their captain, the son of Satan. I feel so dirty.

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