I GUESS I should make a World Series prediction here.
First off, I'm thrilled that the Rays won the series...and that's not just because I'm a jaded Yankees fan who thinks all ill that falls on the Red Sox is awesome. I'm not thrilled for the Rays "fans" who have waited through a whopping 9 losing seasons to see their team's success.
I'm happy for Tampa Bay because their players play the game right, the franchise grew and cultivated their own home-grown talent while adding veteran leadership only where necessary.
On the other hand, the Phillies have found the pinnacle of their return to the top of the National League. It's been a long 25 years since the city of Philadelphia has seen a team win a major professional sports title (apologies to the Philadelphia Soul) and this is definitely their best chance to get that title in that era.
So, who's going to win it?
Sorry, Philly. It's going to be the Rays, and it's going to be because of their pitching.
I can't say I was baffled by Charlie Manuel's rotation for the Fall Classic but I still don't think that it matches up well with the Rays lineup. Tonight, its Scott Kazmir against Cole Hamels, and it's probably going to be the Phillies best chance to get a win at Tropicana Field. I don't give Brett Myers much of a chance to leave The Trop with a win in game 2, especially because he'll be going against James Shields, and with Shields sporting a miniscule sub-2.00 ERA at home, Myers will have to keep the Rays off the board.
With 45-year-old Jamie Moyer going against Matt Garza, who has been lights out this postseason, in game 3, I feel like at worst, the Rays will be leading the series 2-1 after Saturday's game. Game 4 is a toss up to me at this point (Sonnanstine vs. Blanton).
These young hurlers in Tampa have proven that the pressure of postseason baseball has done nothing to phase them. Unless they engage in a complete collapse in this series, I feel like they'll be the ones leading the Rays to their first world title.