Commentary: Phils-Yanks In October? Yes, Please

PHINYYIn the wake of yesterday’s victory over the Yankees and in the human sweatbox of a new and crystal clean subway station, I encountered many forlorn Bomber fans. While upset about the outcome of Sunday’s thriller, they all seemed to echo the same sentiment: “Helluva series.”

Damn straight.

This is what happens when two highly talented marquee teams hook up, not to mention the myriad intangibles: Memorial Day weekend, beautiful weather, national television, a world champion, the sport’s most prolific franchise, the plush palace ballpark. This three-game soiree had all the trappings, like the fat Memorial Day frankfurter I loaded with onions and cole slaw Sunday afternoon at the stadium. Two games came to the final half inning, with one ending on the final at bat. The third game played tight with some big television-friendly blastoffs. They publicized the series with gusto; the efforts paid off.

After the conversation starter of “helluva series,” those Yankee fans dove into the points they took away from the set: Raul Ibanez is an unbelievable player, Carlos Ruiz is a nasty little runt, Chase Utley can beat you just by being on the field, the pitching was superb. Then they’d interject with this nugget: “I could see this again in October.”

Damn straight.

One of the fantastic aspects of baseball is acquiring the feeling that something special is afoot. And sometimes the play of two teams causes one to believe there’s better baseball ahead for both teams, and maybe against each other. You get that sense when the Phillies and Mets meet — the game takes off. Last season I felt it during those six games between the Phillies and Cubs — these are two cream teams, and the rest of the National League should bow down. This weekend, the Phils and Yanks played like two teams destined for greater things, and maybe, against each other in the Fall Classic.

This comes on the heels of discovering — via Scott Lauber — that Mr. Predictor 3000 likes the Phillies and Yankees to meet in the World Series (he devised this likely before this three-game set). He’s likely not far off.

The national media would salivate over this: The New York Yankees seek their unprecedented 27th professional championship, and what stands in their way? The defending world champions. Either way there’s victory — the Yankees standing on top of baseball’s mountain once again; the Phillies proclaiming the next great baseball dynasty, a modern-day Big Red Machine. Start with these base names: Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter. Throw in Jimmy Rollins, Raul Ibanez, Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and Brad Lidge, then throw in Hideki Matsui, Mark Teixeira, Johnny Damon, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Brett Myers and Joba Chamberlain for good measure. Heck, Andy Pettite and Jamie Moyer. One one side you have Yankee Stadium, the billion-dollar blue and stone cathedral with history and high-class amenities. Counter that with Citizens Bank Park, the worker’s affordable red and brick bandbox with a carnival outfield and face-close fans. You got Bleacher Creatures? We’ll give you Ashburn Alley.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love it?

Red Sox and Mets fans, of course, wouldn’t love it, which is appropriate, as those teams also played a marquee series this weekend. No, we cannot make assumptions based on one weekend.

Still, who wouldn’t love it?

Click to comment


  1. TwoTonsOfIrony

    May 25, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I, for one, would thoroughly enjoy beating the Mets and Yankees in back to back weeks in late October.

  2. Evan

    May 25, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    It would be a storyline that the national media would salivate over, but the Yankees have their share of championships. They are quite determined to throw whatever money they have into buying another, but that’s not terribly excitings.

    The Rangers have had an unexpected start, or think of a Phillies/Jays WS rematch. I can name a few teams that would make for a more exciting series. Its hard to say who’ll be contending in August or September, but I’d be more interested if the AL East wasn’t just the Yankees and the Sox.

    That said, the series over the weekend was good baseball, great to watch. It’d be a good WS match.

  3. ryan

    May 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    it would be so awesome to play the yankees in the world series. nothing against the rays. but their stadium is an absolute disgrace to the game, their franchise has no history what so ever, and their die hard fans are non-existent. Phils – Dodgers was a great NLCS last year. Phils – Yanks would be epic.

  4. Rich

    May 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I personally would love this. In my younger years, I hated the great Yankees teams at the turn of the decade, but have grown fond of the Pettites, Jeters, Riveras, and Posadas, guys who are classy winners. A World Series like that would be awesome for baseball, but so would any combo of Phillies/Mets from the NL vs. Rays/Sox/Yanks from the AL. They all have their appeal. I just want to go back and we’ll play whoever.

  5. Bruce

    May 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I absolutely enjoyed reading your latest blog. We can all dream can we? The TV ratings would go bonkers on the East coast for a Yanks vs Phils World Series. Probably not as much in the Mid West and West coast for obvious reasons.

    Historical note: the first Yanks/Phils World Series came in 1950. the Wiz Kids (Roberts, Ashburn, Simmons, Hamner, Jones, etc.) were swept in four straight. Maybe the 2009 version of the Phillies can get their revenge? 😉

  6. The Little Guy

    May 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Cole slaw and onions on a hot dog!? How about some cheese whiz? :]

    Not gonna lie, got some goosebumps reading that, well written.

    I think it would be an awesome series, i would like to watch them play the Yanks, Sox, Rays, in the WS, all would provide good baseball and good story lines. I don’t think the Jays are going to be around come August & September.


    May 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    This is a great piece, Tim. I was thinking this all weekend long, and it helped matters that the Phillies seemed to have their way with the Yankees. We did get uncharacteristically great starting pitching throughout the series (allowing no walks), which is something you can’t totally count on all the time.

    You’re totally right in the sense that the national media would eat up a Phils/Yanks World Series, and for all the reasons listed. Although much of America, it seems, hates the Yankees and the “buy a championship” attitude, America cannot shake its attention elsewhere if they ended up in the World Series.

    It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out, but I would like to see that sort of World Series. Good topic.

  8. Joel

    May 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I agree. Won’t happen bc that is the way things happen for the Phils but I agree.

  9. David, the Mets fan from Queens

    May 26, 2009 at 11:03 am


    Your post is quite captivating, especially for ardent Phillies fans like yourself; it’s certainly fun to speculate! And of course, you’re entitled to do so. Let me enlighten you onto another equally exhilarating perspective on October baseball.

    The Phillies have a remarkable lineup, one through nine, as do the Yankees; such an analysis is indubitable. What I cannot seem to fathom is that this incredible aforementioned 2009 Phillies ball club happens to currently stand at a respectable, but nonetheless pedestrian 24 – 19. Also keep in mind that Mr. Lights out, Brad Lidge, has been very fallible, to say the least, this year. The Phillies’ pitching has one of the worst earned run averages in Major League Baseball. The A+, injury-free Phils, thus far, have not lived up to their full potential.

    The Mets, on the other hand, have had the unfortunate circumstance of suffering injuries to several core players. Carlos Delgado will not play for, at the very least, half the season. Jose Reyes’ nagging injury is making his imminent return seem unlikely. Ryan Church’s hamstring will also inhibit him from seeing playing time soon. We are constantly putting out a B+ (arguably B-) team on the baseball field, and yet seem to win games that we should most likely lose. The New York Mets are currently 24-20, only one game behind the remarkable Phillies. One can speculate, much like you do, Tim, about how prolific the Mets offense will become once Delgado, Reyes, and Church are healthy. Keep in mind that our top prospect, Fernando Martinez, is being called up to the “Bigs” rather soon.

    In regard to simulating October baseball and given my said analysis on the current state of the current NL East leaders, I see the Mets winning the East. The fervor and passion that the Mets lacked last year seems to be subtly erupting in the players’ hearts. The Phillies’ arrogance of last year’s admirable World Series run will replicate the air of pompousness that the Mets felt throughout 2006 and such a sentiment will yield similar results; a season that will come up short. The Red Sox will overtake the Yankees in the AL East as the Yankees bullpen is absolutely incompetent, and long behold!; the Mets and Red Sox will meet in the 2009 World Series! Speculation, speculation!

    As for a side note, I was actually present at Saturday evening’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. It seemed as if more than half of the fans at the game were Mets fans. The game started off well as the Fenway scoreboard delineated that the Yanks had beaten the Phillies. Later in the evening when the umpires accurately called Omir’s shot a home run in the top of the ninth inning, euphoria set in throughout Fenway. That aforementioned passion sucked the air out of the Red Sox players and their fan base; the Mets were going to accomplish a feat that not even the Yankees could accomplish! We took a series from the Red Sox!

    So many perspectives to acknowledge, Tim, and I’m sure that Braves and Marlins fans have their own take on the 2009 playoffs.

    I will grant you this: the social dynamic that would occur if the Yankees and Phillies played in the World Series would surely elucidate the disparity between social and economic classes in the Northeast. Taking into account such a disparity is more important than any baseball game, no?

  10. Sam

    May 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    While you make some valid points, saying that the Mets play with heart is a ludicrous statement. These players are only out for themselves and they do not seem to care if they win or not, with fat wallets what does it matter? The Sox are not winning the division this year; it will be the yanks or the jays I can pretty much guarantee it. I would hate to see the Sox in another world series. I am not a Sox hater, but I am just tired of hearing about them when they’re not even that good. Yes the Phil’s pitching is deplorable at the moment, but we’re still in first, that should send the whole league a message; once our pitching heats up we will be UNSTOPABLE! Frankly my biggest worry for the playoffs is the Dodgers. They are hot this year and I know the rest fo their division is pretty pathetic so chances are they will make the playoffs, but I just hope we don’t have to face them, or at least not in the first round. I don’t think that their team runs that deep either, but I guess we will just have to wait and see how the rest of the season pans out. Personally I am far more worried about the Braves winning the NL East than the Mets. Here’s hoping the Phils make some solid moves in regards to the pitching staff, and it allows them to get their feet firmly planted.

  11. Bruce

    May 26, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    David, I’m quite impressed with your elucidated and eloquent post. Even a little philosophy thrown in. Very nice.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, “we can ALL dream can we?” What it boils down to for Tim Malcolm’s blog and his wish for a Yankees/Phillies World Series matchup is not so much about statistical/intangible probabilities but simply an expression of inner feelings that most Phillies fans can identify with. Of course, David, as a loyal Mets fan, you beg to differ and I expect nothing less. I won’t go into any debates on the merits of the Phillies and Mets at this time. For now, let’s enjoy this season and the arch rivalry between the two teams that has intensified the past few years because of their records and geographical distinction.

  12. Val Veeta

    May 26, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    This post confirms my observation that many Phillies fans are in awe of the Yankees. I know of several die-hard Phils fans (including my father-in-law) that wear Yankee hats, watch Yankee games on the Phils’ off-days, etc.

    I am at a complete loss to explain this.

    The only plausible reason is that some Phillies fans have been so historically dejected about their team (10,000 losses, etc), that they project their admiration on a franchise that won dozens of championships, and like to portray themselves as the creme-de-la-creme of the sport. Plus, being that the Yanks are in the American League, it is “safe” for them to root for a team that is not in direct competition with their own team.

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