Turnpike Series

Associated Press

Associated Press

With Philadelphia and New York 108 miles apart and the New Jersey Turnpike between them, here's an offbeat look:

Did he really ask that?

We can only assume something was lost in the translation. At the news conference announcing Derek Jeter as winner of the Roberto Clemente award, a primarily Spanish-speaking journalist asked Jeter, "You know Roberto Clemente? You know him?" Clemente died in 1972. Jeter was born in 1974.

Did he really say that?

Given all MLB did to showcase Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in a pregame performance of their hit Empire State of Mind, it seemed just a bit odd to hear Jay-Z deliver the line: "I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can."

Yes, we know we're not in St. Petersburg

Playing the Rays is one thing. But the way Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro made it sound, playing the Yankees is another. "What's kind of neat about this is it's the biggest stage there is," he said. "It's New York. It's history. It's tradition. … To be able to match up against a storied franchise like the Yankees is really pretty gratifying."

Faces in the crowd

John Legend sang the anthem. New York firefighter Regina Wilson performed God Bless America. … Ex-Yankee Paul O'Neill threw out the first pitch. … Among the celebs spotted: Matt Lauer, Robert Wuhl, Lorne Michaels, Kevin Millar, Andy Samberg, Bobby Flay and, of course, Alex Rodriguez's girlfriend, Kate Hudson. … Alanis Morrisette will sing the anthem for Game 5.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Turnpike Series 10/30/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 30, 2009 8:54am]

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