"It actually feels like a World Series... Tampa Bay had tremendously talented players, but it's not the World Series-type city and flair that you expect in a World Series. I grew up in Atlanta. They were always on TV. That's what you were accustomed to, that's what you thought of when you thought of a World Series.The Phillies are defending World Champions. They have been in the World Series five times in the last 30 years. That's as many as the Braves. In fact, that's as many as any other team besides the Yankees. (The Cardinals also have five World Series appearances.) As much as I hate to say it, Philly players and fans have a right to say, when you think of the World Series, think of us.
Unfortunately, Tampa Bay doesn't have that type of attention. They're gonna put up some tremendous statistics and do well. But the attention you get in New York makes it feel like a World Series."
Instead, Hamels ends up devaluing his own World Series MVP performance in 2008. After all, Hamels' only win in the series came in Tampa Bay, and we know that those games don't feel like World Series games.
And now that Hamels' road World Series games are finally on a stage big enough for his liking, Phillies' manager Charlie Manuel apparently feels like that stage is too much for Hamels, skipping over last year's MVP for 38-year-old Pedro Martinez, who was viewed as more likely to do well in Yankee Stadium.
Hamels pitched at the new Yankee Stadium in May and did pretty well. In six innings, he allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out five and got a no-decision. Except for the strikeouts, those numbers are better than the ones Pedro put up Thursday night in Game 2. But when it "felt" like a World Series game," Hamels got passed over.
Hamels has said things that devalue his own accomplishments in the past. Squawker Lisa and other Yankee fans expect me to hate Hamels because he called the Mets "choke artists" last year. But Hamels' statement hurts himself more than Met fans. It only validates our view that the Phillies did not win the division in 2007 and 2008 so much as the Mets lost it.
I don't recall anyone associated with the Mets calling the Red Sox choke artists for letting the 1986 World Series slip away. That would only diminish the never-say-die spirit of the 1986 Mets.
Besides, Hamels is right - the 2007-8 Mets were choke artists. And the only way for the Mets to shed that label will be on the field.
I look forward to seeing the Mets back in the World Series one day, and wherever it is played, I am sure it will feel like a World Series.