Down here in Tampa all the rage is about 'Cowbell Time', it's something a lot of fans bring to the games down here in Tampa Rays country. Every news story on tv mentions it, and the ringing of the cowbell is loud and under the dome stadium, it rings even louder. A lot of people don't like the constant ringing of these things, including sportscasters and visitors to the ballpark from the opposing team.
The Tampa fans have barely been able to celebrate their ALCS victory and suddenly find themselves in Game 1 of the World Series tonight with their first ever appearance in such a game. The Rays team has got to be wanting a rest, and two days isn't long enough. The team does have youth but I don't think youth carries the day in this World Series. I don't understand why the Rays are even the favorite in the World Series in the first place other than the fact that nobody is giving the proper respect to the Phillies who are stocked with All Star caliber talent.
Tonight will tell if the Phillies did have too much rest from last week's quick win over the LA Dodgers, I am glad they did win it so fast though, we could be playing Boston just as easily in the World Series Game 1 and I am happy the team is the Rays instead. The Rays aren't superhuman, they do lose and I think they lose Game 1 tonight in front of their hometown crowd.
Beating the Tampa Rays:
In late September, the Rays lost 3 of 4 to the Detroit Tigers. Detroit was terrible all year, but they handled the Rays just fine. Of course the Rays rested a few regulars but this shows that the Rays can be hit and scored on.
The Rays also have produced average home run stats or below average for a team all year long. The Phillies have won a few postseason games just based on the home run. So look for the Phillies having the edge when they can go deep with home runs.
Game 1 starter Scott Kazmir is average in the postseason he has an era over 4, he is young and the postseason jitters will turn into the World Series jitters as he takes the mound tonight. I think this is big for the Phillies. Your game 1 starter is 1-2 for the Rays and he is supposed to be the best on the team.
The Phillies are stocked with All Star caliber players, Rollins and Howard have yet to show that they are the players that are trully 'All Star'. Look for them to have super stats in the World Series. Rollins did have a few key hits in the Dodgers series but look for him to have more in the W.S. and maybe become "Mr. October".
Oh yes, I am so glad I am down here in Tampa, I am reading all the talk about Billy Penn's curse back in the Philly media, and I think all that is just a bunch of bull! Leave it to certain media to bring up the negatives. I don't believe in any of this, if anything the Phillies have played better than they ever have in the last month, let's celebrate that not the myths carried on by certain media outlets.
Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies Blog