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Philadelphia Phillies Set to Face New York Yankees in World Series Preview?: Fan’s Take
These teams faced each other in the 2009 World Series and suffered disappointing defeats in their respective 2011 division series playoffs. Will their spring training game serve as a World Series preview?
Red pinstriped story
The Phillies decided to add one major component and a number of supplementary pieces to their team this offseason.
Free agent Jonathan Papelbon was added to replace Ryan Madson, who signed with the Cincinnati Reds, as the team's closer. 'Pap' has a solid career resume and should be able to adjust to his new teammates and the National League.
Returning hero Jim Thome was signed to provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse and to bring his still-potent left-handed bat to the plate. Whether he serves as a pinch-hitter, or occasional first-baseman, his addition could prove to be satisfying on many levels.
Colorado Rockies free agent utility man Ty Wigginton and Washington Nationals free agent outfielder Laynce Nix were brought in to supplement the efforts of a number of positional players. Those moves were intended to allow manager Charlie Manuel to have more flexibility with his roster and should allow his regular players to get more time off during the regular season grind.
The new Bronx tale
The current Yankees roster was enhanced by the addition of former Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez, who is expected to serve as a designated hitter, and by the starting pitching additions of former Seattle Mariners All-Star Michael Pineda and former Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Hiroki Kuroda.
The Phillies advanced to the World Series for only the second time in franchise history in 1950. To that point, they had only previously appeared in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox in 1915.
The famous 'Whiz Kids' were led by a group that included Richie Ashburn, Del Ennis, Andy Seminick, Jim Konstanty, Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons.
The Yankees featured Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizutto, Vic Rashi, Allie Reynolds and rookies Billy Martin and Whitey Ford.
Despite high hopes for their first-ever championship, the Phillies were swept by the Yankees in four games. However, the series was close, as the Yankees won the first three games by a margin of only one run.
2012 World Series preview?
Anyone who attempts to determine who the two World Series teams will be in the spring, is purely hoping their analysis comes true.
Philadelphia and New York have rosters that are filled with many veteran names, which certainly means that they could meet for a third time in the coming Fall Classic. However, the natural affects of aging would seem to be the greatest challenge that each group will face throughout a long summer as they try to remain healthy for a mutual playoff push.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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