Here's another reason for you to hate Tampa Bay

I know most Phillies fans out there don't need any more provocation, but I feel obligated to point this out. The Rays have announced the identity of the performers who will sing the Star-Spangled Banner prior to the start of Game 1 of the World Series.

Drum roll please. . .

The Backstreet Boys.

Not sure how they arrived at this choice. But apparently, O-Town was not available. I, for one, am excited by this choice. It isn't every day that I get the opportunity to scream like a teenage girl from the press box. In honor of this momentous occasion, I invite loyal readers of this blog to answer the following questions:

1. Who is your favorite Backstreet Boy?

2. If you could be any Backstreet Boy, which one would you be?

3. If Charlie Manuel were forced to use a Backstreet Boy as his designated hitter, which one should he choose?

4. If the Backstreet Boys were forced to add a member of the Phillies to the band, which one should they choose?


Now, onto some baseball news.

I know a lot of you are clamoring for the identity of the designated hitter that Manuel will use for the first couple games of the series. But you probably won't know until the line-ups are announced tomorrow. Manuel would not divulge his plans when he met the media today. He did seem to indicate that he would indeed hit a right-hander against lefty Scott Kazmir tomorrow and a lefty against righty James Shields in Game 2.

Back-up catcher Chris Coste is one candidate, but he said earlier today he had not heard whether he would be the guy. Other options include So Taguchi and Eric Bruntlett. Manuel could also DH Pat Burrell and start Taguchi or Bruntlett in left. But I don't think that will happen, given Burrell's dislike for DH'ing. During interleague play, Manuel used a DH against a right-hander six times. Lefties Ryan Howard, Greg Dobbs and Geoff Jenkins both filled the role twice.

UPDATE: Cleared up the Ryan Howard faux paus.


The pitching match-ups are set:

Game 1: LHP Scott Kazmir vs. LHP Cole Hamels

Game 2: RHP James Shields vs. RHP Brett Myers

Game 3: LHP Jamie Moyer vs. RHP Matt Garza

Game 4: RHP Joe Blanton vs. RHP Andy Sonnastine