Monday, October 26, 2009

Seventh Layer of Baseball Hell

Someone asked me this a few days ago.

"Being a Mets fan, how could you root for the Phillies in a Phillies/Yankees World Series?"

His reasoning: if I were a Yankees fan, and the Red Sox were playing the Mets, I'd have to root for the Mets.

My answer was two-fold. My first response was: I am not rooting for the Phillies. I'm also not rooting for the Yankees, but that's neither here nor there. The Sox/Yankees rivalry is a LOT different than the Mets/Phillies. The latter been over the last few years while the former has run deep through decades and decades. Even in 1999, when the Mets lost to the Braves in the NLCS, I had to think I didn't want the Yankees to win, and the Braves were our direct rival. My Yankee hate is pretty independent of my Mets love. I hate the Phillies less, direct rivalry or no. But that doesn't mean I'm rooting for the Phillies.

The other response was: if the Yankees win, I'll have to hear about it all winter. If the Phillies win, well, they are the reigning World Champions so it's deserving. Plus we'll never hear about it -- a World Series win will keep them occupied until the next time the Eagles play.

But again, I keep going back to the whole, I am not rooting for the Phillies, the Yankees or anyone in this World Series. Even when I pledged my allegiance to the Angels a few weeks back, it was mostly because I liked their story, I liked their fans, I liked their team and their stadium. It had absolutely nothing to do with them playing the Yankees. In fact it didn't even occur to me they could play the Yankees in the ALCS. I was rooting for them to win not to simply beat the Yankees.

I happen to be a person who believes in the law-of-attraction. I know my Yankee hate is pretty deep rooted, but I wonder if all the Yankee haters out in full-force was maybe causing them to win. When I saw people with "No Yankees" shirts or symbols on their websites, I had to remind them for the common good, BE POSITIVE! Root FOR the Angels. Root FOR the Dodgers. But don't root against something or someone.

So much for that method of thinking. Instead of the Freeway Series I was rooting for, the other part I was not believing would EVER happen -- a Turnpike Series -- is going to happen.

I have some Yankee friends who are trying to get me to come to their side. It's tempting but I have to pass. If it were ever easy for me, I'd never have been a Mets fan.

But I can't in good conscience root for the Phillies either.

So what do I root for? Barring a destructive earthquake, flood or catastrophe, maybe everyone gets swine flu and they have to forfeit the Series? Someone posted a similar situation in an old Stanley Cup Playoffs, where once upon a time it had to be forfeited. That is the best scenario we can think of as Mets fans.

I can't dictate who people are going to root for, against or ignore. I know a guy who says to keep peace in his household, he's going to root for the Yankees. Some are going the whole "National League vs. American League" old-time rule: root for your league.

But what is the verdict for The Coop? I'm pretending that baseball does not exist until February 2010, and in order not to burn in baseball hell, I would think we should do the same to satisfy our souls. I could see a conflict occurring if the Mets were a part of the problem this year, but they were non-factors. I hate both those teams, but could care less about the series. Just too much negativity to hate on one or the other.

Go Rangers, Go Jets. Go whatever team not related to baseball. But I truly could care less about who takes home the Commissioner's Trophy in 2009.


dgwPhotography said...

Coop - I used to think the same way you did, but after a talk I had with someone a couple of weeks ago, I'm openly rooting for the Phillies. His reason? They basically play baseball the right way, and if they were the Mets, we would love this team like we loved the 86 team - these are points I have to agree with.

Plus, the fact that anything that makes a Yankee fan quiet is something worth rooting for ;-)

Coop said...

Hey Whit, I agree with that and SAID that to my friend who asked me that the other night. I said, you know I basically tried to discredit every win the Phillies had but the fact is, they won last year, their back in the WS this year and I can't not get behind a team that doesn't feel the need to go out and outbid for mediocre talent. While I'll never stop rooting for the Mets, an organizational shift needs to occur and quickly - hopefully they'll see the old school Frank Cashen way of developing players, providing for the future and getting a few key role players each year will be better than what they are currently doing (which is a whole lotta nuthin!)

Tracy said...

Thank you for articulating it so well.... I can't ignore baseball, and while this truly is the worst possible scenario, the bottom line is that I am an NL girl, my hatred for the Yankees and their fans runs much deeper (and longer) than my hatred of the Phillies, and as someone said, "You gotta respect the team that beat you"

So, while I have no intention of ever donning anything red EVER, there will be a passive cheer going on in my head every time they score... and I'll enjoy Broadway being quiet and ticker-tape free come the first week of November.