October 15, 2008

The weight of reality

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

The Rays in the World Series… It’s on the cusp of happening and I’m not sure if I can fully grasp it yet. This is a team that was the definition of losing for many years. The literal and proverbial joke of the sport and now they are a win away (out of three chances) to represent the American League in the World Series. It’s kind of hard to wrap your head around it, even though it’s playing out before the world’s eyes. The Boston Red Sox, the team that was supposed to be a dynasty-in-the-making and also built for the playoffs already lost their division to lowly Tampa Bay and now they’re losing a playoff series to them? The Rays even marched into Fenway, where even the mighty Yankees were felled, and have taken two straight wins in more than convincing fashion. Last I checked, they weren’t supposed to be this good – ever.

The Rays are even messing up destiny. How amazing would a Boston-L.A. World Series have been storyline wise? Manny vs. The Red Sox, East vs. West, Joe Torre vs. Boston and a repeat of the NBA Finals – it would have been a ratings bonanza and it would have answered the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue: How would the crowd react to Manny back in Boston? I would guess half cheers and half boos but this is the Red Sox Nation, anything would’ve been possible.

But no, with both the Phillies and the Rays up three games to one in each CS, we’re headed to World Series where a long suffering fan-base will get their due and lift the ugliest trophy in North American sports (not including NASCAR). At least then I can fully cheer for the Phillies. The city of Philadelphia has waited far too long for a championship and the Eagles aren’t helping.

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