New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies to face each other in American baseball championship
When the New York Yankees finished off the Los Angeles Angels 5 runs to 2 last night in the Best of Seven American League championship, they earned the right to play against Philadelphia in the American major league baseball World Series. (To stop any further sniggering, the "World Series" got its name from its original sponsor in 1903, the New York World newspaper.) Philadelphia is vying to repeat its 2008 triumph in the fall (autumn) classic playoff to become the first baseball team to repeat as champions since the Yankees' own success in 1999-2000. This championship best-of-seven series pits two tough, resourceful, resilient teams against each other. The Phillies are a classic blend of youth, powerful hitters and canny veteran pitching while the Yankees boast more veteran players. Both teams have made a reputation this year as come-from-behind winners. Watch out for stirring play by hitters such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino on the Phillies side and Alex Rodrigues, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano for the Yankees, and great pitching by Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez for the Phillies and CC Sabbathia and Andy Pettite for the Yankees. This final round of playoffs begins on Wednesday for the first two games in New York, followed by three (if needed) in Philadelphia before returning to New York for the final two, again if needed. Over the past century, the Yankees became the hallmark of sports success as a franchise while the Phillies, except for occasional bursts of success, were frequently the worst team in the sport.