The newspapers serving New York and Philadelphia have plenty of space to discuss the lineups, rotations and managers of the Phillies and Yankees. At some point all of that chatter becomes irrelevant and a bit repetitive. No matter how strong an argument you make, the games aren't going to be decided based on whether Jimmy Rollins is better than Derek Jeter on paper.
That's why the tabloids of the two towns are making sure to carve out some space for more significant discussions like the one that lands on the cover of Tuesday's New York Post. Murdoch's merry men matched a picture of Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino's face and torso with the legs of a skirted cheerleader to go alongside a headline that blares "Gotham Trembles: The Frillies are coming to town!"
It's a tease for a piece inside the paper that is given the subhead "Their fans are second-rate and so is their city." It's the normal bit of mud-slinging you'd expect to find in the Post, surprising only that it took four credited writers to come up with jokes about cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa. Their rivals at the Daily News take a similar tack, although their big diss is calling the Pennsylvania city "Silly-delphia," which means the Post wins this battle without much competition.
Meanwhile, in the Times, David Brooks calls Philadelphia "the greatest cesspool the world has created since the days of the Warsaw ghetto. If President Obama truly wants to improve the health care of this country, he'd start by hermetically sealing the City of Brotherly Love and pumping in enough sarin gas to kill every last man, woman and child." Okay, not really but what a shame that the Grey Lady doesn't get to dive in the pool.
Down 95, the Philly papers haven't quite held up their end of the bargain. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the Yankees a team that Phillies fans love to hate, but that's just as true of every team in the major leagues. They steer clear of the ad hominem attacks on the Big Apple that the Post revels in. Online they do have a response to the Victorino picture and accompanying article, but they stick to defending themselves more than returning fire toward New York.
The Philadelphia Daily News mostly steers clear of the debate between which city has more to offer, choosing a different course of tittilation in the process. They rip the lid off the story of how sexy the women of Philadelphia find their Phillies, conjuring up a few images that might haunt you while watching Game 1 on Wednesday night.
Carlos Ruiz: The Flexible One. Not only is Ruiz flexible in play, serving as both an incredible catcher and a formidable batter, but he's also got to be literally flexible to stay bent in those catching positions for extended periods of time. It may mean he is flexible in other arenas as well.
Jamie Moyer: The Father Figure. Like George Clooney, Moyer seems to get only better with age. Although he hasn't been in the playoffs because of an injury, he's still an important presence on the team. Plus, there's something about an older man with the stamina to stick it out with younger players.
Lovely, enlightening stuff all around. It's hard to say if we should be thankful that there's so little time between the Yankees ALCS win and the start of the Series or upset that there's not more time to see what the scribes can come up with next.