The Phillies ruined my prediction of the Dodgers facing the Rays. Oh well. Tomorrow the Rays will be looking to close out the Series against the Red Sox to move on to the World Series. The Phillies haven't gotten that much respect all season. So why are they here? It is simple. This team has been tested all season long. The Cubs? Cursed or not, they beat the daylights out of the NL West and barely broke sweat against the Central. The Dodgers? Slumped all season, brought in guys from competitive divisions and walked to the finish line before being dismantled.
The simple answer to why the Phillies are here. In the World Series, because they have been battle tested and have one of the best offenses and closers in the game. As well as having probably the best manager in the National League.
Outside of enjoying the Marlins win championships in 1997 and 2003, there was 2 other World Series I greatly enjoyed. The 1995 Cleveland Indians vs the Atlanta Braves and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays vs Philadelphia Phillies. If the Rays finish off the Red Sox tomorrow night, we will have an unlikely matchup that most can bark and boo and yell at. Sports fans can rejoice at finally having a championship series that is not in N.Y., California, Chicago, Detroit, or Miami.
This year should be one that will be remembered by those who watched and enjoyed it, but lost in time by dynasties and the poor structure of baseball. The Rays can very well go on to win it all, but the question that will remain is 3 or 4 years down the road, will they be able to retain the nucleus of their ballclub? Only time will tell, but right now the time is to enjoy these moments in time. Good Luck Phillies.
And Good Luck Rays.