Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Old new world versus new new world

One of America's oldest cities (and therefore one of the youngest globally) is Philadelphia, and their baseball team is the Phillies. They will be in the city of Tampa tonight, one of many tourist trap towns in Florida. They will be playing that city's team, the Rays (formerly Devil Rays). Tonight is Game One of the World Series, which is not as popular as the Super Bowl but is still the highlight of America's traditional favorite passtime.

I have been 100% wrong on all of my NL picks this year, so it's probably not even worth it to try and make a prediction on the World Series. I will say that I think Tampa Bay has a deeper line-up, but Philly has a more potent middle. I prefer Tampa's rotation, with guys like Kazmir, Shields and Garza, but they're not perfect. The Phillies have the advantage with Lidge as closer, but Lidge walks too many people, and at some point that's going to hurt him. The Rays are actually very clever using Price in high leverage situations (basically anytime Utley/Howard/Burrell are at bat in the 7th, 8th or 9th), but they're not going to use him on back to back days.

As an aside, John Kruk was talking about how using Price against the best in the late innings is a good move. Hello? People have been arguing for years for managers to do that with their closers, who are often their best relievers. Sometimes games are lost in the 7th inning, and what's the point of a three run save?

Anyway, just glancing at the postseason stats so far, it looks like Tampa's pitching has given up more walks and hits per inning pitched, and while their offense has launched quite a few over the wall, Philly has been getting on base at a very good rate.

It should turn out to be a very good series.


Crescent Moon said...

Tampa is not a tourist-trap town. Tampa is, in fact, the closest thing Florida has to an old-school Rust-belt industrial city. Sure, the old factories made cigars instead of steel or whatever, but the principle is the same. And sure, the old factories now have tattoo shops and boutiques and Cuban bistros, but still. The point is, Tampa has some urban grit that the almost wholely-fake Orlando lacks.

Also, the Rays are in St Pete,across the bay, not Tampa at all. It's like referring to the Philadelphia Phillies as the Delaware Phillies.


ChrisV82 said...

I'll give you a tip of the hat for correcting me on the location of Tropicana Field (which I knew and shouldn't have been so careless on) and the long history of the city of Tampa, which extends even before the U.S. purchased it (a history I did not know).

However, I don't really have a problem focusing on Tampa (a small city) instead of St. Pete (an even smaller city). When talking about the Mets or Yankees, people talk about Manhattan. When talking about the Patriots, people talk about Boston. The geographical parts of my post were not so enlightening that I feel I need to sweat those kinds of details.

I also don't have a problem with calling Tampa a tourist trap. As you acknowledged, a lot of Tampa's industry disappeared, leaving the city with Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. I'm sure the St. Peter/Clearwater/Tampa is a lovely area.

cleter said...

I had an eloquent response, but dumb-ass blogger et it up. Suffice to say, Tampa is not particularly touristy by Florida standards. And this whole thing would make more sense if the team was called "The Florida Rays," and the Miami team was "The Miami Marlins."

Shame they didn't follow the Phillies lead and call themselves "The Tampa Bay Tampans."

ChrisV82 said...

The Florida Marlins name isn't as bad as the California Angels one. The state has, oh, five teams; you don't get to hog it all, Angels.

Apparently, the Marlins are going to be designated out of Miami as of 2011, to coincide with the new stadium. That makes it much more likely that Back to the Future 2 will become reality.

Which scares me.

cleter said...

Christ, did they have a black president in Back to the Future 2? Tell me the president wasn't a cranky old guy.

ChrisV82 said...

I don't think anyone could be cranky with hoverboards!