Tonight is the night, yes tonight.
After a week on the back burner, our Philadelphia Phillies will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Game One of the World Series tonight at Tropicana Field. The excitement in the city of Philadelphia is as high as it has been in 15 years, yes bigger then it was in 2004-05 for The Eagles trip to Jacksonville for the Super Bowl. The time has finally come; Philly finally gets its chance to once again be considered the "City of Champions."
It's our turn.
In Tampa Bay, who really cares about any sport? Nobody. Just look at the amount of fans that annually support their teams.
When the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup a few years back, the parade was worthless. They had it in their own arena which wasn't even sold out.
When the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, the parade was also meaningless, why? Because Tampa Bay is not a sports town! I mean, sure, they have a couple people here and there that support their teams, but that is a small minority.
In Philadelphia, we all live and die with our teams. All of them! We wear our teams' colors on our sleeves along with our hearts. Especially baseball and the Phils.
I have been a season ticket holder since 2000. I'm 21 and have never witnessed a world championship. This run that the Phillies are putting the fans through is more special to me than anything that has ever happened in my life. I have played the game for over 15 years and to watch this team go out every night and have fun and have great success, they make me feel as if I'm part of the team, along with every fan who is from or lives near Philadelphia.
This is our turn to have that parade on Broad St.; it will be a party that nobody has ever seen in the sports world.
Now down to business. Game One will be the deciding factor for the Phillies. NLCS MVP Cole Hamels, who has been absolutely lights out during the post-season going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA, will take the mound tonight. Hamels, 24, is as cool as they come in terms of pressure situations, just look at his performances in the NLCS against the Dodgers.
Scott Kazmir, on the other hand, has been suspect at best the entire season for the Rays and will take the mound in Game One.
If the Phillies can get their hitting started off quick and attack Kazmir, I can't see the Rays coming back. The Phils need consistency in this warehouse, or I mean ballpark, with their bats—Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. This lineup depends heavily on Rollins. If he can carry his own load in the box then the rest will take care of itself. Hitting is contagious.
For those of you who have read my Flyers articles, starting next season I will hopefully be covering the Phillies with access through the radio station I am currently at, 610WIP in Philly. I will have quotes from players, coaches, and game-by-game coverage.
That aside, prepare for a great series, a series that presents destiny for one team, and failure for another city that does not actually care about losing. This is special folks, cherish every pitch. Everyone as old as I am or even a little younger, this is what we live for! I'll see you all on Broad St. celebrating with you and millions other.
Win the Series, we walk together Forever!