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Philadelphia (42,254) had the fourth-highest attendance average in the NL; Tampa Bay (22,370) was 12th among the 14 AL teams.
Even the general managers are a contrast.
While the Phillies' GM is 71-year-old Pat Gillick, who put together Toronto teams that won World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, Tampa Bay's executive vice president for baseball operations is 31-year-old Andrew Friedman, a former Bear Stearns analyst.
"Nobody expects us to win. Everybody expected us to lose 90 games this year," said 23-year-old David Price, who got his professional save in the pennant clincher. "We lost seven in a row going into the All-Star break. People thought that was it. The Rays are going to slowly die out. But that's not the case."
Philadelphia bounced back in September to overcome the Mets for the second straight season. For so many years, the headlines read "Phillies Phold." Not this year, at least not yet.
"Philadelphians, they've been starving for a winner," Manuel said. "Let me put it like this, we're due. We're here. Why not get it?"
There's some history between the cities -- just not in baseball.
The Buccaneers won the 2003 Super Bowl over Oakland after defeating the Eagles 27-10 in the NFC championship. The Lightning defeated Calgary to win the Stanley Cup in 2004 after beating the Flyers 2-1 in Game 7 of the conference finals.
Philadelphia is just 1-4 in the World Series, beating the Kansas City Royals in 1980, but losing to the Boston Red Sox (1915), New York Yankees (1950), Baltimore Orioles (1983) and Toronto Blue Jays (1993).
Based on the last two years, the six-day layoff between their five-game victory over the Dodgers and the Series opener won't help.
Following eight days off, the Colorado Rockies were swept by Boston last year. Detroit had a six-day rest in 2006, then lost to the Cardinals in six games.
"It's debated, obviously, every year," Manuel said. "So much of it depends on the 25 guys -- if they're beat up and they need the rest, or if they're still going on adrenaline."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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