Here We Go!
Well, all the hype over the Rays-Phillies World Series is about to take a back seat to an actual game. Unless you just got back from a space mission to Mars, these two teams will open the Series tonight in Tropicana Field, which is a domed stadium in St. Petersburg.
Apparently we are headed for cowbell country. Word has it that the place will test your ear drums tonight and tomorrow night. Matt Garza, who started the clinching game against the Red Sox on Sunday night, had cotton in his ears to start the game. Lefty, as in Steve Carlton, did that for years at Veterans Stadium.
We can handle the cowbells. Question is, can the Rays handle the rally towel waving, noise-shattering fans at Citizens Bank Park starting on Saturday night.? One can only imagine how pumped Phillies fans are. Yes, there will be rally towels again. We’ve ordered 350,000 for the Series. Used 300,000 before getting to the Fall Classic.
While sitting on the front porch of our St. Pete hotel this morning making cell phone calls, Charlie parked himself in a chair behind me. “Let’s go Baron. Bear down dam it. Get with it,” he barked. He’s said that thousands of times to his players and others with the club. At least Charlie didn’t give me a rubber duck.
Tonight will be the first time we’ve played on fake grass since we were in Toronto two seasons ago. We are 2-4 in games at the Trop and 5-10 against the Rays in interleague play. Tampa had the best home record in the AL (57-24); we had the best road record in the NL (44-37).
Take all records and throw them out because we are in a new season, a maximum of seven games. According to , the Rays will win in four. Guess what, we’ll still show up.
Charley Kerfeld, Assistant to GM Pat Gillick, offers the following scouting report on Kazmir:
“Has a very live arm. Fastball is 90-94 with some life up in the zone; a side-to-side slider (83-81) and the change is 81-80; change has fading action. If he is on you will know early in the game. Has been wild up in the zone as of late.”
Alumni On Hand
Mike Schmidt, Marty Bystrom and Von Hayes will be in attendance tonight.
World Series facts
This is what has happed in the Phillies first games in their World Series history:
1915: Phillies 3, Red Sox 1, at Baker Bowl. WP: Grover Alexander.
1950: Yankees 1, Phillies 0, at Connie Mack Stadium. LP: Jim Konstanty.
1980: Phillies 7, Royals 6, at Veterans Stadium. WP: Bob Walk.
1983: Phillies 2, Orioles 1, at Memorial Stadium. WP: John Denny.
1993: Blue Jays 8, Phillies 5, at SkyDome. LP: Curt Schilling.
A reader picked on me yesterday when I wrote six buses of employees flew to Tampa for the Series. “When we make it to the World Series they even give you flying buses.”
The reader was correct. Guess I got carried away. Last time I checked, buses didn’t fly. Perhaps I have a tight butt and need a rubber duck!