Tonight (assuming they play) marks the first World Series game at Yankee Stadium since Josh Beckett utterly schooled the Yankees in the decisive Game 6 on October 25, 2003. It will also somehow mark the first World Series game I've ever attended (and I'll be at Game 2, as well), which seems mind-boggling given that I've been to well over 100 Yankee games in my life, including 10 regular season games this year and three thus far this postseason (in which they have gone 3-0).
Getting back to 2003 just for a moment, though I had graduated the previous May, I remember watching this game in the common room of my college fraternity, as we apparently took a trip back to Lehigh that weekend. I'm sure I was upset at the time, but I honestly don't recall being too bent out of shape, as my attendance at the Aaron Boone game and subsequent euphoria at the Yankees knocking the Sox off more or less felt like a World Series victory to me.
This time things are a bit different. While I've been a huge Yankee fan my entire life, my passion for the team has grown even more intense during the last several years -- something I didn't think possible -- largely due to the advent of the elite Yankee blogs, most of which weren't even in existence the last time the Yankees were in the World Series and have enabled countless fans like myself to supplement their experience with fantastic commentary on a daily basis, even throughout the offseason.
Additionally, as a 28-year-old adult, not having experienced the joy of a championship since I was a teenager -- not to mention that last World Series victory in 2000 came during an era in baseball when it seemed like the Yankees might never lose again -- may also have something to do with it.
The Yankees send lefty CC Sabathia (3-0, 1.19 ERA, 20Ks) to the hill against lefty Cliff Lee (2-0, 0.74 ERA, 20Ks), both of whom have been outstanding thus far in the postseason. It's hard to envision either hurler faltering, so I'd expect this game to come down to the bullpens.
I imagine Philly will be running out its standard lineup, with Raul Ibanez at DH and Ben Franciso starts in LF. You can be certain that the Yankees' lineup tonight will look like this:
Feel free to use this post as a pre-game, game or post-game thread. And, most importantly, LET'S GO YAN-KEES!