Meanwhile, let’s break it down:
REASONS TO ROOT FOR THEM
Rays: Manager Joe Maddon is a unique character who doesn’t take himself too seriously and can speak intelligently about subjects other than baseball.
Phillies: Philadelphia winning would drive Mets fans even more insane.
Edge: Phillies. If the Phillies winning leads to Mets fans like WFAN’s Joe Benigno going into seclusion, we as a society will benefit.
REASONS TO ROOT AGAINST THEM
Rays: Manager Joe Maddon is an irresponsible crackpot who had one of his thugs run over poor Francisco Cervelli in spring training. And no 54-year-old man should have a Mohawk haircut.
Phillies: The fans in Philly are a boorish bunch. They deserve to continue their long streak of not having any championships.
Edge: Phillies. Have you ever known anybody who went to a game in Philadelphia and said, “Boy, the people who sat in our section were really nice.” No, me neither.
FORMER YANKEES FACTOR
Rays: Dionner Navarro was one of the prospects traded for Randy Johnson. Good thing the Yankees don’t have an aging, injured catcher who will need to be replaced soon. Carlos Pena played for Columbus in 2006 and credits Kevin Long for helping him get his swing back. Good thing the Yankees don’t need a first baseman.
Phillies: Tom Gordon, out since July with an injured elbow, played for the Yankees from 2004-05.
Edge: Rays. You’d take Navarro and Pena back in a second. Gordon not so much.
Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay is more of a concept. The Rays are actually in St. Petersburg and draw fans from nursing homes, strip clubs and trailer parks across a wide area. St. Pete has some nice beaches and the Salvador Dali Museum.
Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Love (ha!) is the cradle of liberty, cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa.
Edge: Philadelphia has a big edge here. St. Petersburg is a decent enough place to visit but Philly has some swagger.
Tropicana Field: It’s not as bad as some people say. But it’s still not any good. The people ringing cowbells don’t help.
Citizens Bank Park: The Pony League dimensions aside, it’s a great place to watch a game. Well aside from the drunks yelling at you.
Edge: Philadelphia. This isn’t even close.
Tampa Bay: Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times has been the Tampa Bay beat writer for the Rays since the team’s inception. Nobody in the history of mankind has seen more lousy baseball than this guy. He should get the Pulitzer Prize and a Purple Heart.
Philadelphia: This city is largely responsible for the rise to power of the obnoxious Stephen A. Smith. But Philly did send us Tyler Kepner of the Times and Sweeny Murti of WFAN.
Edge: Even. I hope Topkin is writing a book because it would be a good one.
THE GENERAL MANAGERS
Tampa Bay: The Rays are run by Andrew Friedman, a nice enough young man who made a pile of money on Wall Street and has done pretty much everything right since he was hired
Philadelphia: Pat Gillick is retiring after the season and plans to go home after a long and distinguished career. In a business full of back-stabbers, he has universal respect.
Edge: Philadelphia. No offense to Friedman, but people in baseball would love to see Gillick go out with a title.
It’s a close call, but the pick is for Tampa Bay to win in six games.
Who do you like in the Series? This is the place to make your prediction. Right down here below this post. Go ahead.