The Show

This World Series promises to be epic.  The best two teams in the league face off and there are almost too many back stories to list.

There are the cities.  One is the faded former center of American political and economic life.  One is the megalopolis capitol of the world.  One feels the shadow of the other.  One has too many threads flowing to pay more than a passing glance to the other.

There are the teams.  One is the most successful sports franchise in history, with 40 pennants and the beneficiary of the most famous curse in baseball.  The other has a history of winning that has been over-shadowed by another curse and the all-time record for losses.

There are the game 1 starters.  Both are former Indians.  Both are friends and former teammates.  One was the 2007 AL Cy Young award winner and the biggest free agent signing of this past off-season.  One was the 2008 AL Cy Young award winner and came to the Phillies under the radar.  While the entire league was talking about Roy Halladay, Ruben Amaru stole Cliff Lee without giving up any starters or top prospects.

There are the closers.  One has the most post-season saves in major-league history.  The other has the second most.  One returns to the World Series after the 2003 series where he had none and the 2001 series where his blown save cost the Yankees the title.  The other should have been the Phillies MVP of 2008 but struggled all season, blowing opportunity after opportunity.

There are the sluggers.  Both are their respective league's home run kings.  One is the highest paid player in the Majors.  He dates starlets and has the stain of steroids in his past.  One hit 200 career home runs faster than anyone in history.  Away from the plate, he is a gentle giant.  He had to go to arbitration to get his payday. 

There are the managers.  One is the avuncular, old-school skipper who is often criticized for allowing personal feelings to get in the way of baseball decisions.  One is the man who filled the shoes of a giant and now stands poised to make his own history.

There are the stadiums.  Both are band boxes, built for the long ball.  Both are examples of the best of the new generation of sports venues.  One literally sits in the shadow of the greatest sports venue in history that sits sadly, like a stripped car on blocks, abandoned across the street.  One replaced a stadium more famous for its rodents and injury-causing artificial turf.

Phillies in 5.


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