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Monday, October 26, 2009


The analysts are thinking, "They're the Yankees. Of course they're going to win." It's always a fluke if a team other than the Yankees wins a World Series. So I'm ignoring the media (except for Beerleaguer, fo course) and will instead rely on the actual games played in the World Series to tell me who the champion is. And if all goes well, it will be the Phillies. Again.

Phillies already beat the 2011 Yankees last year.

Manuel was nicknamed "Aka-Oni" (The Red Devil) when he played in Japan. Apparently there was a Japanese news crew that recently had Manuel and several of the players (Vic, Werth, etc.) wear a red devil mask and say "Aka-Oni" into the camera. Weird but true.

Wiki says that Manuel was given the nickname because of his tenacious play and power-hitting ability, which also happens to describe this current Phillies team.

The Philadelphia Aka-Oni Phillies indeed.

I don't know if they're thinking it's one-sided. Many of the ESPN "analysts" have picked the Yankees to win, yes, but most have picked them in 7 games. I'm not sure what it is they think the Yankees have that the Phillies don't, other than they're the Yankees, so of course they're supposed to win, right? I wonder if any of them realize that the Phils nearly swept the Yankees earlier this year, or that they even played each other at all.

I live and work in New York and I am getting tired of all these Yankee fans telling me that the Phillies are an Inferior ball club when compared to the Yanks. A soon a I walked in this morning I was told that Cano is hands down better then Utley and that Swisher is better then Werth.
Can you believe this is what I have to put up with this?

Interesting that most of the big sports sites give a firm nod to Charlie over Girardi. i worry about pitch counts as the Yankees are sooo patient and most of our pitchers don't have that "out" pitch (Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Pedro '09', Durbin) or miss too often (Lidge!). We may not see lots of walks but we could see lots of long at bats and our starters gone early.

Also most baseball guys are really excited to see this series, most think it will be epic and most predictions I've read say Yankees in 7 and basically because CC starts 3 times. I'm looking forward to that game 4 start in Philly when he has to face a pitcher hitting...

After arguing on Facebook all day about the series, I am tired. But at least the series starts tonight.. right? What, Wednesday? Oh christ, 2 more days of waiting?!?! AGH!

I actually like this 'radio silence'. No need to release information; choosing the number of relievers and bench to take into the Series should be somewhat dependent on what the other team is bringing to the match. And it also changes in-game strategy. The Phillies should plan for several scenarios and release their WS roster after the Yankees make their decisions. Plus, I think the second and third starters should depend on whether the Phillies win game 1 and how deep Lee gets. Of course, that's not necessarily good for the pitchers, but at this point, they should both be focused on pitching and winning game 2.

Tweet from Jon Heyman:

nothing official yet but #yanks leaning toward rotation of 1 thru 7: CC, AJ, Pettitte, CC, AJ, Pettitte, CC.

That's as expected. With AJ pitching Game 2, do the Phils unleash Fat the Bat for Game 2 DH?

one point of note that i want to complain about is... the home field advantage being determined at the all star game.

For the first time since Bud decided that "THIS ONE COUNTS", a National League team has repeated as champions of their league. And for the FIRST TIME IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY that team will be forced to win a world series twice without one of those years having 4 games in their own home.

While HFA is not a guarantee of victory... the Yankees are enjoying an advantage that would not have occured 10 years ago. After the strike in 94, the National League had home field in the Odd years. So this year would have been a National League HFA.

In 95-96 the Braves had home field in 95 and won the world series. In 96 they lost.

The 91-92 Braves lost both their series with and without. So did the 77-78 Dodgers.

The Reds had home field in 76 (won) and won without it.

So while you don't need home field TO win a World Series. As we saw last year, we didn't need it. This is the first time ever that the same National League team played in a World Series back to back without Home Field advantage.

So while it goes without saying... FU Bud Selig.

You guys need to settle down with the arguing before the games are played.

Yankee fans can think Cano is better than Utley all they want and you should let them. The more inflated they get, the more they'll deflate if things go the Phillies way. In any case, it's really pointless as we'll see it played out on the field. I'm personally concerned about the damage Cano could be inflicting on Hamels as he's a very prolific hitter when it comes to LHP changeups. He swings a lot and the key will be to throw him pitches that start in the zone and finish inside both high and low.

You heard it here first...Brett Myers will start in the it

lol @ that dude that a little pee came out.

you're on mesculin, dude.

I'm still pissed at Justin Upton for misplaying a ball that allowed the AL to score in the All-Star Game. Yes, I know I'm the only person on the planet who gives a ****. I don't care, him and his brother stink.

"Aka-Oni" (The Red Devil) from TNA's posting.

A few days ago they were looking for a nickname for this team. RD could stand for Red Devils. We used to call Mayberry "RFD". Now we can call the whole team "RFD" as in "WFC". The RFD will be the 2009 WFC!

Mike C- I mentioned this the other day, but what do you think about the idea of having the League that hosts the defending WS champion host that year's WS?

For instance:
Since Red Sox win in 07, the AL (Tampa Bay) gets homefield in 08. Since the NL (Phillies) beat the AL (Tampa Bay), the NL gets homefield in 09.

I drew an analogy a couple threads ago to the Ryder Cup point system where the defending champions only have to win 14 points to retain the cup. The challengers have to win 14.5 points to win the Cup outright.

Last year, it didn't seem particularly unfair that Tampa Bay had homefield. This year, it does.

I actually think the playoff 2-3-2 schedule favors the non-"advantaged" team. I'd rather have the shot at winning at home in game 4 or 5 than getting game 6 and 7 down at home. This is especially true of the Phillies, who are a great road team.

@TNA -- I'm fine with the alternating years. That seems to even out over time. And in cases where teams repeat, you have the advantage one year, and one year you don't. When the Yankees were winning 3 in a row in the 90s they had home field in two of them.

Under your system: had the Phillies not made the World Series this year, the Dodgers would have had homefield advantage. As the resutl of our hard work. Now your idea seems to be better than the All Star Game issue. And probably not as good as over wins.

The most unbiased system is alternating years.

The whole forced nickname thread of a few days ago seemed just that, forced. I must say though, that RFD's tickled me some.

With CC pitching 3 times (and Hamels struggling), it's hard not to pick the Yankees.

I don't even care so much as the "advantage" that home field affords the fortunate team, so much as the revenues. We've seen firsthand that the postseason uptick in revenue for this Phillies ownership group is like a shot of heroine. Just glad to see that they're committed to the high of the extra revenue that accompanies a winning team. It was many years in the making, but I think they finally "get it."

I don't think that "home field advantage" plays out as well in baseball as it does in the other big sports. Although with this team, having last licks at the plate is a nice thing.

"With CC pitching 3 times (and Hamels struggling), it's hard not to pick the Yankees"

Because he was so effective against this lineup last year with the Brewers and all the short rest?

mike - I like alternating years as well. Just thought under my system, the use of pennants would be made literal. btw, the idea struck when Torre said that the Phillies would represent "our league (the NL) very well." The idea of the two leagues being at odds with each other tickles me for whatever reason.

and yes, if the Dodgers would have had homefield advantage if they made it to the World Series; but they wouldn't necessarily get it because of the Phillies hard work. They'd get it because the NL proved itself to be the better league.

anyway, thanks for the response.

And btw, the "Aka-Oni" thing wasn't mentioned to come up with a team nickname. I was just trying to point out a quirky Japanese media take on the World Series, Manuel's reputation in Japan, and how that reputation describes the Phillies team to a T... But RFD? Sounds cool. I still like WFC.

Sophist, are you sure that CC is better than Cliff Lee?

Its worth noting that CC will pitch on short rest in both games 4 and 7 if it comes to that. I know he has done this before, but on one of those occasions the Phillies sent him to an early shower.

1. Myers will start.
2. Does ne1 remember the way MLB did homefield b4 the all star wins? They just alternated
3. NYY had abetter record anyway.

4. the Phils r road dogs. I think this works in our favor. Home field puts pressure on their team. What happenes if the home team doesnt win game 1? Armageddon.

I know he has a different supporting cast and all, but last year in the NLDS against the Phillies, Sabathia put up:

0-1, 12.27 ERA in 3.2 IP (6H, 5ER), 2.727 WHIP

Like I said, I know the circumstances are different, but let's just say that I'd be shocked if the Phillies lineup is intimidated. Brett Meyers might be added to the roster, just to grab a bat and Victorino may call his shot this time around....


they're actually season tix we get through my dads work... there are 6 guys, and they pick the games like a fantasy draft. So we get 10 games, plus Playoffs when we get there. It just so happened to line up that we got first dibbs on the WS this year.

And to give you an idea of how OUTRAGEOUSLY priced tickets are on the stub hub, we got our 3 tickets, PLUS parking, for just over 700 bucks. I haven't checked, but I've heard our seats are going for over that for a single seat!

My prediction: Phillies take the WS in 3 games. THREE games.

Check out CC's numbers on short rest here:

.825 WHIP on three days, ERA about 1, .172/.230/.183 against.

But you all are right. There was that one game! Look nowhere did I say that the Phils can't beat CC - that would be idiotic. But when you have an arm like that going three times in a first to 4 series, you have to look those chances. Preacher, this has nothing to do with thinking the Phils will be "intimidated." It has everything to do with starting a very, very good pitcher 3 times.

Spitz, is Lee starting three games this series?

"Besides Mariano Rivera, I just don’t understand what the Yankees have brought to the postseason that the Phillies haven’t that would make this series so one-sided in the eyes of analysts."

I agree. The teams are evenly matched, with the Yankees having a better closer. Still, if the game doesn't come down to the last 3-6 outs, we have as good a chance as the Yankees to win. But if we're trying to perform late-inning heroics every night, WS title #3 will remain elusive.

Thinking about this match-up as I pack up to head home. I know about Sabathia, tho see above posts, and I know about Rivera, and I know that Hamels has been shaky and Blanton has been shaky, and the bullpen has looked better, but who knows what will happen. Still, I really believe that on this team, most of these guys will step up and get the job done when they have to. That's they way the Phils have made it work the last couple years, and I think it will still work that way. Some might call this luck or a fluke or an alignment of the stars we can't continue to rely on, but I prefer to think it says something about how this team thinks and performs on a day in day out basis. Still, I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope I'm right.

The Yankees have the edge in starting pitching and closer. Relief we'll have to call a draw the way Chamberlain and Hughes have struggled. On the season, they had a slightly better offense but our hitters are hotter. I think you'd have to see them as the favorite, as they're playing at home, getting three starts from C.C. and a couple starts from Petitte, who is a great postseason pitcher and a heavy favorite to outpitch our #2, Hamels.

Few notes:

1. It should not be surprising most people are picking the Yankees. They were the better team this season. They won 103 games, playing in a harder league and division, and had a significantly better run-differential than the Phillies. They were better. Frankly, the fact that most people envision this series going to 7 games indicates a high level of respect for the Phillies, considering the Yanks are better and they have homefield (where they've been dominant this year).

2. If the Yanks really are going with that rotation, we have a huge chance to beat up AJ Burnett on short rest in Game 5. He's the weak link among those 3 guys as it stands already, and if he throws on short rest, that's a game you pretty much have to win.

3. If MLB had done what it should do, which is reward the team with the better record homefield, the Phillies would still not have homefield advantage. If the Phillies had a better record, phans would be crying for it to be based on record. Since they don't have the better record, now phans are crying for it to be alternating. I seriously distrust the motives of everyone promoting this argument for alternating homefield. It was widely disliked back when it was actually in place.

However, I will say that both solutions (best record and alternating) are better than what we currently have.

As an analyst, you'd be hard pressed not to pick the Yankees. They won 103 games in the most difficult division in baseball.

Solid post, Jack.

Hey guys,
I have tickets to game 1 in New York and I can longer make it on Wednesday. Was wondering if anyone out there would be interested in trading Tickets to Game 1 for a home game 3 or 4, or just buying the tickets for what I paid, which was $475 each. My seats in Yankee stadium is sec 428, so if we did a swap I would be looking for upperdeck seats in CBP. Any help in this would be amazing. If interested my email is

Sorry, it should've read no longer can make it


"As an analyst, you'd be hard pressed not to pick the Yankees. They won 103 games in the most difficult division in baseball."

Unless, of course, "as an analyst" you got fired for fraternizing with the hired help and are in no place to make a pick, whatsoever.

I wasn't fired; two weeks leave and sensitivity training--slap on the wrist.


Nice, very in-depth summary. I agree, there are many "ifs" and the series could turn on any one or more of them.

I would add another one, and that is whether St. U for the Phils, or Tex for the Yanks, steps it up and goes on a tear. Chase, for whatever reason, was not a huge factor against the Dodgers. Not sure whether he is hurt or not, but I remember streaks where when he was hot, he could carry the team. Like streaks where he hits home runs in multiple consecutive games with a complement of raking doubles. Streaks where it seems like he hits a rocket virtually every time he bats. Maybe it won't happen and I'm sure not counting on it, but he has done it many times, and he is rested and due (all this assumes he is not injured).

Similarly, Tex has been very quiet for the Yanks. I shudder to think what would happen if A-Rod stays anywhere near his post season pace and Tex caught fire at the same time. Look out.

Another huge "if" would be Hamels showing some 2008 post season form. I'm not counting on it, but again, he is certainly capable of it. Can you imagine the boost that would give the team, statistically and mentally?

On Pedro, the weather is going to be cold either place. He pitched successfully in hostile territory this year against LA and was unruffled. Notwithstanding his past performances against the Yanks, I don't really see him getting rattled at Yankee Stadium. I could be wrong, but the guy is a warrior, and I think he could be salivating at the chance to have a last go round and shut the Yankees Stadium crowd up.

OTOH, if things go bad for Cole early in Yankee Stadium, and he lets it rattle him (as he has seemed to this year) it could get real ugly, real fast.

Should be a very exciting series between two really good teams who stamped out whoever tried to get in their way to get there.

Experts preseason picks for the WS:

nobody had Phils/Yanks....

Jason Stark was closest....but still.


Sophist, CC is only starting three games if this Series goes 7. In the last 20 WS, only 4 have them gone to Game 7. So lets not count on CC pitching 3 games just yet.

Plus, you can't look at CC for 3 games and say that "it's hard not to pick the Yankees". Lee will be pitching one of those game against him. Also, CC's advantage over whomever we pitch in game 4 will be canceled out by Lee's advantage over whomever they pitch in Game 5.

I know the negative nellies out there will hate this statement, but I think the Phils have a better starting rotation than the Yankees. I'll take Lee x2 + Hamels x2 + some combination of Blaton + Pedro over CC x3 + Burnett x2 + Petit x2. I know we hate the year that Hamels has had, but Burnett wasn't lighting the world on fire all year either.

****Baseball Tonight****

MLB Network is replaying the 2nd game of the Phils-Yanks game from May 23rd.

Mayberry just hit his HR.

Coste followed in the batters box. I got a weird feeling of deja vu seeing Coatie in a Phils uni.

Well, at least we can FINALLY put to bed one of the most hotly debated topics on BL - yes, indeed, unloading Bobby Abreu is addition by subtraction.

LA is probably figuring out how to unload him as we speak.

Spitz, the point of the 3 starts comment is just this: unless the Phils win every other matchup, they're going to have to beat CC once.

The only way it doesn't go 7 games is if they either beat the Yanks with him on the mound (certainly not impossible - my point is only that the Yanks are probably favored in any game he starts, even those against Lee) or sweep the other 4 games he doesn't start (certainly not impossible, I just wouldn't bet on it). Otherwise, it's going 7 games and you face him again.

Looking at these three scenarios, in addition to other factors up and down the lineup, I'd say the Yanks should be favored. We live in a stochastic universe, and this is a brief 7 games. We're engaging in analyst speak. It's all nonsense. This is just one way to look at the matchup. It's certainly more sensical than point to one day last Fall and saying the Phils have his number on short rest.

Preacher, are you kidding? Abreu was excellent for them this year. I imagine they're doing what they can to keep him on. Or are you judging his entire contract on a week of baseball?

Sophist, I was tongue in cheek. The Yanks and Phils both have had the most success after they parted ways with Mr. Abreu.

Preacher - ha. failed to make that connection. I thought you were referring to his dismal postseason play.

Sophist, the last pitcher to win 3 games in a World Series as a starter: Micky Lolich, 41 years ago. (Randy Johnson won three times in 2001, but the third came in relief in Game 7). Methinks that CC ain't gonna break 41 years of precident and win three games this year.

Now, broadly, I understand that you argument is that the Yanks should be favored, and I agree with that.

Jon Heyman tweets (is he just guessing?):

#phillies rotation plan appears to be lee in 1, 4 and 7 (3 dates with cc), pedro in 2, hamels in 3. 5 and 6 up in air.

#phillies plan to use ben francisco in LF vs. cc, pettitte, with ibanez the dh. stairs likely to dh vs aj, with raul in LF

Lineups are pretty even but I give the edge to the Yanks with the DH. There 1-9 is really strong throughout with power and average sprinkled up and down the lineup. Really isn't an easy out although Swisher really has struggled in the postseason.

Phils have a pretty solid lineup too but Feliz stinks (he really has largely been awful the past 2 1/2 months) and I just don't know if they can continue to get the kind of production they have generally gotten from Chooch.

I'm late to this discussion and haven't read the thread, but:

2009 ERA+:

Sabathia 133
Cliff Lee 138

2008 ERA+:

Sabathia: 162
Cliff Lee: 175

No one would ever accused me of being a blind homer but someone's going to have to explain to me why Sabathia is perceived as the better pitcher.

Things rarely happen as they look on paper in a short series. There is usually a big surprise. That surprise will be beating either CC or Mo twice, or better yet, both twice.

One guy that has been overlooked in all of the discussions:

JRoll. He had that huge hit against Broxton to end the NLCS but he really has generally been almost a nonfactor offensively in the playoffs since 2007.

JRoll has scored 6 runs in 9 games but his stats are pretty tepid to say the least (41 ABs) .244/.279/.317 with an OPS of .596. No HRs from JRoll and more important no BBs.

The Phils should be able to run on the Yanks (with the exception of Petitte who arguably one of the best pickoff moves of a LHP pitcher in the game) and too often JRoll has been a pretty easy out.

I've heard a few people say that the game 2 decision of Hamels/Pedro will be based on what happens in Game 1, as if their meaning is obvious. I am confused by this. What outcome from Game 1 will determine who we go with in Game 2?

My guess is that Cholly's already made his decision but is playing coy. Personally, I'd go Hamels in Game 2.

bap: Lee is clearly trending downward at a faster clip.

Brian G: There's no way the Phils wait that long to decide on Game 2 starter. I'm sure they'll know by tomorrow at the latest. Someone has to be ready to go.

b_a_p - He's taller.

goody: Solid use of "trending downward" which has been sadly missing for awhile here!

The only thing that would really surprise me in this series:

The ball staying in the park.

1. Phils have hit 14 HRs in 291 ABs (20.8 ABs/HR vs. 24.9 ABs/HR in the regular season)

2. Yanks have hit 14 HRs in 324 ABs (23.1 ABs/HR vs. 23.2 ABs/HR in regular season)

Two of the most power-laden lineups in baseball in two parks where it is easier to hit HRs that most parks in MLB combined with two staffs that are somewhat prone to giving up the long ball (Phils definitely have a bigger weakness here because of Hamels and Blanton).

Other things I don't get:

- Is how both of these teams have been getting credit for how good there defense is especially the Yanks. Even the Phils are almost now a bit overrated defensively too. I would be surprised if we see solid and consistent defense from both of these teams.

Given the likely very chilly and potentially inclement weather, I think you will continue to see the inconsistent defense you have seen in the playoffs.

Willard Preacher: Your posts are routinely among the most idiotic on here, but you do understand the cause and effect fallacy here, right?

I think you can make a case that the Phillies starting pitching is better than the Yankees.

Can't make a case that the Phillies offense is better, however, and adding Francisco to the lineup doesn't change that.

Re: Home Runs

The Yankees hit 20 more HRs than the Phils this year, but when consider the Phils didn't have the DH most of the year, it's pretty even.

Yankees hit a HR every 23.1 ABs (excluding P)
Phils hit a HR every 23.6 ABs (excluding P)

Pedro should start #3 at home--no DH. Let the experts pick the Yanks. They are experts, aren't they?

Steinbrenner says via statement that he is "looking forward to the Yankees 27th Title".

Now I'm not one who cares what the talking heads say, but this is one that bothers me just a tad.

Ouch, clout.

anyway, I actually am in favor of the way they award home-field advantage for the world series. it is frankly astounding that the AL just so happens to be on a monster tear, all-star-game-wise. the NL enjoyed a similar run before that -- i think those things will even out. the alternating home-field advantage is meritless. the best-record argument is a good one, but i don't mind incentivizing the all-star game.

and if i may be a little kumbaya-ish today, i really enjoy reading everyone's posts (even the so-called "idiotic" ones) and am quite thrilled to be a member of the BLer community. as a Philly sports phan since 1975 with just three championships to enjoy (two phillies, one sixers), this is a moment to cherish, and i enjoy the back-and-forth repartee of Beerleaguer -- even the nasty ones.


clout: Um... scroll down a little. Willard's tongue was firmly in cheek.

Yankees averaged about a half run a game more than the Phils this season. I'd say you could attribute some of that to having the DH, but not all of it.

BAP, I think Sabathia's perceived superiority over Lee has more the do with his $160MM contract and his bigger than life personality than his stuff or recent success.

I don't understand the outrage or indignation about the experts picking the Yankees. That doesn't mean they don't respect the Phillies. Suppose each of 10 experts believes that the Yankees have a 60% chance of winning the WS (that is, if the teams played 100 World Series, the Yankees would win 60 of them). I think that is a reasonable assessment of the two teams. If that is the case, however, and all the experts agree, each of the 10 experts will pick the Yankees, despite each thinking the Phillies have a significant chance of winning the series.

As far as home-field advantage, I've never heard this mentioned anywhere, but why not have the league that wins the interleague season series host the World Series? I think that is a good measure of which league is stronger, top-to-bottom, and it would add intrigue and meaning to every interleague game, even Pirates-Royals. It would also foster league pride, much like the conference pride in college sports.

Re: Home Field Advantage

Little late on this but...Ever since Bud randomly decided that the All-Star Game should 'mean something', I've thought that home field advantage in the WS should be decided by the league with the better record in interleague play.
That way, interleague play actually means something beyond allowing games between the Yankees/Mets and Cubs/White Sox and gives at least some tiny meaning to a tedious Royals/Marlins game.
The teams that comes out of the 'better' league has more of a claim for home field than alternating years or the winner of an exhibition game (with questionable fan chosen rosters and little league 'everyone must play managing)...

MLB Network has a show on tonight "Path to the Pennant" covering the Phils season. On at 8 and every couple hours after that.

Of course, their schedule doesn't always play out as the onscreen guide promises.

Spitz, CC doesn't have to technically win all those games. The point is only that the Yankees are favored when he starts.

CJ: I think the DH is good for more than a half run a game, which is 81 runs a year. Add his runs scored + RBI - HR, then minus Phils pitchers same totals, and it should be more than that.

While we have time on our hands, here's a question I asked several times during the season, but never got an answer. Is this the first team to reach the post season with nothing more than a 12-game winner? I'm not computer-savey enough to do this myself. thanks.

I love how many previews I've read talking about how awesome CC's been in the playoffs. Then they throw in some parenthetical mention of Lee being good too. If the Phils weren't motivated before (which they were anyway), they have to be drawing extra juice from the fact that the Yankees are getting talked up by everyone and the Phillies are an afterthought.

goody: I remember your asking that question before, and I started to look for an answer but ran out of steam. One thing I do know for sure is that it has been done at least one other time because the Dodgers pulled the same feat this year. In fact, the Dodgers had only 2 pitchers on their entire staff that had double digit wins while with the Dodgers -- Billingsley (12) and Wolf (11). The Phillies had 4, with 3 of them posting exactly 12 wins. Lee, of course, won 14 games overall, but 7 of them were with Cleveland.

In terms of determining how much advantage the DH slot gave the yankees in terms of scoring runs, I'd think Runs Created would be the stat to look at, no?

Doing so...

Hideki Matsui - 84.32 RC in 142 games.

Phillies Pitching staff - 9.42 RC.

Given that non-Matsui hitters in the DH slot probably created at least a few runs, the Yankees' entire advantage in runs would appear to derive from the DH. Having a more hitter friendly park would also count for something, I think. I'm not sure I see why the Yankees should be seen to have a significant advantage in offense.

Or am I missing something?

Mike: It's the World Series. They were motivated before. And I'm pretty sure they don't read all the previews anyway. They're busy, you know, preparing to play the World Series.

JK: I'm not sure that's how I'd do it, but yeah, your overall point is on the right track.

But then you also have to adjust the pitching stats for each team. The Yankees allowed 44 more runs than the Phillies did, but facing teams with the DH. If you adjust along roughly the same lines, then the Yanks' pitching becomes an advantage, as well, and the run differential stays the same. So you just have to adjust both sides.

Jack: I think most people are already giving the Yankees the pitching advantage because of future Hall of Famer CC Sabathia. I'd likely give the Yanks a small edge on offense, but it's not nearly as big as some are letting on.

JK: If your point is that the offenses are equal, I'm not sure that's right though either. Because if the Phillies had the DH, that guy would be either Francisco or Stairs. And that DH would make up some of the difference for the Phillies, but not all of it. The Yanks' offense is still slightly better.

My dad just called to tell me he saw Jimmy Rollins on Leno. (I'm hoping will link to a clip, since I missed it.) Guess what Jimmy said?

"We'll win in 5 so we can do it at home."

Now the 50 million dollar question: Is this another of Jimmy's spot-on predictions?
Let's hope so! :)

If you look back 40 years plus one - last year before divisional play - you see that actually getting 3 starts out of a pitcher increases your odds of winning and ,that there has only been one year since '68 where the world series winning team didn't start someone 3 times and the losing team did.

Let the experts - prognosticate all they want -

lat yr - it was the dodgers, then the rays.. then the PHILS BECAME THE WFC

so lasorda predicted the mojo was for the Dodgers to play the Yankees

so did almost every expert, so what!

WFC2 awaits

should clearly imply - only looked at 7 game series

GBrettfan: The LEno Show is on Hulu. It should be available sometime Tuesday.

Thanks, Reverend.

I am not at all scared of CC. The Phils handled him last year, and once again he's had alot of mileage put on his arm right before they face him in the postseason.

I am a little scared of Arod. If the Phils handle Arod like they handled Manny, they will win, but Arod is much hotter than Manny right now.

“I had to come somewhere and commiserate,” said Dave Rakowski, 48, a lawyer in town(NYC) on business from Allentown, Pa., which he said had an even mix of Yankees and Phillies fans. “I just needed to be around this stuff,” he said against a backdrop of blue and orange.

Wow really. Is that assessment true Allentowners?!

Nice article on Jayson Werth in right


The Yanks should not pitch (or would be CRAZY) to pitch Burnett on short rest. They only want him pitching at home anyway (he has a tendancy to implode in hostile environments). Their worst fear (which could happen if they actually go through with this plan) is having Burnett starting Game 5 in Philly, either down 3-1 or even 2-2 in the series, on 3 days rest.

The Yanks soft underbelly is their starting pitching. They don't have a #4 starter and it will catch up with them. Pettitte is getting by on guile nowadays. His stuff is very hittable for a team like the Phils. And we all saw Sabathia against the Phils last year.

Besides Mo Rivera, the Yanks bullpen is VERY vulnerable. Hughes and Joba the Hut have looked shaky in the playoffs and nobody will be scared of Damaso Marte or Phil Coke from the left side matching up with the Utley's, Howard's or Ibanez's of the world. Joba's velocity is down and his slider is just spinning up there. And Hughes is basically a rookie in this role. I'd take Park and Madson over these guys all day.

I would look for the Phils to run wild in this series on the basepaths. Posada is below average now as a thrower and 3 of the 4 Yankee starters are slow to the plate (Burnett is VERY slow; but he will have Molina catching him). Joba is also slow to the plate as well.

The Phils should have very easily swept the Yanks in May. And two of the starters for the Phils in that series were Brett Myers and JA Happ (making his first start of the year). The Yanks didn't see Blanton, Pedro or Lee. They did see Lee when Cleveland came into NY to open Yankee Stadium, and Lee was dominant.

The Phils are better then the Yanks for 8 of the 9 innings. Rivera is Rivera. Nobody has ever done it better. But in this series, it will be about scoring enough runs in the first 7-8 inning of the game and guys like Madson, Park, Eyre (he will have to be HUGE in this series) and Lidge holding them down late.

If they do this, they win. The Yanks aren't better defensively. They aren't more powerful. They aren't better in the rotation. They aren't any better in the manager spot. They aren't more experienced in this spot and under this particular pressure. The Phils either have a solid edge or at least a push in most areas that matter.

The Phils are the better team. They are playing their best ball of the season, now, when it counts. The Yanks will have to play really, really well to win (which they are capable of). But the Phils have more ways/avenues to win and more players that KNOW how to win championships. If the Phils just do what they do, another WFC will come.

Mo Rivera is awesome, one of the best relievers ever to pitch in this game and possibly the best postseason pitcher ever, but other than him the Yankees don't have much of anything in the 'pen. Hughes, Joba, Coke...c'mon, they're no better than what the Phils will run out there.

The lineups match-up pretty evenly, and the starting pitching is more even than those ESPN schmucks are making it out to be too.

I'm glad the Phils are facing the Yankees, because when the it's WFC2 it's going to open the entire nation's eyes this time.

I am a Yankee fan (but not trying to start anything).

I just wanted to say that there was a question in the previous post's comments about Yankee blogs, and if there was one worth following. I'd say that Bronx Banter ( with SI writers Alex Belth and Cliff Corcoran is one that you guys could look at, and River Avenue Blues ( is an extremely popular, informational Yankee blog.

That little bit of advice imparted: may the best team win! ;)

Pedro Game 2
Hamels Game 3

Heard on Michael Smerconish radio interview with Charlie.

K.B.-YF: There are two teams playing in the World Series; therefore, the term is "may the better team win." I thought Yankee fans knew everything. :-)

Thanks for the link, awh. My favorite part:

"You see those parents who are like, 'Oh that's OK' -- but it's not OK to lose," he says. "I never felt like it was OK to lose."

That's why he wasn't upset when -- in the midst of a torrid World Series last year in which he batted .444, with a homer, three steals and a .583 on-base percentage -- Philadelphia fans booed him when he got picked off second base in Game 3.

"I should have gotten booed," he says, "and I expected to."

Gotta love Jayson Werth.

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EST. 2005

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