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I'm Eating Sour Grapes, Because There's Nothing Else to Eat

NostraDennisMonday, October 26, 2009
By NostraDennis


"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- ancient Chinese proverb

We know now how Yankee fans must have felt heading into the 1986 World Series. The Mets against the Red Sox? Who does a Yankee fan root for? We're now in the unenviable position of seeing the two teams many of us can't stand the most battling into November. If you're a "New York first" fan, by all means, knock yourself out and root for the Yankees. If you're a "National League first" fan, there's no other choice -- it's the Phillies for you. If you're neither, you've got a dilemma. What happens when the enemy of your enemy is your other enemy?

There's a lot to (grudgingly) admire about both teams. The Phillies were not the reason the Mets failed this season. They just went out and did what we tried to, and couldn't, do -- win games. You can't hold that against them. The Yankees weren't the reason the Mets failed, either. They did what we tried to, and couldn't, do -- bought themselves another ticket into the Big Show. Before all the "we're nothing like the Yankees" wailing starts, you have to admit that the purchase of a pennant is a matter of degrees. The Yankees threw more money at that pursuit than any other team, but the Mets threw more at it than almost every other team not named the Yankees.

As Yankee skippers go, Joe Girardi's all right, though I'm not convinced he's as good a manager as the Yankees' record indicates. Throwing Pettitte at the Angels in the late innings was a great move, so great that several sportswriters were talking about it all day on Sunday, before the game began. The Phillies could do something that hasn't been done by an NL team since the days of the Big Red Machine -- repeat as World Champions. And before the Reds of the mid-70's, you have to go back to the Giants of 1921-22 for an NL series repeat.

My rooting interest this year usually means a losing interest. After the Mets' chances were gone, I was a Tigers fan, until they choked away the AL Central. Then I jumped on the Rockies' and Twins' bandwagons for less than a week, until both those Conestogas threw a wheel. Then I figured a Joe Torre appearance in the Series would get under the skin of the Steinbrenners, and the Angels were far more preferable than their opponents. I'm batting .000 this post-season.

Ultimately, though, the team I'm rooting for, albeit unenthusiastically, is the team with less obnoxious fans. That's saying quite a lot, when given these two fan bases. One anonymous Yankee fan was quoted thusly on a network radio newscast last night: "Woooo! It's about time! Six years is too long!" There's no way the average Yankee fan can realize how condescending and pompous that attitude sounds to fans of the other 29 teams. The players on every team fight every year to get to the World Series. Yankee fans expect it every year. That sense of entitlement is why I'm a Phillies fan for the next ten days.

But really, I'm praying for a seven-game series, a lot of extra innings, cold, wind, rain, sleet, and a touch of pneumonia on both sides.

About Dennis McCarthy: I was born in the Bronx in 1960, but moved to Long Island four years later. I became a Mets fan in '69, thanks to my Aunt Ellen, who still lived in the Bronx.   Read More -->

Comments (7)

I don't know what would be better for me to see a 4 game sweep or the winning runner on third, ninth inning, 7th game, strike out? Stadium silence.

I have to agree on the sour grapes, by now, I believed that the Mets would have been working on a similar plan as the rival Phils. 2006 would have been the springboard had things worked out differently. I just knew after Endy's catch the Mets were going to comeback and win. Alas, 3 years later and I am still miffed at the missed opportunity and the back to back to back disappointing years. So who do I root for in this World Series in Met Hell? I don't know which team I would pull for because I hate both teams equally. The Yanks for all their glitz and glamour, not to mention 9 1/2 times out of 10 they get who they want. Or the Phils, who have just put the throttle down and surpassed the Mets as the team to beat in the N.L. I like the Phils toughness and talent, no matter how you slice it they come in and dominate teams with their style. The Yanks are a NY team and even though I now live in Georgia, NY is still #1 in my heart. So I am at a crossroad with who do I go with. Yanks win they add the 27th WS pennant, the Phils win, its back to back and the Mets remain a memory til 2010. Yanks in 7..........Lets Go Mets 2010!

I never thought I'd ever say this but I'm rooting for the yankees. Part of the reason is that I live in South Jersey and have to deal with insufferable Philly fans on a daily basis. Perhaps if I had Yankee fans in my face every day I'd feel differently.

Anyway, does it really matter if the Yankees have 26 or 27 flags? Not really. Philly fans are in sore need of being brought down a notch. Their long-running inferiority complex with New York is in danger of evaporating if they beat the Yankees.

I'm hoping for a repeat of the 1950 World Series - Yanks 4 Phils 0, all with lopsided scores. A-Rod reverting to his patented style of chokeworthy October play would be a bonus.

Rev - Both options sound great to me. But who'd be at bat at the end? Darling Derek? A-Roid?
- - - - - - - - -
LJ - While we disagree on our preferred outcome, at least you have a team you can root for more than half-heartedly. I'm jealous. Either way, the Mets remain a memory until pitchers and catchers report in February.
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Mark - Phillies fan are insufferable, but I think it's a geographical thing, as you suggest. Yankee fans are in Mets fans' faces on a daily basis, and that's what wears me down. That, and the pompous "The-E-e-E-e-E-e YAN-kees WIN" call by my least favorite PBP guy in all of baseball.

Rev - Both options sound great to me. But who'd be at bat at the end? Darling Derek? A-Roid?
- - - - - - - - -
LJ - While we disagree on our preferred outcome, at least you have a team you can root for more than half-heartedly. I'm jealous. Either way, the Mets remain a memory until pitchers and catchers report in February.
- - - - - - - - -
Mark - Phillies fan are insufferable, but I think it's a geographical thing, as you suggest. Yankee fans are in Mets fans' faces on a daily basis, and that's what wears me down. That, and the pompous "The-E-e-E-e-E-e YAN-kees WIN" call by my least favorite PBP guy in all of baseball.

You are right on all counts, NostraDennis, it is mostly geographical for me but I'm only trying to suggest a way for Mets fans to get through this coming week. If an idiot Yankee fan keeps going on about 26 world series wins, then what's the difference if its 27? I mean really? They are all from the last milennium anyway (yes even 2000 technically). And eventually only the diehard yankee creeps will even care, not normal baseball fans. When I was growing up in the 60s baseball records from the 1800s didn't even count. How many Yankee fans even know or care about Lefty Gomez, Hal Chase or Charlie Keller.

I grew up in North Jersey and I know that Philly fans are worse than Yankee fans ever were (remember Santa Claus?) For the Phillies to be the first NL team to win two in a row since the Big Red Machine would be a lot harder for me to take than no. 27. The Mets play philly a lot more times than they do the Yankees.

I know there are no real options but that's how I plan to deal with it. To see philly fans filing out of the ballpark in the sixth inning of Game 4 looking up at a 15 run Yankee lead having just been swept would do wonders for me.

This year the playoff teams were the anthesis of the Mets. The Phillies were built with the draft and a sprinkling of free agents and the Yankees were a team built with free agents and a sprinkling of draft picks. The Mets do both poorly. They don't want to pay draft picks which depletes their farm system and they can't sign the good free agents only being a bargining chip for free agents to get better money threatening to sign with the Mets if they don't get whatever in their contract.
If you look at the last couple of years the Mets missed signing any free agents that other teams were bidding on. They didn't sign Guerrero, Delgado, and Derek Lowe last year. They did sign Beltran who would have signed with the Yankees for less money but they turned down Beltran.
If you are not going to build with the draft and free agents use the Mets as a bargaining chip they are not going to win for a while. At least as long as Jeff Wilpon thinks he is the GM too. The Mets only continue cosmetic window dressing instead of the substancial changes needed to bring this organization back.

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