Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 26, 2009
BASEBALL: Curse of the 9s

Too bad there will be no World Series played this year.

Seriously, this is about the most unpleasant Series matchup I can imagine. I suppose I will pull for the Phillies - they can't really get more annoying by winning another one - but other than tuning in to pull for Pedro, I can't have much enthusiasm for any of this. The only two Serieses I can remember where I had no possible rooting interest were the 1999 Series (Yankees-Braves) and the 1989 Series (A's-Giants). If you'd asked me before the 1989 Series I'd have said I was rooting for an earthquake, so maybe this time I should keep quiet.

One thing I noted: the Yankees have 9 players with 200 or more total bases this season, the Phillies 7; 200 TB isn't a huge number, but since you need to slug .400 or have more than 500 at bats, it's a sign of having some level of stability and/or productivity up and down the lineup (the Mets had 2).

Last night's game got unwatchable after the Angels' 8th inning meltdown on the errors by Kendrick and Kazmir trying to field bunts. I'm sure I wasn't the only Mets fan who watched Kazmir and felt, as with the Braves' deflated performance in the 1999 Series, that it was the ultimate insult to Mets fans.

I still have to wonder, despite his struggles, at the decision not to use Brian Fuentes when the Angels had to hold the Yankee lead to 1 run in the 8th. Yes, you want your closer available on the road if you get a lead to hold - otherwise any lead is a Pyhrric victory - but the game was totally on the line there, and Scioscia ended up using two struggling starters instead of his ace (boy, did the Angels ever live to regret the disastrous year that Jose Arredondo had).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:18 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

Any WS with the Yankees is worth watching, full stop. I really want to see the Yankees offense explode this time. A number of the Yankees struggled during the ALCS, it would be something to see them all click at once.

Posted by: MVH at October 26, 2009 1:38 PM

Just say no to the Phillies.

When the Phils won the championship last year, they trash-talked the Mets, who hadn't even played in about a month. Very classy. Reluctantly, but with eyes open, I'm going with the (hated) Yanks.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at October 26, 2009 1:53 PM

The Phillies and their fans will continue to trash-talk the Mets, and you will like it.

Had the Angels won the ALCS, the World Series would have wound up looking like an intrasquad scrimmage. It's better this way.

Posted by: Mark D at October 26, 2009 2:36 PM

How about the 1996 world series? Did you not hate the Braves enough by that point?

Posted by: Marc R at October 26, 2009 2:49 PM

I think this could be a really good series to watch. Obviously, because I am a Yankee fan and I think they are the best team I am picking them to win. I will give my final prediction on Wednesday regarding in how many games. That said, I think if the Phillies have any chance to win this, they need to win Game 1 with Lee pitching. The Yanks were beating Pedro five years ago and he is not fine wine. Hamels has had injuries all year and is barely a .500 pitcher against pop gun NL lineups.

Posted by: dch at October 26, 2009 3:39 PM

My prediction is Yankees in six. Burnett is always a wild card, and Pettitte, though always a strong postseason pitcher, will often give up 4 runs or so over six innings.

Posted by: MVH at October 26, 2009 3:54 PM

As was the case in 1999 (even moreso then, since the Braves had just eliminated the Mets), I find it pretty easy to take the Yankees side in this one. I know Derek Jeter's not going to spend the parade ranting about the Mets.

Posted by: Jerry at October 26, 2009 4:13 PM

Worst thing about this series is that two teams that play in crackerjack ballparks which inflate offensive numbers are battling until the end. Those oppo-field pop flies aren't homers, but in those to joke parks they fall in the seats.

Posted by: RW at October 26, 2009 4:49 PM

"Worst thing about this series is that two teams that play in crackerjack ballparks which inflate offensive numbers are battling until the end."

I don't know much about the Phillies' stadium, but I don't mind that Yankee Stadium has a short porch (though they should set it back about 10 feet to retain the original dimensions - that apparently would eliminate a lot of extra home runs that were hit this year). It gives the game a little variety.

You made me wonder if either team had lopsided home run rates - home vs. away, hr/total at bats.

Home - 108/2714= .0397
Away - 116/2865= .0404

Home - 136/2764= .0492
Away - 108/2896= .0372

The Phils actually did better on the road.

Posted by: MVH at October 26, 2009 5:20 PM

Unpleasant for whom? Unpleasant for a Met fan because his team can't get into the playoffs at all? ;-)

Ok, having grown up in Phila I object to anyone who calls this series unpleasant. I think this is the first time these two teams have met in the post season. They are both teams with long histories.

The Phillies have a chance to be the first NL team to win back to back championships since the Big Red Machine in 75/76.

Both teams have solid starting pitchers with strong hitters. Also, they are both on the East coast!

I am going to love this series!

Posted by: Lee at October 26, 2009 6:32 PM

I checked on baseball-reference, they met in the 1950 World Series, which the Yankees swept.

I agree Lee, this will be a good one.

Posted by: MVH at October 26, 2009 6:40 PM


I missed that when I looked at the list of series. The 1950 were the "Whiz Kids". Richie Ashburn was one the most well known players from that team. He then became an announcer for the Phillies for many year. While I admired him as a player and a person, as an announcer he was boring.

Whiz Kids:

Posted by: Lee at October 26, 2009 7:20 PM

Phillies in five. Chollie Manuel is a genius.

Okay, seriously (and sadly) I'll predict Yankees in six. It's all about pitching. Cliff Lee is great but so is Sabathia so that is a wash. After that the difference favors New York. Does anyone think Lidge is not the same guy who had an ERA over 7 this year? He has had a good stretch, but if I were a Philly fan I still wouldn't be comfortable.

Posted by: Largebill at October 27, 2009 8:56 AM

This is the best World Series ever! My favorite team the Yankees vs my second favorite team the Phillies. I can't lose. Fortunately it shouldn't be as bad as the last time they met.

Posted by: Dan at October 27, 2009 9:54 AM

This is going to be a good old fashioned ass-kicking. As much as I hate to say it, the Yankees are in their own league this year. The Phillies will do well to win one game.

Posted by: jim at October 27, 2009 2:01 PM

Maybe, I am wrong, but I just don't see the Yankees losing to Pedro period. So with Sabathia probably pitching 3 games if needed. The Phillies really need to grab the 1st game to have a decent chance. to win. If the yanks win the 1st two games-does anyone really think they are going to lose 4 of the next 5?

Posted by: dch at October 27, 2009 2:38 PM
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