Philadelphia against Tampa Bay. It starts tonight and promises to be an exceptional series with Tampa Bay favored by the experts yet facing the constant threat of an electric Phillies batting line up. All good except…
In this country and at this time the only interest in either Pennsylvania or Florida is as prospective swing states on November 4th and while Philadelphia is a franchise with a long and colorful history the Rays of Tampa Bay float few neutral boats.
Tampa Bays path to the series including winning the NL East, home of the Red Sox and Yankees and then in the ALCS winning a 4:3 squeaker against the World Champion Red Sox. In turn the Phillies took care of my beloved Mets in the regular season and the highly fancied LA Dodgers at the last hurdle.
For televsion Boston and LA was a juicier option like a tray of Florida oranges is to a single kumquat. Two big markets, lots of fans across the country, Manny Ramirez a hero in LA and a traitor in Boston and of course Joe Torre’s shot at post-Yankee redemption. Damnit.