Nope, it'll take six games.
I am boldly predicting a Philadelphia win in a classic World Series, featuring two terrific and interesting baseball teams - both of them, unfortunately, teams that New York Mets fans love to hate. It gives me no pleasure to pick the Phils, who have the clear makings of an NL East dynasty just 90 miles south of the GWB toll booths. But I think they'll edge the Yanks in dramatic fashion, and here's why.
First, I give the Phillies the edge at more positions than the Yankees. The quick run-down goes like this:
Catcher - Yankees, but not defensively.
1B - Almost shocking to put anyone above Texeira, but Ryan Howard's better (but not defensively). Phils.
2B - Easy choice - Utley and the Phils.
SS - Jeter, Yanks. Always.
3B - The New A-Rod, NY.
LF - I'm going with Ibanez over Damon. Philly.
CF - Not close, Victorino outclasses Melky. Phils.
RF - Again, easy - Werth's better than Swisher.
So that's 5-4 for the Phillies. Now, on to the starters. Philadelphia did a little patching this season after last year's championship run and the starters weren't nearly as good. Yet, at this stage it's pretty even. The two brilliant aces, Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia, may go head to head three times, while the Yanks may face a suddenly much-younger Pedro Martinez (who dominated the Dodgers) even as Andy Pettitte continues to show post-season toughness. The key to the series, starter-wise may well be the difference between eratic whipped-cream flinger A.J. Burnett versus the come-backing Cole Hamels - I'm giving the edge to Hamels in that match-up based on his work last year, and thus the very slight edge to the Phillies among starters.
Where the Yankees totally outclass the Phillies is quite obviously the bullpen - Rivera's the best of all-time and Philly closers were awful. The Yankees have a better supporting cast as well. Big edge to New York from the seventh inning on.
That said, some of the Yankees' bullpen effectiveness is blunted by the strange managing of the ever-hyper Joe Girardi, who loses the managerial match-up to Philly's Charlie Manuel, who is perfectly matched to his team and drives that squad like AJ Foyt used to run Chevy's.
On that basis - and because the Phillies have quite simply "been there before" as a unit while most of this Yankee team hasn't - I'm giving the edge to Philadelphia. They're a tough bunch that doesn't quit, and the extra game in New York won't bother 'em.
Now back to looking forward to Omar Minaya's next move, and the latest on the Wilpon-Madoff saga. Oh, baseball joy.