Very little World Series build-up has been staked to actual baseball. It should, down to the last gritty detail.
Tonight, the Phillies and Yankees start answering the questions that have been floating around the ether these last few days, pressing concerns, like which squad fields the sexiest stars, attracts the most dignified fans and share allegiances with journalists gifted with the most supreme Photoshop skills. Ok, maybe not. If these last three Phillies postseasons have taught us anything, it’s that minutiae matters. Running. Catching. Middle relief. Managing. The questions are never as important as they seem at first. It may not matter whether the Phillies can outslug the Yankees, or if Cliff can outlast CC. The question might be whether Chase Utley can turn the double play this time after Chan Ho Park induces the grounder he wanted. Can Ben Francisco make another highlight-reel snare standing in for Raul Ibanez in left, just as he did in the Division Series clincher? Will white-hot tactician Charlie Manuel have the right personnel in place for yet another series? The postseason has featured plenty of frozen ropes, especially in the Championship Series, but once again, one of the biggest hits came when Utley ran out a blown-call squibber that changed the course of Game 3 in the NLDS. The Phils are no strangers to clutch swinging bunts in the postseason. Then again, they're also no strangers to pinch homers that sail deep into the night. Anything, and everything, can happen, and will.