Charlie Manuel: He managed the Indians to the playoffs in 2001, but lost to the Mariners in the first round after taking a 2-games-to-1 lead. In his first season, Manuel and the Phillies went 88–74, only one game back of the Wild Card. In 2006, Manuel and the Phillies finished just short of the playoffs once again, this time three games back of the wild card. Last year, the Phillies won the NL East, but were swept in the postseason by the Mets Rockies. Manuel isn’t considered a master tactician, but he’s earned a reputation as a Bobby Cox-style manager who keeps his players on an even keel, even in tough times.

Ryan Howard: He has no home runs and only one RBI in the playoffs this year. And while his OBP is a stellar .438, his batting average is only .185. Simply put, Howard needs to start hitting the ball. He showed signs of breaking out of his slump last night, hitting a double in his first at bat and stroking a ground ball single in his next plate appearance. This could be a sign of big things to come…or just a big tease.

Jimmy Rollins: He’s hitting .375 with a .412 OBP in the playoffs, but in the World Series he’s 0 for 10. That won’t last. It can’t last. Can it?

Brad Lidge: The Phillies’ closer is perfect in save opportunities this year. But how long can he keep this up? He’s got to blow one eventually, right?

Steve Phillips: He picked the Phillies to win in seven games, saying, “The Phillies win because of the quality and predictability of their ace, Cole Hamels, and their bullpen.” Of course, Phillips has been wrong before. Very wrong. Very often. He picked the Mariners to not only win the west this year, but to win 92 games (they won 61). But Phillips is bound to get one right eventually, right? The law of large numbers seems to be in his favor.

7 Responses to “They’re so due”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    Going into the series, the Rays were like 60-40 favorites. That’s not terrible for the Phillies. A couple of breaks here and there and they have a good shot.

  2. Coley Ward says:

    I think there’s little doubt that the Rays are the most talented team. They’re probably the better team. And, fortunately for the Phillies, over a seven game series neither of those things matter.

  3. Paul Moro says:

    If you added “as much as many people seem to think” to the end of your last sentence, I would agree. They still matter a good deal. But certainties don’t exist in a seven game series. That, you are correct on.

  4. Kirk Miller says:

    Position by position, whom would you rather have on your team? Here are my answers:

    C – Ruiz or Navarro? Navarro
    1B – Howard or Pena? Howard
    2B – Utley or Iwamura? Utley
    SS – Rollins or Bartlett? Rollins
    3B – Feliz or Longoria? Longoria
    LF – Burrell or Crawford? Crawford
    CF – Victorino or Upton? Upton
    RF – Werth or whoever? Werth
    SP – Advantage Rays
    RP – Advantage Phils
    Bench – pretty even

    Five “wins” for each team with one push. Saying that there’s little doubt that the Rays are the most talented team isn’t so clear to me.

    Come on now…show the NL some love.

  5. Swept by the…Rockies? Not Mets?

  6. Kirk, breaking it down position by position is one way to do it. But let’s face it, the Rays won five more games this season and they did it in a tougher division. So, I think we have to concede they’re the better team.

    Also, there is no ceiling on what Longoria and Upton can accomplish. The Phillies don’t have any position players like that, though Utley comes close. That’s why I say they’re more talented.

    And obviously my brain stopped working for a few second there when I typed “Mets.” I’ll fix that.

  7. I think the Rays should get front row, behind the plate tickets for Albert Pujols. Lidge will start blowing games again…

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