October 28, 2009

Glory days.

"Yeah, they'll pass you by...in the wink of a young girl's eye."
-Bruce Springsteen
The Philadelphia Phillies versus the New York Yankees.

It's the kind of matchup Phillies fans have dreamed of all year. CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez, AJ Burnett and Cole Hamels.

Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Derek Jeter.

Mariano Rivera. Brad Lidge.

Will the Phillies pull it out? As someone who's seen their perseverance, their professionalism, their undying patience and their skill day-in and day-out in 2009, yes.

As someone who knows the sport of baseball, understands the unpredictability of a postseason series and has a working knowledge of how good the Yankees can be, honestly, who knows.

Everyone is picking the Yankees, sure, but Yankees in six, Yankees in seven. That's a long series, and if it truly comes down to one game, and that game turns out to be a rematch of Lee and Sabathia, who could possibly predict the outcome with even the slightest bit of certainty?

These are two very good teams. They smack a lot of homers, they have top-heavy starting rotations and there are still a few question marks in their bullpens.

I hope this series stretches until next week, and I hope it's won because one team outlasts the other. The Angels flubbed countless chances (and pop flies) against the Yankees in the ALCS, and the Dodgers (again) looked overmatched by a team way out of their league. I want to see torturous games, games survived by only the truly best team.

In all honesty, making the World Series two years in a row is an accomplishment in and of itself. This Phillies team is one we'll never forget, that's for sure.

But now that we're back, and now that we're up against the most storied franchise in American sporting history, well, why not win again?

Jimmy Rollins says the Phillies will win in five. I find that overly optimistic. But six sounds just right. And even though I just questioned how this series could be predicted with any certainty, well, I'm in no way certain. But I know the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies sure look like world champions to me.

Philadelphia Phillies in six. Now let's do it to it, let's get this party started.

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