I'll get the prediction out of the way first: Yankees in 6. They've been the best team all year and don't appear to have a discernible weakness. Newcomers CC, AJ, and Tex have solidified the pitching, defense, and line-up. And A-Rod is on fire. And don't forget the Captain, Mo, and Pettitte. Those guys can taste victory again. I just don't see that group being denied the championship this year.
But the Phillies are the team to try. What a great match-up: the best team in baseball this year vs. the defending WS champs. And the Phillies missed the best N.L. record by only one game. The Dodgers (read: Torre) might have been a better story, but the Phils will make for better baseball.
Both teams have good pitching, but play in hitters' parks. I see the series as pretty high-scoring. The Phillies do have Cliff Lee, who has been brilliant since coming over from the Tribe, but he's been brilliant against the N.L. The Yanks are not the N.L. and they've hit against Lee a lot, unlike, say, the Dodgers. Lee is the Phillies best hope, and he's overrated because of what I just said. Thus, Yanks in 6.
I guess the only groups not happy with this match-up are L.A. fans (to the extent that's not an oxymoron) and Indians fans. How painful must it be for Tribe fans to see a series open with CC v. Lee in game one (and perhaps game four, and game 7 -- which won't happen because the Yanks will win in 6)? The Indians were one game away from the Series in '07 and now have resorted to hiring a new manager who was just fired by, arguably, the worst team in baseball. It's not that bad here in Redsland.
Stay tuned for an upcoming rant on instant replay. You may be surprised by my position on the issue.
Mike Mussina, Hall of Famer
2 months ago