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Baseball Insider: October 19, 2008 - October 25, 2008

It's a Rain Delay -- I'm sorry, okay?

We are about to enter, officially, a rain delay in Game 3 of the World Series. First pitch was to have been 8:35 p.m., and as I begin this post it is 8:29 and still raining. I'm told, unofficially, we could be looking at a 9:45 p.m. first pitch. But...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 25, 2008; 8:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Philly Weather: Pretty Bad

No more weather blogs from me Sorry. It's a jinx. Poured a few minute ago. Still raining. Forecast (not mine): Not too good. Maybe rain to 10 p.m., then showers until 12....

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 25, 2008; 7:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Philly Weather: Pretty Good. Jamie Moyer: ???

The weather here at Citizens Bank Park seems considerably better than expected. Rain has stopped. Wind passed through for now. As of now, looks like we'll play, probably on time. Good breeze from LF pole to RF pole. You can just see the outline of Philly on the horizon in...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 25, 2008; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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One Hundred Percent of the Game 3 Lineups

Here they are, with a note about the weather to follow: Rays: Akinori Iwamura (L) - 4 B.J. Upton (R) - 8 Carlos Pena (L) - 3 Evan Longoria (R) - 5 Carl Crawford (L) - 7 Dioner Navarro (S) - 2 Gabe Gross (L) - 9 Jason Bartlett (R)...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 25, 2008; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Philly Fan? Pull For Rain

In case you missed it, there's a pretty solid chance that tonight's Game 3 will be rain delayed. Or, possibly, rained out. Looking at that weather.com forecast makes it look like things are changing for the better, though that only underscores how much can change in a measly 12 hours....

By Cameron Smith  |  October 25, 2008; 7:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
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For One Night, He Wasn't Werth So Much

From Tom Heleba: I would imagine that Game 3 can't get here soon enough for Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth. And given the dicey weather forecast in Philadelphia, he probably will have to sit around an extra day, thinking about a game he would just assume forget as soon as...

By Jon DeNunzio  |  October 24, 2008; 10:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Phillies  
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Game 2 Lineups

Phillies: Jimmy Rollins - 6 Jayson Werth - 9 Chase Utley - 4 Ryan Howard - 3 Pat Burrell - 7 Shane Victorino - 8 Greg Dobbs - DH Pedro Feliz - 5 Carlos Ruiz - 2 (Brett Myers - 1) Rays: Akinori Iwamura - 4 B.J. Upton- 8 Carlos...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 23, 2008; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Game 1 Ratings: Eh.

The early ratings are in from Game 1, and it's about as expected: down from last year (Red Sox-Rockies), up from the year before (Cards vs. [my beloved] Tigers). Here's what the Associated Press says: The Philadelphia Phillies' 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Fox on Wednesday night...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 23, 2008; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Instant Replay: Impatient Howard is Hurting

Yes, the Phillies won Game 1. Yes, Chase Utley, Jason Werth and Shane Victorino were great, and the Philadelphia pitchers were even better. Cole Hamels still looks like a world beater, and the Rays looked like they were just a part of the world he's been beating. That being said,...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 23, 2008; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
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"I'm Out"

I say those two words with the same tone as Kramer used in this episode. I'm out of the Baseball Insider World Series Prediction contest. Alone among my colleagues, I picked the Rays in four. Everyone else still has a chance to nail it. I, alas, do not. In making...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 23, 2008; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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The Trop Is Quiet Now

But I think I can hear it saying, "You'll be back next week." This one's gonna take a while. The Rayhawks vs The Rubber Ducks. Not exactly the '56 Yankees against the Boys of Summer. But we'll take it....

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 23, 2008; 1:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Can Lidge Go 47-for-47?

So far this season, including October, Brad Lidge has appeared in 72 Phils games. they are 72-0. He is 46-for-46 in save situation. Ironically, however, there is one large blemish on his record. He lost the All-Star game in the 15th inning. The winning pitcher was the Rays Scott Kazmir....

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 22, 2008; 11:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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1st: Phils 2, Rays 0. It Ain't Ugly. It's Just the Trop!

Welcome to the World Series, Tropicana Field. They've brightened up this place, refurbished a bit and it isn't nearly as hideous as the Metrodome or even the soon-to-be-wrecked Shea Stadium. Actually bright. Very loud, but not over the top into nausea. Lots of really charming innocent enthusiasm here. Old cab...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 22, 2008; 8:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Game 1 Lineups: Coste and Aybar at DH

Right now, there is a giant American flag on the ground in the outfield at Tropicana Field, stretching nearly from the left-field foul line to the wall in right-center. I'm assuming it'll be picked up before batting practice starts. A couple of notes about the lineups: The Phillies went with...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 22, 2008; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Philadelphia Can Win, by John Kennedy Toole

It's telling that all all six of Baseball Insiders chose the Rays, in varying lengths from four to six games. In fact, it should give Phillies fans great heart, thanks to the source of the title for John Kennedy Toole's classic A Confederacy of Dunces, the masterpiece for which he...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 22, 2008; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Cardinals , Phillies , Rays , Tigers  
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Best Guess: Rays In Six

If it were up to me, I would have left well enough alone, and continued reveling in accurately predicting both the league championship series. Getting a prediction right is about as common for me as a Haley's Comet sighting, or witnessing a Brandon Fahey home run. But my editor insists,...

By Marc Carig  |  October 22, 2008; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
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What to Read, When to Chat

Here's what we've got for you today: Dave Sheinin waits longingly for a meeting between Ryan Howard and David Price. Dave also reminds us that home field advantage wasn't just a gift for the Rays -- they helped earn it in the All-Star Game. Join Dave today at 1 to...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 22, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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So Far, All Rays. What Do You Think? [Update]

So where's the love for the Phillies? Does NL East familiarity breed contempt? Is this a Mid-Atlantic rivalry issue? Or is everyone just in love with the R-A-Y-S Rays Rays Rays? Apparently, yes. Four -- make that five -- Insider predictions clocked in so far, all for the Rays: Dave...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 22, 2008; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
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Yep. Another One For The Rays (In Six)

Sometimes it's hard to differentiate the fine line between fate and proper forecasting. In the aftermath of Boston's victory in Game 6, Dave wrote this, expressing a sentiment much of the press seemed pretty confident in ascribing to. Now, another dazzling Matt Garza start and a 3-1, series-clinching victory later,...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 21, 2008; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
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Rays In Four. (Yeah, You Heard Me Right.)

Last year, I knew the Red Sox were a million times better than the Rockies. I knew it would be a massacre. But I chickened out and only picked the Red Sox in five, instead of four. No such hesitance this time around, as the Rays prepare to mop up...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 21, 2008; 1:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
 
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Conflict of (My) Interests. But It's the Rays!

I've been in the Phils and Rays camp throughout the post-season, but now I have to decide between my two favorites. No question the far better story is the Rays. And I've already confessed here to being a Rays Rooter. So, yes, I'm picking the Rays. But this isn't going...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 21, 2008; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Prediction Time

All year, the Rays have been the team that logic couldn't topple. They exceeded 70 wins for the first time in franchise history; they prevailed in a division composed of baseball's two biggest heavyweights; they withstood the crucible of a pennant race, despite one of the youngest and most inexperienced...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 21, 2008; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Moment of Levity: Batting Stance Guy

Say you're an ice fisherman in Florida or, perhaps, an air conditioning repairman in Alaska. You'd probably think you had the least marketball skill in America. Well, at least according to one man's web site (we know, such scientific data), you have to take a back seat to this guy,...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 21, 2008; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Phillies , Pirates , Rays , Red Sox  
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Changes Coming for Commenters

In the next few days, The Post will begin to require registration in order to comment on its various blogs. During installation, there will be a short period -- hopefully no more than a couple of hours -- in which you will not be able to post comments at all....

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 21, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Time to Rays the Roof

After the Tampa Bay Rays blew a seven-run lead with seven outs to play with a World Series berth on the line, then returned home and lost yet again with their best pitcher on the mound, the best story in baseball was finally going to come to an end. It...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 21, 2008; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Pitching Rotations

Nothing is official yet, but the Tampa and St. Pete scribes are reporting that Scott Kazmir will get the Game 1 start, so the first four matchups look to be: Cole Hamels vs. Kazmir Brett Myers vs. James Shields Jamie Moyer vs. Matt Garza Joe Blanton vs. Andy Sonnanstine The...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 21, 2008; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Lowell Undergoes Surgery

From the Associated Press: Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has had surgery on his right hip. Red Sox spokesman John Blake said Lowell was awake after his surgery Monday. Blake said last year's World Series MVP wanted to surgery now to have sufficient time to recover before spring...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 20, 2008; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Vegas Likes the Rays

From the Associated Press, the annual "Vegas odds on World Series" story. (Still to come: the annual "mayors make silly wager" story.) Las Vegas sports books favor the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies and would owe huge payouts if the American League champions...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 20, 2008; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Will You Watch?

With Tampa Bay and Philadelpia in the World Series, Bloomberg news service wonders if the TV ratings will slump because of the teams' "limited appeal outside their home markets." Philadelphia is the No. 4 media market; Tampa Bay is No. 14. "Advertisers always hope for the Yankees and the Dodgers,"...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 20, 2008; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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What Others Are Saying About Game 7

Gary Shelton, the fine columnist for the St. Pete Times, writes that the Rays are amazing. The Tampa Tribune has this somewhat spooky feature: You can "grab" hair from a pile of, well, hair, and put it on a player. The Trib has also put Rayhawks on people in the...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 20, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rays  
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Instant Replay: He's Young, But Price is Right

In the top of the eighth inning last night, Tampa Bay Manager Joe Maddon had a tough decision: Facing one of Boston's best -- and hottest -- contact hitters, J.D. Drew, he could either A) pitch the flame-throwing right hander whom the Red Sox had battered twice in as many...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 20, 2008; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Rays , Red Sox  
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Even a Blind Squirrel

I stink at predictions. Once, when I was covering GW basketball, I predicted that they would upset Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament. Not only did they lose. They got beat by the widest margin of any team -- during the entire tournament! As a result, the only time that I...

By Marc Carig  |  October 20, 2008; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Way to Go Baby Rays!

The perfect symbol of the Baby Rays of Tampa Bay, 23-year-old rookie southpaw David Price, who never threw a pitch in pro baseball until five months ago, closed the show on the most outrageously impossible pennant in American League history last night in the Trop. Who else would you want...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 20, 2008; 12:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Rays , Red Sox  
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Lineups For Game 7, And a Question

The Red Sox bench Jed Lowrie tonight in favor of Alex Cora: Coco Crisp - 8 Dustin Pedroia - 4 David Ortiz - DH Kevin Youkilis - 5 J.D. Drew - 9 Jason Bay - 7 Mark Kotsay - 3 Jason Varitek - 2 Alex Cora - 6 (Jon Lester...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 19, 2008; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Unexpected Relief

As the trading deadline approached during the 2007 season, the Red Sox were interested in acquiring power-hitting outfielder Jermaine Dye from the White Sox. Chicago wanted a pitching prospect named Justin Masterson in return, and the Red Sox balked at the move. Boston won the World Series anyway, and if...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 19, 2008; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Counting Pitches For Game 7 Edge

As soon as the final out of Game 6 was in Kevin Youkilis' glove at third base, analysts across the country were racing each other to reflect on the drastic shift in pressure from the shoulders of the Red Sox to the less experienced haunches of the Rays. They're right,...

By Cameron Smith  |  October 19, 2008; 7:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rays , Red Sox  
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