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Series opponent doesn't matter to Phils

Series opponent doesn't matter to Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino did not hesitate Friday when somebody asked him if he had a preferred World Series opponent:

Yankees or Angels?

"Who cares?" he said following a workout at Citizens Bank Park. "Why should it matter who we play?"

The Phillies held firm to that opinion on Friday as the Yankees and Angels prepared to play Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium.

"We're happy to represent the National League and I'm sure we'll be facing the best of the American League," Phillies president David Montgomery said. "In the case of the Angels, they're the only team other than us who has won their division three [years] in a row. And the Yankees have the best record in baseball. Now it's set up, whichever team we play, we absolutely can feel that we'll be facing the best of the American League."

Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee estimated he has been asked roughly 50 times -- that might be a conservative estimate -- about the prospect of facing former Cleveland Indians teammate CC Sabathia in Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Lee wasn't biting.

PHILS vs. YANKS in 2009
If the Phillies were to meet the Yankees -- who lead the ALCS, 3-2 -- in the World Series, it won't be the first time the clubs will have met this season. The Phils won a three-game Interleague set in May. They did not play the Angels.
Date Result Recap
May 22 PHI 7, NYY 3 Watch
May 23 NYY 5, PHI 4 Watch
May 24 PHI 4, NYY 3 (11 inn.) Watch

"They still haven't won that series," Lee said, referring to the Yankees. "Until they win that series, it's just a what if. But obviously I respect him as a player and as a person. I'd look to that challenge, but that series is still going on. We're not going to know that until someone walks away from there winning it."

The Phillies won two of three games against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in May, although they could have swept had closer Brad Lidge not blown a couple saves.

Those games happened a couple months before Lee joined the team on July 29. He has plenty of experience against the Yankees and Angels.

"It can't hurt," Lee said. "I do have some experience with both of those teams, but they have experience with me. It kind of goes both ways. But obviously they're two really good teams and they're in the ALCS for a reason. Neither one of them is going to be a pushover. You've got to make pitches, mix speeds and stay away from the heart of the plate. It's the same. Regardless of which team we face, you can't make mistakes over the plate or they're going to make you play."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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