5 Questions Heading Into the 2008 World Series

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2008’s World Series isn’t one that has a great deal of sex appeal, if you can apply that term to baseball. We won’t get to see Manny Ramirez return to Boston on the biggest stage in sports, nor will we see former Yankees’ manager Joe Torre lead another team against his nemesis Red Sox. Indeed, this series is a ratings disaster. However, there’s no doubt that the Rays and the Phillies are the best teams from their respective leagues. Both teams belong where they are, they’ve proven that. It will be exciting to see new, young faces in brand new places. The series will be a showcase of two powerhouse teams that will each be putting on display the innovative faces to the league that have boosted each organization to the top of the baseball world. Get your cowbells ringing and your white towels spinning, be prepared to see the catwalks of Tropicana Field come into play, and be ready to see home-runs blasted over the short porches of Citizens Bank Park. It’s going to be a fun   series  to  watch , despite it being one that not too many fans rooted to see.

Here are five questions that are apparent heading into this series:

Brad Lidge: How good is the Phillies bullpen? Many have asked me this question. Well, I have an answer: it’s absolutely, positively, undoubtedly sensational. They truly are first-rate. I mean, after all, Philadelphia is 79-0 in games they led entering the ninth inning. Whose to credit for that? Brad Lidge. Lidge is yet to blow a save this season, including in the playoffs, and there’s nothing that indicates to me that he is going to blow one in the World Series. His hard, down-breaking slider is virtually unhittable, and the bridge to Lidge is hard to burn down with Ryan Madsen, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero.

The constant of nearly every World Champion over the last 20 years is a good bullpen. We recall the most recent champions of 2004 and 2007, Boston teams which featured Jonathan Papelbon, who has never allowed a run in his postseason career. The New York Yankees, champions in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000, showcased the best closer of today’s generation, Mariano Rivera. Also, we can go even farther back to bring up Toronto’s duo of Duane Ward and Tom Henke, the Cincinnati Reds’ “Nasty Boys,” and even La Russa’s 1989 A’s, who were unbeatable when Dennis Eckersley was brought in. The Rays showed some weakness in the ALCS, but David Price’s two-inning save in Game 7 is a hint that the Phillies might see more of him.

B.J. Upton: Where in the world has all this power come from by the Rays? Previous to the ALCS, they had never hit 10 home-runs in any three-game stretch in franchise history, then, they proceeded to do so against the Red Sox. The Rays finished tied for fourth in the American League in homers in 2008, but became the first team to hit at least three homers in three consecutive games in the postseason. They made it four straight in Game 5.

They did it with youth and health. B.J. Upton hit just nine round-trippers in the regular season, partly due to his bad shoulder. He basically didn’t pull a ball with authority for two months, yet, he tied Troy Glaus (2002) for the most home-runs by an American League player in one postseason (7). Evan Longoria missed a month with a wrist injury, but now he’s healthy and pounding baseballs over the walls. He is the youngest player to hit six home runs in one postseason. Carlos Pena missed a month due to injury. Now he’s healthy. With the three of them swinging hot bats, Tampa Bay set the record for most home runs in a single postseason series (16) with their performance in the ALCS. They’ll play the middle three games of the World Series in Philadelphia’s little band-box, Citizen’s Bank Park.

Carl Crawford: How fast are the Rays? I mean, honestly, how fast? They’re REALLY FAST. They started a defensive outfield in Game 4 of the ALCS with Carl Crawford in left, Upton in center, and Fernando Perez in right.

“Fastest outfield I’ve ever seen,” stated Rays’ coach Don Zimmer, who has been in the game of baseball for over 60 years.

The speed makes each player a steal-threat at almost any time. The Rays swiped 10 bases in 11 attempts during the ALCS. Perez helped win Game 2 by tagging up and scoring on a 180-foot fly ball just out of the infield. Also, their speed helps them on defense, one which just might be the best in baseball, especially in the infield. Jason Bartlett charges the ball as well as anyone in the league at shortstop and second-basemen Akinori Iwamura, in his first year at the position, turns the double-play as well as anyone in the league.

Ryan Howard: What about the 1-through-9 production by the Phillies? It sure is hard to believe that Philadelphia has won seven playoff games without a home run, and with only 3 RBI’s, by first-basemen Ryan Howard. He is without a doubt the streakiest hitter in the game today, but he may go wild in the World Series. However, to advance this far without big production numbers from Howard shows how great a team Philadelphia really is. In the NLCS, the Phillies had a different offensive hero every night.

Imagine what will happen if they get Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Pat Burrell going at the same time.

Matt Garza: Really, how good is the back-end of the Rays’ rotation? Well, plain and simple, it’s one of the best in baseball, which is crucial in a seven-game playoff series. Matt Garza, the Rays’ number 3 starter, was absolutely dominant and unhittable in Game 7 of the ALCS (he was good for seven innings, allowing only two hits while striking out nine). Garza tops out at 98 M.P.H. I don’t care who you are, that’s blazingly fast and it’s virtually unhittable when he locates the pitch correctly. Garza also features a fantastic slider in his repertoire. Andy Sonnanstine blanked the Red Sox for the first six innings in Game 4; he throws 87-89, but he has an amazing feel for the art of pitching.

Scott Kazmir could easily be the fourth-best starter, but he sure looked great in hurling six shut-out innings in Game 5. A 14-game winner in 2008, Edwin Jackson is the number 5 starter. That’s an unbelievably deep rotation, and it’s certainly deeper than that of the Phillies, given that Jaime Moyer has been hit hard in this postseason (first by the Brewers, and then by the Dodgers). However, Philadelphia possesses the best starter of either team in the World Series, ace Cole Hamels.

I originally predicted the Rays in 4, but after a much deeper look into the pitching matchups and incredible lineups both teams feature, I’ve changed my mind on that prediction, at least on the number of games that will be played.

Not to discount the Rays, but the Phillies look to have the better 1-through-9 lineup. However, that’s only if they can all stay consistent with one another. Sure, their bullpen is great, but their downfall lies in their starting rotation in the days following a Cole Hamels start. I do not expect Moyer, Joe Blanton, or Brett Myers to be successful in quieting the Rays. But can the Rays’ lineup keep producing like they have been this postseason? The answer to that question lies in how they tore apart the Red Sox excellent starting five. I’ve got news for you, the pitchers taking the mound for Philadelphia, with the exception of Cole Hamels, are nothing compared to the Red Sox’s monster arms. If the Rays were able to do what they did against guys like Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, there’s no telling how hard they are going to hit the Phillies’ guys they have in their rotation. The key for Tampa Bay will be to score runs early and often. I expect the Phillies to put on an offensive display at some point in the series, but, for the most part, the Rays’ deep rotation shouldn’t allow an excessive amount of hits or runs too often. Pitching, as it usually is in the postseason, is the biggest key for both teams heading into the series.

Here are the expected pitching matchups for the first four games of this World Series:

Game 1: Phillies (Cole Hamels) @ Rays (Scott Kazmir)

Game 2: Phillies (Brett Myers) @ Rays (James Shields)

Game 3: Rays (Matt Garza) @ Phillies (Jaime Moyer)

Game 4: Rays (Andy Sonnanstine) @ Phillies (Joe Blanton)

To me, the Rays looked to be the strongest team coming into October, that’s why I had them in an easy 4 over Philadelphia. But, after the Red Sox came storming back from down 3 games to 1 to square up the ALCS, I, like everyone else, came to wondering how good the Rays actually are.

Was it purely Red Sox magic all over again that led to the Rays blowing that seven-run lead and the series lead overall, or, was it a showing of the only way the Rays can be beat? I seem to lean towards the fact that it was Red Sox magic once again, especially after witnessing Boston miraculously and heroically come from behind on countless occasions in the postseason over the last decade. Yet, there is one fact that is for sure: to beat the Rays, you’ve got to score many runs often. I don’t believe the Phillies can do such a thing against Tampa Bay’s deep rotation. However, I do believe we are going to see a much better World Series than what many people, myself included, had originally thought.

My NEW prediction: Rays in 6.

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The Best Price Deal For A Breitling Watch

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Breitling today stands at the most trendy Swiss watch brands, with its inception dates back as early as in late 1880s. It was named after its founder – Leon Breitling. Since then, there had been no looking back for the brands till today! All of its products are entirely Swiss made, typically with large dials having automatic winding mechanisms. This really comes handy for aviation purposes. Breitling watch prices went up, with better quality and higher charm.

You will find a number of varieties available for these timepieces worldwide. Though the Breitling watch prices fall slightly on the higher side, the dilemma arises when you need to make a choice. Because, Breitling watch prices do not generally vary too much with models. But the facilities do. So, which watch to go for is really a hassle, keeping the price factor in mind. Here is a pathfinder to all your problems.

Right now in the market, you will mostly find these popular Breitling brands – Navitimer watch series, Windrider watch series, Professional watch series, Aeromarine watch series and Bentley watch series. The Breitling watch prices vary from some fifty dollars to two hundred dollars depending upon the range of facilities and other choice factors.

Of these, the Navitimer series is of highest sale among the US navy market because of its automatic winding mechanisms, which helps in judging directions. Whereas the most popular among the youth is the Windrider series and Bentley comes next in the list. The cost too falls pretty on the affordable range. The most expensive and elite is the Aeromarine series; which offer some really exclusive time-pieces. The Professional series though have quite a good global market share, yet it failed in the US market largely due to the charisma factor. It was out beaten by one of the competitor’s cheaper deals.

So while making your final deal, do keep in mind these factors along with the price.

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Ben 10 Going Strong

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Ben 10 is the first, of what has become four, very successful series (Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien and Ben 10: Omniverse). The original series (Ben 10) was launched on the Cartoon Network in 2005. The subsequent ones air today.

Ben 10 is about a ten-year boy by the name of Ben Tennyson. He finds a watch-like device in the woods and his life is subsequently, changed forever. That watch-like device, known as the Omnitrix, transforms him into 10 different kinds of aliens.

After the initial series, Tennyson, three more series were developed and released. The series will continue its evolution. Omniverse, the latest installment, is scheduled, for release in June of 2012. Below, we will take a closer look at each of the series.

Ben 10- As mentioned above, Ben Ten is the original series in the franchise. In it, Ben Tennyson, travels with is family (Gwen Tennyson and Grandpa Max). Along the way, he happens upon the Omnitrix. He uses it to fight off bad aliens and criminals.

Alien Force – This series takes place five years after the initial one. In it, the boy decides not to wear the Omnitrix, at least for awhile. He makes the decision to once again start wearing the Omnitrix after his beloved Grandpa Max gets lost. When he puts it back on, he is able to turn into 10 aliens, different from the ones in Ben 10. This gives him the opportunity to take on a variety of new persona. Kevin Levin, who was once a foe, becomes his friend and ally in this series.

Ultimate Alien- In Ultimate Alien, Ben takes possession of the Ultimatrix. This new, advanced device, which is very similar to the Omnitrix, makes it possible for him to evolve into different alien personas and much more powerful entities. The Ultimate Alien series provided a continuation of the 10 programming, keeping the series alive, much to the appreciation of its fans.

Omniverse – Omniverse will make its debut in 2012 on the Cartoon Network, the home of the original series.This time around, Ben will obviously be back, as will Gwen. Kevin Levin will be apart of the series as well, amongst a host of other characters. The introduction of the Omniverse series has fans excited. If the older series are any indication of what is to come, then there is a lot to be excited about. Imagination, smart themes and good writing are characteristic of the television programs.

Ben 10 is still going strong. The initial program, which debuted in 2005, continues to evolve, with a total of four, series having been developed and released. As long as the demand for the series continues, expect to see Tennyson and a host of various friends and foes in some form or another. There is a ton of excitement surrounding Omniverse and a continued appreciation for the prior series. It will be interesting to see what series creators have in mind for Tennison, his family, friends and foes.

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Sport Watches For Men – Luminox Black Ops 8401 – Review

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Luminox has become widely known when it comes to developing the best in special ops watches. The Luminox Black Ops 8401 is a newer addition to their special ops watch series, and is a very cool, yet casual seals watch to have.

Each Luminox Navy Seals Special Ops Watch is field tested by the seals themselves. That is the reason why these unique watches are extremely durable, reliable and rugged enough to withstand the abuse when its time to go out in the field.

Like all Luminox wrist watches, the Black Ops 8401 is a Swiss-made dive watch, making it not only durable and long lasting, but a very stylish and everyday casual watch to wear.

The face on the 8401 is a tad bit large and the rubber wrist band is quite long. The reason for this is for visibility and if needed to wrap around your wrist if you have to wear a wet suit. If that is not of any importance, then this would be a very comfortable seals watch to wear.

The special titanium illumination system that is a trademark of Luminox is what makes these watches so special. Unlike the painted versions on other watches. You can see the face extremely clear in an area with very little to no light.

There is a manufacturers warranty of up to two years on all Luminox watches and an amazing ten year manufacturers warranty on the Luminox illumination system.

These watches are water resistant for up to 200 meters.

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Get TV Series on DVD For Those Long Nights In

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Watching TV looks like a hobby to most of us. We get home from work, munch something that we like and then jump into the most comfy armchair we have in the house, right in front of the TV-set. This is a pattern with the modern man and woman, there’s no doubt about that. Since there are so many channels we can choose from, each with an impressive number of movies and TV series, it is quite natural that we spend some time watching the screen; it’s both a means of relaxation and a pleasant way to get to know what is new in the film industry.

Even though the latest productions cannot be found on DVD yet, there is a long list of famous films and TV series that have already appeared on the market for those who are true fans of the actors or the story line. The average tax-payer who cannot afford to spend much time in front of the TV set, and even if he or she does it is unluckily not the ‘right time’ to be able to watch exactly what his or her hear desires, can now watch whatever is worth watching exactly when the proper time is – either at the weekend or for a couple of hours before going to bed on week days. Get the DVD’s containing your favourite TV series and time will be on your side. You can watch whenever you feel the need to, for as long as you can, at your own pace.

The collections of TV series available in online stores have been created with several types of films in mind. Those who are after the thrilling adventures of courageous heroes will get the chance to acquire the best adventure TV series that have ever been created. If you are into the romantic kind of episodes, you can bet there is a wide selection for you to choose from. Even kids will find their favourite cartoon series in online stores. You only have to make up your mind to acquire your own collection of DVD’s at home and you will soon discover that the family’s chance for entertainment has considerably improved with the help of a few DVD’s.

But what can you do if the best series are broadcast during the day, while you are at work? You can see that late at night, right? What if you are not really the kind of individual who enjoys staying up late? Does that mean you will never be able to watch a series that you are fond of? No way! We can purchase anything we desire these days, including TV series like Cosby Show DVD [http://www.idvdshop.com] on DVD’s.

The movie industry is continually growing but there will always be those great productions that people all over the world will remember for their memorable plot and cast. TV series are no less. What was once popular will always ring a bell to those who know the real value of such episodes. Each of us has at least one name of a series in mind, maybe something we used to watch years ago. Now we have the special chance to watch the whole thing again by only browsing for these DVD’s and ordering what we really long for in one of the many online stores. It’s as simple as that.

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Legend Series

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A Legendary Series: The Legend Trilogy

An Overview

Set in a dystopian future where the United States of America does not exist any more, the Legend Trilogy explores the contrasting lives of two teenagers and how their lives intersect with each other. The story takes place in the new nation, known as the Republic, which is perpetually in a state of war with its neighbors. Born in one of the wealthiest districts of the Republic, fifteen year old June has been groomed from a young age to join the highest echelons of the Republic’s military. On the other hand, 15 year old Day, who has been born in the slums of the Republic, is also the nation’s most wanted criminal.

Though it seems unlikely that there is anything common between the two, their lives are influenced by each other when Day is accused of having killed June’s older brother, who in turn is tasked with finding Day and bringing him to justice. The series focus on the relation between June and Day, who initially meet under different guises, but slowly realize who they are actually dealing with and the feelings they have for each other.

The Legend Starts

The first book in the series introduces us to the two protagonists of the story, June and Day. As mentioned above, June seeks to bring Day to justice for murdering her brother and poses as a poor girl in order to get closer to him. However, when they first meet each other, June does not even realize he is Day and develops feelings for him. When she does finally realize Day’s true identity, she has him arrested in order to answer for his part in her brother’s murder. It is only after Day is apprehended that the truth about the Republic begins to reveal itself, showing that what seems obvious may not be true after all.

The book, which was author Mary Lu’s first, was critically acclaimed, with particular praise lavished on the plot as well as the depth of the characters. The general consensus was that the author inventiveness and creativity allowed her to escape the clichés that tend to hound fantasy novels and create memorable characters, whose emotional depth endeared them to fans of the book.

The Legend Continues

The second book of the series, Prodigy, sees June and Day attempt to overthrow the Republic’s Senate by assassinating their new leader, Anden, son of the previous Republic leader whose untimely death saw Anden ascend to the position of supreme leader. Once again, the book serves to remind us that everything may not necessarily be as we observe it to be and the truth may be hidden. This book also further delves in to the relationship dynamic between the opposing personalities of June and Day, and whether they are able to reconcile their differences or grow completely apart because of them.

The plan to assassinate the new leader as well as the conflicting feelings of June and Day make for an exciting, fast paced novel, which has been lauded by critics, who consider it as one of the few sequels that are actually good. Favorable comparisons to Hunger Games have been drawn, with many praising the plot of the book amid the whirlwind romance between June and Day.

About The Characters

Knowing about the characters is important in order to understand their motives, actions, logic and emotions.

June

June is a fifteen year old girl, who scored a 100% (i.e. a 1500/1500) in her trial, which is a mandatory test, held by the Republic. She has spent all her life being readied for life in the Republic military. Even though she belonged to a very financially well off family, her brother Metias took care of her ever since her parents died in a car crash under mysterious circumstances when she was young. Later, her brother is also killed, while supposedly tracking Day. This leads everyone to believe that Day was the killer and motivated by revenge, June plans revenge on Day, only to later develop feelings for Day once she finally meets him. The author manages to cleverly execute her plan of portraying June as both a friend and love interest of Day.

Her attributes include exceptional intelligence and street smarts, which allow her to survive in dangerous situations, though she also sometimes very uptight. She has long, dark brown hair which she prefers to wear in a high pony tail, while she also has brown eyes, though with golden specks in them.

Day

Daniel Altan Wing, better known as Day, is also a brilliant fifteen year old prodigy, who was born in the slums of the Republic. He is also the Republic’s most wanted criminal while also being wanted in the murder of June’s older brother Metias, where he is the prime suspect.

Day is part Caucasian and part Mongolian, who wears his blonde hair long and has blue eyes. Even though he believes he failed the mandatory Republic test, future events dictate otherwise. He is considered to be strong and agile, even surpassing June in this ability, while also being considered as stubborn and confident. He carries a limp in his left leg, while experiments performed on him while he was young have left him with an imperfection in one eye.

About The Series

With the first book coming out in 2011, the Legend Trilogy is a bestselling series, propelling its author, Mary Lu, into international stardom. Rights of the books have been sold in an astounding 26 countries all over the world.

The series have been inspired by ‘Les Miserables’, the French historical book published by Victor Hugo in the 1880s. In fact, very few people know that June was initially intended to be a boy, as it was the author’s idea to use her book’s characters and recreate the tension and conflict between two of the main characters of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean and Javert. The final novel in the series, Champion, was released in January 2013 to critical acclaim, in what many regarded as a fitting end to an enthralling series.

In fact, the popularity of the books has seen them picked up by CBS for movies to be based on them, thus increasing the audience that will witness the romance between June and Day amid the problems that threaten to disintegrate their relationship.

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Watch a Mets Game Live

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Watching baseball is a site in and of itself. It is America’s pastime and it has been in the forefront of being the most popular sport of all major sports. It is one thing to watch a game on television, but it is another to watch it live. Every year, the New York Mets play the New York Yankees in what is called the Subway Series. This is one of the most heated rivalries in all of baseball. The whole state of New York is on the line when those two teams meet. ESPN, Fox Sports or any other sports channel that you see or read can hype it up as much as they want, but until you’re there by yourself, it is a different story.

For the better half of three years, the New York Mets have been on the verge of being great. Signing quality free agents and building the team through the farm system has been their mode of operation for quite some time. New York Mets baseball tickets are constantly on sale either as a regular ticket or season ticket. Often when one associates baseball in New York, they associate it with the New York Yankees. For years, the New York Mets have been in mediocrity, but in recent years, they have made a push to be the team in New York.

Watch Carlos Beltran, John Maine, Francisco Rodriguez, and David Wright try to with the NL East and make their way to the pennant. In the 2000 season, the Subway Series ended being the World Series. The Yankees swept the Mets and now they are out on a mission of redemption. They’ve already played a series this season, but you never know what other fireworks between the two you’ll see.

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