Mets Rumors & News
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mr-met-phanaticThe Mets and Phillies hate each other. Finally. It took about 45 years for these division rivals to work up a good antipathy for each other, and it’s about time. For years, Philadelphians hated the Phillies more than New Yorkers did. Players of today are way too friendly with each other, with their loyalty to the player’s union seeming to come before all others. Ty Cobb would be rolling over in his grave if he saw the breezy way the players act toward each other. Frank Robinson‘s rolling over in his recliner as we speak. At long last we’ve got some good old-fashioned hatred.

The Mets steamrolled over the Phillies in 2006, and then the following spring training Jimmy Rollins shot off the “We’re the Team to Beat” slogan heard round the world. He proved to be right, as the Phils won the division, due to the Mets’ collapse heard round the world. Last spring training, Carlos Beltran said, “Tell Jimmy Rollins we’re the team to beat this year.” He was wrong. Oh so wrong. This year, Davey Johnson has jumped into the fray, claiming Team USA is the team to beat. And now Justin Tuck insists the New York Giants are the team to beat.

Ever since Rollins’ remark, the Phillies just can’t stop talking about the Mets. They won their second World Series in franchise history, but the Mets talk doesn’t stop. They talked about them during the playoffs. They talked about them during the World Series. They talked about them during the World Series parade. They talked about them during the off-season. And they keep talking in spring training. 

They’re strangely obsessed with the Mets. Has there ever been a championship team with an inferiority complex to the second-place team? There is now. The Phillies should be in the Mets’ heads, but it’s oddly reversed. Since the Mets handed the division to them on a silver platter the last two seasons, you’d think they’d just quietly thank them. But they’re the champs, so they have every right to act like classless winners if that’s what they choose. Maybe they feel they’re not getting the proper respect for winning the World Series. Nobody watched it, so many fans probably remember it as the year Tampa Bay finally won or the year the Series was rained out altogether with no winner. If the Phils need to remind everyone that they won, more power to them.

New York’s celebratory antics and Jose Reyes‘ handshakes just plain piss them off. But when Ryan Howard stands at home plate so long after a home run that you have time to watch every episode of the Family Guy marathon TBS shows night after night after night before he even starts strolling to first base and Shane Victorino throws himself a parade every time he gets on base, their criticism rings a little hollow. But if all that makes them feel better about themselves, so be it. If I were a Phillies fan, I would love this team.

As for the Mets, every team in the division hates them. Good. Why would you want other teams to like you? They certainly don’t like the Phillies, and Cole Hamels‘ comments have turned the hatred up a notch. They beat the Phils in the season-series last year and were their own worst enemy, so which team should scare them the most? The Mets, of course. They certainly shouldn’t be shooting their mouths off, though. Beltran just made a fool of himself with his comments last year. So far the Mets have been pretty quiet (maybe because they’re all out playing in the World Baseball Classic), but there’s still time to say something stupid. Only Francisco Rodriguez has said anything, but I doubt he had any clue about all the “team to beat” stuff. Every team should feel they’re the team to beat, but when you finish in second place (and in the fashion the Mets did), you should pipe down and play. Before they can say anything about anything, the Mets need to make it through a September without embarrassing themselves.

Who wants to listen to teams praise each other with words of respect? What fun is a lovefest between combatants? They’re fighting for the same prize; they’re supposed to despise each other. In the good old days, teams and players truly couldn’t stand each other. They even hated the other league, which made the All-Star games more competitive. So while Chase Utley finishes filming season three of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab to conquer his addiction to swearing in public and Jerry Manuel cackles and asks for the Phillies to keep on talking to remind the Mets what happened to them the last few years, we should all sit back and enjoy the hatred. It’s more fun that way.

There is currently one response to “The Mets and Phillies: Embrace the Hatred”

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  1. 1 On March 31st, 2009, J Platt said:

    Hahaha… Interesting to hear a Mets perspective. A bit slanted and out of touch, but interesting. Jeff, you need to be a little fair about things. A couple points.

    The Mets didn’t hand anything on a silver platter. In ’07, the Mets did have the biggest choke in MLB history, I don’t doubt that, but the Phillies had to win games to overtake that spot. Had the Phillies not had an unbelievable September, the Mets would have entered the playoffs on their face, but at least they would have made the playoffs. Last year the Phillies led most of the season. They almost pulled an ’07 Mets with a terrible two months, but got it together at the end (amazing what a bullpen can do).

    On to talking about other teams. Beltran at least could of had some originality. You are right though, aside from Rodriguez running his mouth (maybe he should throw a pitch in the jersey before he decides to mouth off), the Mets haven’t said much. There’s a reason behind that.

    A) Anytime they talk to the media, they are faced with collapse questions, so what are they really going to say? Funny what humility does.

    B) What would they actually say? “You watch out Phillies, we’re gunning for you?” This isn’t the WWE.

    David Wright made a comment in 2007 asking “What has Jimmy Rollins ever won?” Well he ran his mouth and won an MVP. The next season we won a World Championship. When you talk and back it up, the talk has some meaning. The Mets have learned their lesson. When you can’t back it up, you’re just embarrassing yourself.

    Actually the Mets have talked. By front office/management making comments about “we choose not to address the Phillies”, or “let Hamels say what he wants, we have more class”, you’re still talking about another team. Don’t play some high road BS. If someone is going to take the high road, they take the high road, they don’t talk about taking it.

    Also, aside from Hamels, what exactly have the Phillies said? Classless winners? Come on buddy, you gotta back a comment like that up (or was that directed toward Hamels?).

    Speaking of Hamels. The hype over his comment makes me laugh because most people who talk about it didn’t actually hear the interview. Hamels was obviously baited into saying it, and only said it after being asked if the Mets were choke artists four times. Lets be honest Jeff, he kinda has a point. Even in 2006 when Beltran watched strike three go by him in game seven, the choke was on.

    Reyes… Oh Jose… The guy has the talent to be the best player in baseball, but he has the maturity and emotional level of a six year-old. That’s the issue I have with Reyes. His dancing, his pouting, it’s ridiculous. There’s a difference getting emotional and pumped about a play (You can never fault a player for emotion), then doing the cha-cha around the bases. Howard doesn’t admire his home runs as much as say Bonds used to, but he needs to take it time and let it land before he crosses the plate.

    Aside from that, it’s going to be a good season. The Mets bullpen is definitely improved. Not even by adding KRod (who I think might be a real bad contract) and Putz, but by ditching Schoenweis & Heilman. I think the Mets bench is fairly thin, and the only New York team Livan Hernandez should be pitching for is the Long Island Ducks. Ibanez is an upgrade over Burrell based on consistency alone, but losing Romero is a big blow to the bullpen (Jack Taschner isn’t the solution either).

    In closing… You don’t boo Chase Utley. Also Jeff, you wish you’d hear David Wright say “World F**king Champions”.

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