Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2008 World Series: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays

I got much needed information from Wikipedia in the history of baseball team nicknames. The American League team that represented Philadelphia, has since gone on to Kansas City, not because as the song Kansas City mentions 'they got a lot of pretty women and I'm gonna get me one,' but because the American League owners approved the sale of the Philadelphia A's, in 1954, to Arnold Johnson, who moved the A's to Kansas City for the 1955 season.

On December 19, 1960, Charles Oscar Finley purchased a controlling interest in the Kansas City Athletics from Johnson's estate (Johnson having died in March of that year); he then bought out minority owners a year later.

Finley refused to make deals with the New York Yankees and baseball's Good Ole Boy owners frowned at that. Those of you who were following baseball, during this time, know that the Yankees treated Kansas City as their major league farm system. (They re-acquired Billy Martin, and various pitchers they'd let go and then when they saw the pitchers had regained some of their form the Yanks' brass would quickly pluck them from the ready, willing and oh-so-able KC team. Roger Maris also came from Kansas City. It cost the Yankees very little to deal with Kansas City. No risk, whatsoever, was involved in any of these transactions!)

Finley made significant investments in the farm system for the first time in Athletic franchise history.
And then moved the team from Kansas City after the 1967 season to Oakland, California.

When Mickey Mantle first saw the Oakland A's green and gold uniforms, with white shoes he said, "They should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing."

The National League team has always been the Phillies.
The losingest franchise in major league history.

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays... They are superstitiously going away from the Devil Ray name, simply going with Rays. And saying, albeit not the original design, the "ray" on their uniform goes nicely with the fact that Florida is the sunshine state.

A couple of quotes kind of tie this series together. One being a remark made by San Francisco Giant announcer (at the time of the quote) Hank Greenwald. About Bruce Sutter, a relief specialist recently elected into the major league baseball Hall of Fame, "Three more saves, and he ties John the Baptist."

This quote is in reference to Brad Lidge. The Phillie's savior of a closer who has not yet blown a save. It'll be up to the Rays to find a way to change this remarkable feat.

Both teams have to believe it's their year. If not for a bad call, funny bounce (not to the fielder's team, though), bad break or any number of things that could happen unexpectedly I leave you with some Vince Lombardi gems.

Some of us will do our jobs well
and some will not
but we will be judged by only one thing- the result.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.

The measure of who we are
is what we do
with what we have.

Let's review:
If the umpire is giving one pitcher a particular strike zone and the opposing pitcher a peculiar strike zone it behooves the benefactor of the umpire's generosity to take full advantage of what he's getting. Because as the game wears on, the favorability may change sides.

(thanks to Wikipedia, ESPN magazine and Green Bay Packers online)

Kevin Marquez