By Mike Steffanos
Back in high school there were always a few people who liked to instigate fights. They would go up to a guy and ask, "Did you hear what Jimmy is saying about you?" He'd say something back, which of course would get back to the other guy, and eventually this would escalate into a fight on the back field after school.
The thing that strikes me most about those fights looking back on them was they rarely were over anything of substance. Also, as I recall, the guys who most often instigated the fights never seemed to get into fights of their own.
As I read about the somewhat manufactured controversy over who exactly is the best pitcher in the NL east, I can't help but thinking how very "high school" this is getting. When reporters asked Johan Santana the loaded question of who was the best, and he picked himself, these guys couldn't wait to get over to Phillies camp and try to make the story have some legs.
But Roy Halladay is a few years out of high school now, and had no interest in participating in this "story".
At that point you might hope that the silliness would be allowed to die, but somehow you know better. The local dailies were counting the seconds until Jimmy Rollins, who enjoys the sound of his own voice more than anyone, reported to camp.
Even Rollins seems kind of bored with the same old, same old, though. His response was pretty mild, and you might hope that the high school stuff could die quickly this year. It really is getting old.
There seems to me so much of interest this year. People are fighting for jobs, guys trying to prove they're healthy, other guys trying to prove they belong here.
Some springs are boring with almost no jobs up for grabs, no farmhands generating excitement and managers and GMs that are fairly secure. Whatever else you can say about the 2010 Mets, you can't say that.
With so much that is real to talk about, I can only hope that the contrived high school controversies between the Mets and Phillies go away. Let's talk about some real stuff. Please.