"It's the biggest series we've ever had in the city!" bellowed Angelo Cataldi on his WIP morning show.

"It's amazing! . . . It's the ultimate! It's the ultimate! It's so great!" the allegedly former Yankees fan hyperventilated.

"This is as big as it can ever be!" agreed ex-Flyer Keith Jones.

In New York, not surprisingly, excitement was followed by overconfidence.

The Yankees, after all, will be making trip No. 40 to the World Series, after ousting the Los Angeles Angels last night. For the Phils, it'll be trip No. 7: 1915, 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009.

"The Yankees will win, they'll win in five," WFAN cohost Craig Carton said dismissively this morning. Expect a parade in "the Canyon of Heroes," he said - showing no trace of the Philly homerism he displayed in when he was with WIP.

The Phillies "will need all the help they can get," Kevin Kernan wrote in a New York Post article, headlined, "Beasts of the East will rule Philly."

"We're going to give the Phillies hell and we expect to win a championship," said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees general managing partner, according to the New York Daily News.

Loyalties around the country are also divided, partly because many fans love the Yankees, while others hate New York and the Best Team That Steinbrenner Money Could Buy.

"Definitely going against the Bankee$," a Reds fan emailed MLB.com. "That's a no-brainer."

Red Sox fans can't stand the Yankees, but many of them will be going against their own league, according to MLB.com. "Please count me in on the Phillies' bandwagon!" said one. "Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino ... go Phillies."

Even New York Mets fans - also anti-Yankee - will feel torn.

Cataldi was even offering an XBox this morning for the best reason people hate New York. Arrogance ... attitude ... not supporting American Independence early enough ... the reasons were many.

St. Joe's Hawks basketball coach Phil Martelli was on to predict the Eagles should trounce the Redskins tonight - not that many people care.

Cataldi had to get a Series prognostication too, exclaiming that a Phillies victory over the Yankees would be "the biggest win by any Philadelphia team ever!"

"This is really going to be something special," Martelli agreed. He even moved practice earlier on Nov. 2, to permit viewing of World Series Game 5.

For the kids?

"I don't care about them," Martelli said. "I care about me. They'll be in study hall at that time."

His prediction: Phillies in 6.

And the "shocker of all shockers," he predicted: Pitcher Cole Hamels, who's been struggling lately, will again be World Series MVP.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.