The Rays made it exciting, and Bud Selig made his usual mess of things by letting it go way too far before calling the game on Monday night. Stlll, the Phils were a better lineup with a better bench; that was proven with authority in Game 4. Charlie Manuel deserves a championship; honestly, so does Joe Maddon, for taking a team that had been threatened with contraction and getting it all the way to the fifth game of the World Series.
It was a marketeer’s nightmare. Nitwit sports radio was full of hosts and callers who babbled endlessly about how disappointed they were that the Red Sox weren’t there – whining about bad managerial decisions in Game 7, particularly the caught stealing by Dustin Pedroia and just how low the TV ratings were.
Screw ‘em. The Phillies have been in the World Series three times in my lifetime – 1980, 1993 and 2008. If they hadn’t hacked it up in 1964 it would’ve been four. Much as I like the Red Sox, it’s great to see teams in the World Series including the Angels, Astros, Diamondbacks, Giants, Marlins, Padres, Phillies, Rays, Rockies, Tigers and White Sox. Cardinals, The Yankees, Braves and now Red Sox – perennial contenders – have gotten there too, but the teams listed above have been in the World Series since 1998, and that’s great.
Can the Phillies make it back? Well, Howard, Utley, Victorino, Lidge, Hamels, and a few others are a nice young core, but they have some issues to address. If your third starter is 45, that’s a problem. If your starting catcher hit .219, that’s a problem.
Can the Rays make it back? They still have to win in the steel-cage American League East. But the average team age right now is 27.5, and that’s with guys like Percival and Floyd on the roster. The look we got at David Price is only the beginning of what’s coming within the next few years.
But even so, 28 other teams didn’t even get there. Yankee Fan Mentality says that there are 29 losers and 1 winner; but the Rays – though disappointed – shouldn’t hang their heads. Honestly, neither should the Red Sox or the Dodgers. The Angels, White Sox, Brewers and the Cubs have to be wondering what the hell happened to them; and as for the Mets and Yankees . . . it’s going to be a long winter getting ready for 2009.
As for me, I can’t wait. Already ordered my cards.