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Tonight's the Night ... at Least It Better Be

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to win the World Series tonight, or they are not going to win it at all. That's right, you heard me.

Everything is lined up perfectly for them. They have a 3-1 series lead. All the momentum in the world is on their side. Cole Hamels, who has spent the past three weeks looking like a combination of Jose Rijo, Randy Johnson, Francisco Rodriguez and Josh Beckett, is on the mound. The game is in Philly. The crowd will be nuts.

As my friend and Philadelphia native Dave Yanovitz likes to say, it's in the bag. (At least that's what he told me when Boston led Tampa Bay 1-0 in the fourth inning in Game 7 of the ALCS).

Dave's nonsense aside, how can you not like this Philadelphia team? Manager Charlie Manuel lost his mother early in the postseason. Jamie Moyer, with his 80 mph fastball, is one of three players in baseball older than me. Chase Utley was born to play the game. And Brad Lidge doesn't have to face Albert Pujols. For the first time in my life, I have a soft spot for a team in pinstripes. But they better win it tonight.

Should the Rays somehow beat Hamels and steal Game 5, all that angst that comes with winning one championship in 125 years is certain to come back into play. The series would return to Tropicana Field, where the Rays played .703 baseball this year, and where Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena might remember how to hit. A combined 0 for 29? That's not going to last.

As much as Moyer should be admired for what he has accomplished, would Phillies fans want him on the mound in Game 7 against Matt Garza? I didn't think so. Win it tonight, Philly, because if you don't you're not going to win it at all.

By Tom Heleba  |  October 27, 2008; 1:13 PM ET
 
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