Take Five: Phillies win 2008 World Series

Philadelphia PhilliesThe 2008 World Series had a little of everything. It had a team that hadn’t played in the Fall Classic in over a decade, another that was making its first ever appearance and two starving sports cities dying for something to finally cheer about. Throw in not one, but three separate weather delays and baseball fans were treated to one of the more bizarre Series in some time. And thanks to their 4-3 Game 5 victory, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one to win the 2008 World Series.

Below are five observations from the 2008 World Series.

1. The team with more momentum didn’t win. After beating the Boston Red Sox in a thrilling seven game ALDS, the Tampa Bay Rays steamrolled into the Fall Classic with all of the momentum. But maybe the ALDS took too much out of them, because the big “mo” didn’t play a factor in this Fall Classic. The Phillies disposed of the Dodgers rather easily in the NLDS and obviously had no issues getting back up for the Rays.

2. The AL didn’t dominate in the end. Baseball pundits liked to wax poetically throughout the season about how the American League has more dominant pitchers, better lineups and more complete teams. But the Rays, who arguably had the better pitching, the better lineup and more complete team, couldn’t measure up. While Philadelphia might not have had the better club according to all the so-called experts, they proved it all comes down to execution.

3. The Phillies had to deal with the weather too. Obviously the weather had an effect on the Rays’ performance. They weren’t used to playing that late in October and especially not in cold climates like the ones they faced in Philly. But it’s not like the Phillies played in that kind of weather year round. The rain and cold could have had an affect on both teams, but only one was in the end.

4. Cole Hamels is unbelievable. Hamels played the role of Josh Beckett in this year’s postseason in that he was absolutely un-hittable. He rebounded from a shaky 2007 postseason and shined like a true ace when the Phillies needed one the most.

5. Phillies-Rays killed the causal fan. The Phillies and Rays deserved to play in the Fall Classic because they earned it. They were the best teams in their respective leagues and nobody can take away their accomplishments. That said, this was a boring Series for the causal fan. While it was fun to root for the underdog Rays and a Phillies team that was going after their first title in 28 years, there wasn’t much to tune into. There was no team to root against like the Yankees or Red Sox. There was no crazy character to follow like Manny Ramirez. This Series flat out lacked some luster, but then again – too bad. The Red Sox didn’t deserve to be there; nor did the Yankees. The Phillies and Rays did and in the end, that’s all that matters.

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