As the 2010 playoffs taught us, everything happens exactly the way that analysts/bloggers/people on the subway predict. Therefore, it only makes sense for us to take the experts on their word when they say these Red Sox-Phillies games are a preview of the 2011 World Series. They are the two best teams, after all. So.
But there are several jumping-off points we can use to communicate just how you need to lose your mind.
What day of the week is it?
“Wait, how the hell is this relevant?” you ask. Well, to “answer” that, allow me to slip you this very fine table:
That’s right. Those are each team’s record according to the days of the week on which this series will be played. And the solid conclusion we can draw from this is that tables are fun.
How will Terry Francona react?
T-Franc, as no one rightfully calls him, coached several very bullshit seasons in Philadelphia, then went out with a load of undiginifed sobbing. Will he buckle under the pressure of seeing his old home, with ghostly flashbacks of past failures splotching every part of the field? Probably not; the Red Sox are 26-17 against the Phillies lifetime.
What will the Red Sox lineup look like?
Holy shit, that’s right! Francona can’t play Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez because NL baseball takes the pansy-ass DH rule out of play! What is going to happen?! Probably something wacky! Probably something offensive! Especially when Vance Worley is pitching for the Phillies! Oh, wait, no–that’ll be on Wednesday, when the Phillies are 12-1. But see! Everything’s up in the air!
Are the Phillies any good when they’re aceless?
As I literally just said, Roy Oswalt is gone and Vance Worley is pitching in between a Lee-Hamels sandwich! How will the Phillies and their terrible offense do when there isn’t an almighty chunk of Olympus on the mound being smiled upon by our lord Baseba’al?
How much does this matter to the players?
Well, so far, the players are being annoyingly mature about this. In fact, they’ve been that way all season, with no care about how much its pissing everybody off. No bold public claims about championships. No press conferences held solely for personal insults. No emotional outbursts filled with rhyming insults. Even the local columnists are maintaining careful, self-aware perspectives, minding not to step in the cliches. The Boston Herald ran a picture of Ryan Howard and David Ortiz slow dancing.
“You can’t get too carried away in June,” said Dustin Pedroia. Well, fuck you, Dustin, because we can carry this shit so far away we’ll be an unhearable, unseeable blip on the horizon, screaming ourselves hoarse. Which is probably what you want, isn’t it?! Too bad! We’re going to find some way to make this series the most overexposed, glorified stretch of time since Jeter’s hamstring. I don’t care what anybody says, I absolutely promise all fans a tense, explosive series with tons of conflict.
Tell ‘im, ESPN.
GOD DAMN IT WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE MAKE A HUGE DEAL OUT OF THIS WITH ME?