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World Series 2009: Grab Your Helmets

[The series heads to NY with the Yanks leading the Phils 3-2.]

Chase Utley better borrow Brian Westbrook’s helmet when he goes to the plate Wednesday night. If I was his opponent, I’d throw at him. Somewhere Alex Rodriguez has got to be making some noise about his pitchers protecting the not-so-loveable third baseman—and their ERAs—by making some Phils dance in the box. Apparently, that warning the umps issued after Blanton plunked A-Rod had a longer-than-usual expiration date, because it spilled over into Game 5. I disagree with Tim McCarver; Joe Blanton lined up A-Rod like gunslinger eyeing a silhouette with a ten gallon hat in his crosshairs. It was a purpose pitch with a capital P.

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I remember how ultra-historic it felt to witness Reggie Jackson hit those three home runs on three pitches in the ’77 series. I was never a big fan of #44 because of his “I’m the straw” attitude. But I was a huge fan that night. It seems like Utley matching Reggie’s incredible feat of five homers in a single World Series hasn’t registered. We’re too distracted trying to figure out other things—like who’s starting Game 7. The prophesy Joe Morgan made during Utley’s explosive, 25-homer first half of 2008—that he could become the greatest hitting second baseman ever—just got a brand new set of wheels and is geared for the long haul.

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I love the peek of the catcher’s signs. How cool is it to know something the batter doesn’t? Seeing Sabathia shake off his hook for the heater in Game 1 against Utley, then watching that heat go yard, was priceless.

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If Pedro does his job in Game 6 and delivers us to Game 7, and considering Cliff Lee’s performance, the MVP of the series should go to…rookie GM Ruben Amaro Jr. If the Yanks win, the award should go to the screwed-up economy of baseball. The way they were able to dig into their pockets for, oh, about a quarter of a billion dollars or so to fill in “some gaps” last winter doesn’t do much for the spirit of FAIR COMPETITION. Of course the team is talented! It’s like holding a fantasy draft and owning the top five picks, without losing any picks in the later rounds!

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Was Shane Victorino really sacrificing when he took a hard one to the knuckle in the first inning? With this lineup? Who did Manuel think was batting, Tito Fuentes? Charlie, please don’t ever do that again, unless that’s the only run you are interested in getting.

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It was weak for Joe Buck and Ken Rosenthal to bring up the Cole Hamels quote without including the all-important context, regardless of how stupid it was for Hamels to utter those words. It was like they wanted to start their own little bonfire of a story to see if it would catch into the trees. Cole definitely has some issues, like the fact that his threshold for getting frazzled has now been reduced to finding a stitch out of place on the baseball. But please, Joe and Ken, read the rest of your notes.

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Rosenthal photo from http://thesportshernia.typepad.com/

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