Someone asked me a few weeks back what I did during last year's World Series. Like, who did I root for, etc? I said, "Series? World? What on earth is that?" I feigned ignorance last year, as most of you knew, and I still do. I can say I didn't watch one solitary second of that shyte show called the Yankees / Phillies World Series in 2009, and I'm ding-dang proud of it.
However, if you are involved in any social medium (Facebook, Twitter), you couldn't help but be brought abreast of what was going on. I also didn't get the infighting between Mets fans at the time. No one was MAKING you watch the World Series. You only participated in it because it's in your blood, as a Mets fan. We are all masochists. We keep coming back for that sweet pain. Even if it's not our team.
Hard-pressed, I told people I wasn't exactly rooting *for* the Phillies, but I didn't want the Yankees to win. However, some of the things that occurred in the series last year I could get some sort of satisfaction, well, as much as a glass half-full person's perspective can get to.
I have a good friend, Paulee Vee, who is a huge Yankees fan. He's no Johnny Come-Lately -- his whole family has roots in Yankee fandom. He knows his stuff, and so does his sister. So when I found out the Yankees won, I told him that there were a few things I could be happy about. Chase Utley did well (I actually like him), A-Rod can now shit in peace after winning a title (hey, I can't feel sorry for poor little rich boy, but if he can coast now till retirement, he won't even try to win now), Derek Jeter is in fact not God, Jimmy Rollins shut the hell up, Hideki Matsui won MVP (he was one of the few Yankees I had respect for) and Cole Hamels was exposed to be the little whiny punk we all (meaning: Mets fans) knew him to be.
I told Paulee Vee - I'm happy for you and your sister, because I know you are true fans who appreciate it. So congratulations...now leave me alone!
Why did I go into that? Well, the funny thing was, in 2009, we all know the Mets pretty much cashed in their chips in July (some would argue after the dropped pop-up in the House of Evil) after injuries decimated the team. When we tried to explain that away (to anyone who didn't follow the Mets as closely as we did), the "injury excuse" was pooh-poohed. "Ooh, you can't say that. You need to have reinforcements. You can't use that excuse, it's not good enough." Etc, etc. Blah Blah Blah.
What's funny now is that the Mets took two of three from the "reigning World Champion" Yankees (visibly hurting and clearly not even close to being their best in their division let alone the class of baseball like they claim to be) and will at the very least take two of three from the "reigning National League Champs" (Or "National League Fuckin' Champs") the Philadelphia Phillies. And all of a sudden, everyone's got one (an opinion) and they all stink (like assholes).
Can I get a "AY-MEN" and a "Hallelujah" up in here? It's about friggin time we had something to feel good about. You know what the bonus is? That against the Phillies, two basically no-name pitchers -- R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi -- shut down the team to the extent that they've been SHUT OUT two games in a row. Amen, Hallelujah, etc etc.
What I especially liked are the "marbles" that Dickey and Takahashi are bringing to the table. I like that they are not bridled with the burden of three years constituted of one major collapse, one year of just not making the playoffs and ??????? of injuries, and they went out there and did their fucking jobs. Hey, Ollie and John...are you watching??
It seems also that their fortitude is infecting the team. At least, that's what I hope anyway. Jose Reyes (finally!) hit his first home run of the season, David Wright is still striking out but at least he's driving in some runs, Jason Bay is the new Yankee killer and heck, even Jeff Francoeur is contributing. I won't get too ahead of myself, as Brooklyn Met Fan said today, since it seems like the Mets themselves are very streaky/slumpy (like their hitters). We all know they could easily win like nine of the next ten, then lose five straight, ruining all goodwill.
But that's not the point of this post. Many of you in the past have known me to call out the Mets for being soft, not coming through in the clutch and for just rolling over, playing to their competition and rarely over their heads. This team is different though. Maybe getting pitchers who do not put you in a hole by the time you come up to bat gives you a new lease on life.
What I see though, is a Phillies team that has no bark, let alone bite. The usual suspects -- the Victorinos, the Werths, and Ibanezes -- have disappeared. At one point during last night's broadcast, the camera panned to Sphincter-boy (Victorino/Sphincterino) himself, and it looked like someone kicked his sick dog. Jayson Werth, I have nothing bad to say about him, but it is his contract year, so he's sort of playing over his head right now. However, he's been a non-issue.
It was nice to see Ryan Howard drop an easy play at 1B last night as well, nice to see them not capitalize with runners on base, and nice to see them look clueless against "no name" pitchers (no offense to Dickey and Takahashi, but they are hardly world-beaters...yet).
Charlie Manuel must *really* hate being exposed for being "cheaters." What happened to the offending binoculars that they were caught with and tried to pass off as "Oh, no big deal?" My personal favorite part of the whole thing was C. Manuel (so as to not confuse him with our Manuel), "Why not look at the Mets, and see how well they are doing at home." Once again, Mets do nothing wrong, were not even a team that called them out on it, and yet, somehow are still on the minds of the Phillies.
Which leads me to Whipping Boy #1 of mine, and that's Nelson Figueroa. Wait, I'm sorry, he's a Philthy Phil now, so I will call him "Phigueroa" from here on in. Many fans cried like we lost the second coming of Nolan Ryan when the Mets put him through waivers after Spring Training, yet I knew better. This is a dude who is a career below-.500 pitcher and we are upset about losing him? I like my chances with Dickey and Takahashi at this point, and Nieve for the spot start at this point.
People wonder what my problem is with Phiggy. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he's a nice guy once you get to know him. When I did my CitiField tour in the offseason, we were told that Phiggy was the resident tech whiz and Guitar Hero, um, hero. That's great. Still didn't want him on my fuckin' team and even after he pitched a complete game the last game of the horrific 2009 season, still didn't want him there. Why's that? Because he's a fucking CRYBABY that's why.
Let's go back to 2008. I was pretty much done with him, as I chronicled over at the infamous Debmc's GB&U Mets blog, after he called out the Nationals for cheering like "softball girls."
I'm sorry, but Phigueroa must have been the most clueless fuck in all of baseball for saying something like that. Sure, he might have been distracted but you are a professional, and you don't need to call out a bunch of juvenile behavior. Remember why teams hated the Mets in 2007 and played extra hard whenever they faced them? Because of their dancing and high-fives and basic lightheartedness in their approach to the game. You do not call a team that had our number at the end of 2007 when all we needed to win was one game. Nooo. Phiggy couldn't keep his fucking mouth shut.
Which leads me to before this series, when the New York press got a hold of him. Look, I know his family owns that heartbreaking brick outside on the Fan Walk at CitiField, I know he was from Brooklyn and his roots are New York. But he is the biggest pussy on the face of the planet if he's still crying about the Mets not wanting him. You're playing on a team that has won three straight division titles, two seasons removed from winning a World Series and current National League Champs.
Here's an idea Nelson...put on your big boy pants and deal with it.
It's one thing if he came into the game and actually did something. Now he claims he tried to do too much. Yeah, he did. He tried to pretend he's actually a major league pitcher.
But the piece de resistance in that article is that he says that the Mets are worried too much about what others think. Maybe to the front office, that is true, but they are clueless bumbling idiots, so I can stand behind that. The kicker is he was claiming the TEAM cares too much, like "What Jimmy Rollins is thinking?"
Um, bad example there Phigs. Rollins is the same ass-clown who, after winning the World Series for the 300 fans celebrating in a parking lot in South Philly, called out the Mets.
Who didn't even make the playoffs. Who owned the Phillies during the regular season. Who were golfing. What the fuck was that about? The Phillies are in the Mets heads, wondering what Jimmy Rollins is doing? I'll tell you what he's doing. He's injured and at home, probably masturbating to images of 2007, since that was the last and only year he was ever significant.
What I find most telling about this whole thing is that...the Mets haven't said a damned word about the Phillies. David Wright in spring training claimed that the Mets felt they could get into October, which was pretty damning since they had three straight seasons of misfortune and could not get the job done. A guy, who could barely hit his weight in 2009, was claiming this. Most Mets fans were incredulous and with good reason.
But he never called out a specific team. If I were David Wright, well first I would get some testosterone injections, but besides that, I would have added in that interview, the pressure is on Philadelphia since they have won the past three years, and we want to give them a run for their money. That would have been the thing to say.
Sure, maybe Rollins' claim of "we're the team to beat" in 2007 set the tone for the Mets to live up to. But in that twisted logic, the Mets are in the heads of the Phillies, not that other way around.
I saw a different Philly team. I saw one that had no phight in them, I saw one with no antics, it was just a different tone. It's one without Jimmy "The Mouth of the South Philly" Rollins, it's one with a toned-down Victorino, it's one that Cole Hamels is still a little bitch, and one where Nelson Phigueroa, a 35-year old journeyman career below-.500 pitcher, can't leave well-enough alone.
He should fit right in with those phightin' crybabies. WAHHHHHHHHHH!
If the Mets can capitalize on this series and sweep tonight, they'll be 12-14 against NL East. As of today, the Mets are tied for "third" being three games out of first and have won four of their last five games.
I don't hear anyone crying over that.
As for the Phillies, perhaps they can take strength that they are still in first place, albeit not by much.
For now, at least.