Yankees fans who don't follow the National League might not be familiar with Jimmy Rollins's habit of making bold predictions. He called the Phillies the team to beat in 2007, got pilloried by Mets fans and then came out smelling like a rose when the Phillies won the NL East. Last year he predicted the Phillies would win 100 games, including the playoffs. They wound up with 103.
Rollins's history of successful predictions can't feel good for Yankee fans. The shortstop appeared on Jay Leno's show Monday night and revealed that he saw a second title for Philadelphia in the future.
Nobody could reasonably expect Rollins to say that the Yankees are going to win the series. Saying "If we're nice, we'll let it go six" is sure to get him some flack in the media and among Yankee fans. Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew makes a good point when he writes that it is surprising this wasn't a bigger issue in New York on Tuesday, but it's making the rounds now and Rollins will get a reaction. He was going to get booed anyway, so you can't blame him for going after it with gusto.
Rollins isn't the only one fanning the flames in the run-up to Wednesday night, and baseball should be very pleased with the matchup that they've gotten. Not only are Philly and New York two big media markets, there's a pretty great storyline with the Phillies trying to repeat while the Yankees try for a record 27th title. There are a ton of big names and personalities on both sides, the games should feature a lot of offense and compelling hitter/pitcher matchups and the teams appear to be too evenly matched to make for a short series.
A little more than 24 hours to go, people. Excited yet?