Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.
February is a magical month for devoted baseball fans as spring training begins and daydreams about World Series victories begin in earnest. Last year my daydreams seemed pretty darn concrete since my beloved Philadelphia Phillies had re-obtained the services of Cliff Lee, making the Phils the team with the four aces.
However, despite a second straight year in which the Phillies posted the most regular season wins in the Majors (102), the team again failed to make it to the World Series.
Ever since the Phillies unexpectedly won it all in 2008, expectations have increased and the results have gotten worse every year. First we made it to the World Series and lost to the Yankees in 2009, followed by a National League Championship series loss to the Giants in 2010 and last year, a division series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. That all these teams ended up being the World Series Champions did not lessen the sting.
And while I understand that being a Mets’ fan would be much more painful, my expectations have been tempered this season by the reality that the best team does not always win that final game in October. It is the hottest team and the Cardinals were that team last year. My Phillies were the hottest team in 2008, not the best team. Even the most devoted Phillies fans will admit we were lucky to be facing Tampa Bay that year rather than Boston.
But lets get back to this year. The Phillies are still the team earning the most pre-season acclaim. The current Vegas odds have the Phillies leading the pack via SportBet Sportsbook:
Philadelphia Phillies 4.85 to 1
Detroit Tigers 5 to 1
New York Yankees 5.75 to 1
Los Angeles Angels 6.50 to 1
Boston Red Sox 8.50 to 1
Texas Rangers 9.50 to 1