Perhaps not the two teams television executives wanted in the World Series, but the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies are going to compete for the top spot in the baseball world.
The Rays at the beginning of the season were not given the time of day in the high powered American League East, sharing the division with the defending champion Boston Red Sox and the evil empire that is the New York Yankees.
Throughout the season many wondered when the Rays would figure out who they were and start losing. Either they haven’t figured it out or they really are a new force to be reckoned with in baseball. The latter seems to be the answer.
The American East Champion Rays are in their first World Series as a franchise.
For the first ten years of their existence, the Rays have been lackluster at best. The highest they ever placed before their 2008 Championship was fourth in the A.L. east and posting only 70 wins.
In 2007 they led the league in losses with 96. Things changed in 2008, going from worst to first, and now they are four wins away from being World Series Champs.
The Phillies made it to the playoffs under the radar. The big story was really the collapse of the New York Mets rather than the Phillies winning the National League East.
However, the Phillies proved that they should be where they are right now. With their high-powered offense, consistent starting pitching and dominant bullpen, the Phillies rolled through the playoffs.
Just last year the Phillies became the first sports team in North America to lose 10,000 times in its history. They were also swept in the first round of the playoffs by the red-hot Rockies.
The last time the Phillies were in the World Series was in 1993 when Joe Carter of the Blue Jays hit a series ending home run in game six. Their last win was in 1980 when M.V.P. Mike Schmidt led them to a victory over the Kansas City Royals. This is also the only World Series victory in the 125-year history of the franchise.
Two teams famous for losing are now the two teams competing in the Fall Classic.