Does the World Series champion really HAVE to be from either Tampa or Philadelphia? Is it too late to relocate the teams? Can’t Commish Bud Selig step in with some sort of emergency injunction and stop this from happening?

Tampa or Philly. Liver or head cheese. Death or taxes. Plucked out toenails or an enema. Take your pick.

Tampa — that city of Johnny-come-latelies who only were nudged awake a couple of weeks ago, and found out that a baseball season had broken out. A fan base that is scrambling to make it up to their team in the form of promising — for sure — to buy tickets next season. Cross our hearts.

Philadelphia — a city with a chip the size of, well, Tampa on their shoulders. The City of Brotherly Love — but the kind of brotherly love that involves wedgies and noogies and replacing little bro’s candy bar with cat pooh. A fan base so cruel it once booed Santa Claus. And Mike Schmidt. Perhaps the most bitter of all the sports cities, because its teams constantly rise to OK and then sink back down to awful. Or worse, stay at OK and perpetually tease its followers. Ask any Eagles fan.

Or Phillies fan, for that matter. The Phils are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore — at least I hope so, and that’s why I’m picking them to swat these feisty little Rays for good, doing what the White and Red Sox couldn’t do in the AL playoffs. The Phillies have been doing that Philadelphia sports thing for the last five or six years — where you peak at OK-to-good and stay there for several years, never winning anything of note. Hey, ask any Flyers fan while you’re at it.

The Rays, no doubt, are looking around their locker room and seeing a bunch of young, green talent and figuring that the World Series will be a fairly regular thing in Tampa for the next several years. So no biggie if they drop this one; there’ll be others, and soon. The Phillies, on the other hand, have sore feet from kicking at the door and are poised to finally just bust the damn thing down.

But the cities, as far as being deserving? Meh.

It’s a toss-up, really. Do you want your baseball champion to come from a town where they’re still wiping the Sand Man from their eyes, or from one that’s so mean-spirited and cranky, it makes John McCain look like Dale Carnegie? Have fun with that choice.

Selig needs to do something. Maybe arrange to have the games played at a neutral site. That way we can be spared the phony excitement of Tampa and the national anthem singer won’t be booed in Philadelphia. The reason the Rays fans are so loud is because they’ve spent all summer resting up. You’d be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, too, if you hibernated from April to September.

So it’s Tampa versus Philly. Golly-gee-whiz versus f*** you. Some choice.

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