Bring it on

On Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Phillies clinched their place in the World Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the post-game celebration, several Phillies made it clear that they hope to meet the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic.
“Bring on A-Rod,” said Phils reliever Soctt Eyre. “Everyone dreams of playing in Yankee Stadium in the World Series, pitcher Cole Hamels added. Super-shortstop Jimmy Rollins explained: “Everyone knows about the Yankees. . .all those great players; we want that here — to be able to say, ‘I was able to play the best of my era.'”
Normally, of course, baseball teams, and American sports teams in general, decline publicly to say which team they would rather face in a championship series. Yogi Berra set the standard in the 1950s. Every year when the Yankees clinched the pennant (usually a week or two before the season ended), Yogi would be asked which of the still battling National League teams he’d rather play. Every year, his eyes on the money he would receive from the Series, Yogi’s answer was the same: “Whose got the biggest stadium.”
1969 saw a refreshing exception, of sorts, to the normal lack of pre-World Series trash-talking. When the New York Mets clinched their place in the Series, a reserve outfielder named Rod Gaspar predicted that the Mets would beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in “four straight.” Orioles mega-star and team leader Frank Robinson repled, “Bring on Ron [sic] Gaspar.”
Gaspar had the last laugh. The Mets lost the first game then won the next four. During the clubhouse celebration, Gaspar exclaimed, “I told you we’d win it in four straight.”


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