Monday, October 26, 2009
The Two Part, Turnpike World Series Preview
Finally, after 4,860 games from 30 teams: We have the World Series that we had all hoped for. We have the two Juggernauts of baseball. The two cities, separated by 26 exits of Turnpike through the great state of New Jersey, will indeed give us the World Series that we could only wish for at the beginning of the season.
Now this World Series preview is going to be a two part piece, courtesy of the two most entertaining, unknown sports blogs this side of the Toms River. I am going to write about the Yankees side, breaking down match-up favors for them, and basically telling you why the Yankees will win the series. My colleague over at ShoreThing Sports, Mr. Phil Shore (being a die-hard Philly fan) has humbly agreed to give you the Phillies side of the series, and he is going to tell you why the Phillies will win this series.
So for reasons (that obviously no one cares about because it's the Phillies) go over to ShoreThing Sports for an excellent Phillies preview.
Now on to the real reason why the twenty of you who regularly visit this blog are here. This match-up may very well be the most talented World Series across the board that we've seen this decade...or further. You have the most feared lineup in all of baseball, and a National League lineup that hits like they belong in the American League. You've got two of the games top 5 pitchers starting game 1.
(Quick Side Note: Thank you so much to the front office of the Cleveland Indians. Look at what you've given up for the cities of Philadelphia and New York to enjoy. C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee starting game 1. Kudos to you guys.)
You've got the most dominant closer in baseball history, against the sketchiest (yea, I just said sketchiest.) You've got the two single most passionate fan bases out of all cities that house a professional sports team. I was listening to 660 WFAN on my way home this morning and they brought up a point that needs to be portrayed to the rest of the country. When you come up to the northeastern part of the United States....sports just mean more. It's too hard to comprehend for people outside of NY, Philly, Boston because they've never experience what it's like to follow teams in this part of the country. There is an aura about the teams, the stadiums, and the fans that can only be seen here. While I'm not condoning the other major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and St. Louis, but there is nothing like rooting for a team in this part of the country. Trust me, it's just different.
Now that I've given as much props as I can to the city of Philadelphia (ugh)...It's on to why the New York Yankees will win their 27th World Series title.
1. Mr. November
The man formally known as A-fraud, A-Roid, and a non Yankee has single handedly carried this team to the World Series (with a little help from number 2.) Alex Rodriguez has been as good as anyone could have imagined, given his previous post season woes. As long as number 3 is in the lineup you have to pitch around him. You figure that the Yankees are going to get runners on base, so it is indeed tough to pitch around A-rod, which is why he has been so successful. All I know is, if I'm Charlie Manuel, I'm not pitching to the guy.
2. The Captain
Aside from A-Rod's 'on another planet' performance we're witnessing, Mr. Jeter, the captain, continues to amaze even the loyalist of Yankee fans. Think about this for a second...is there anything that he could do, that you wouldn't expect? He gets clutch hit after clutch hit, he hits home runs, he fields excellently despite the naysayers, and to top it all off he is the best leader in all of baseball. Derek Jeter has been the epitome of what a Yankee is from day one. No one in the world has more postseason experience and success then number 2.
3. C.C. (CAN COUNT on) Sabathia
If you don't watch ESPN's First Take and you don't know who Skip Bayless is than that joke isn't really funny. But for years he has called C.C. Sabathia, "Can't Count On" Sabathia. Nothing makes me happier than when Skip Bayless has to eat his words. C.C. is an absolute horse, he can start on 3 days rest, hell I wouldn't be surprised if he started every game. The guy doesn't wear down and he's best when it counts.
4. The Gold Glove First Basemen
Anyone want to question the move to sign Mark Tiexiera now? Regardless of what he's done with the bat in the post season, the Yankees are in the World Series in large part to his defense. Tiexiera is a human vacuum, nothing seems to get by him and with a heavy lefty lineup coming to town with Howard, Utley, Ibanez, and Rollins the Yankees are going to need him more than ever.
5. Brad Lidge
I was going to go with all Yankees for my reasons, but this one was too noticeable to pass up. How do you have a closer that has an ERA over 7. 7!! Seeing what the Yankees do to opposing bullpens, the Phillies better hope that Cliff Lee, Pedro, and Cole Hamels are giving them at least 8 innings. All it's going to take is one hit from someone in the Yankee lineup off of Lidge and his confidence will be completely shaken again. Don't forget that one of his many blown saves this year came against the Yankees in walk-off fashion against A-Rod.
6. Enter Sandman
How could I not close this up with the best closer of all-time. Very simple. Mariano enters the game. The other team doesn't score. All the Yankees have to do is get the lead in the 9th inning and then......ENTER SANDMAN.
The series is exactly what we all wanted. We wanted the two powerhouses. We wanted the glits and glamour. Well now we have it. Time do deliver boys.
Yankees in 7.
NBA preview coming Friday. Stay Tuned!!