A lot has been said about the Phillies confidence going into this year. It started with JRoll’s "we’re the team to beat comments," and continued yesterday when Cole Hamels said he was shooting for 20 wins. This has obviously distressed the Mets and Mets fans because they now have to remove themselves from their island fortress and being to consider other teams. Thankfully, Phillies Nation and Hot Foot – a Mets blog are here to help. Below is a posting from Tommy Dee – the only New Yorker I could find that wrote in complete sentences – that should help instigate this debate. To read our response, check out Why the Phillies are Better over on his site.
Okay it’s not like we started the recent and highly juvenile "we’re better" argument. As New York fans we’d just assume let all of our talking happen on the field. Maybe Jimmy Rollins was craving a cheese steak when he let his emotions get the best of him, but J-Roll (as in roll over and play dead in the fall) laid down the gauntlet. Brett Myers, who obviously hasn’t been beating up his girlfriend lately, angrily stated that he "hated the Mets" because their fans often tend to cheer too loud in Philly. Imagine that, a pitcher complaining to ownership that Met fans shouldn’t be sold tickets. Actually Brett, you’d be even more pissed if you found out that two tickets can be scalped from Phillies faithful for the beta version of Rocky and a jar of cheese whiz. Hell, throw in a Dr. J poster and us orange and blue faithful are sitting front row.
But lets keep this civil. Brian Michael and I – a lifelong Met fan and representative of Hotfoot.metsblog.com – have decided to take this debate to the bloggers.
My task is to present a valid, well-thought case based on fact, which would lead me to conclude there is no possible way the Phillies finish with a better record than the Mets this season.
Seriously though, you guys really think you can win?
Aside from the fact in his comments that Rollins completely ignored the rest of the NL East, quite possibly the game’s toughest division, he had the audacity to question Omar Minaya’s decision not to ridiculously overpay for Barry Zito, while in the same breath applauded the acquision of Freddie Garcia? I know, I know, you’re going to tell me switching leagues will bring down his horrid 4.53 ERA, but I can recall people saying how inferior the National League was last year and it turns out a team that barely won over 80 games won the World Series. Oh and factor that the Mets have essentially an American League offense, someone needs to explain to me how we’re supposed to fear a guy whose ERA, WHIP hits and home runs allowed have gone up the last three years while his strike outs have gone down? Add to that the fact that Chicago, the defending World Champs, tried like hell to get rid of him before the deadline with Minaya refusing to include Aaron Heilman in the deal, tells me all I need to know.
I agree Cole Hamels is a handful, his stuff is nasty, but the Mets have a few solid young prospects of their own in Mike Pelfry and Phil Humber. It’s no stretch that either one could have as great an impact on the league has Hamels should. I have to hear all the time how old the Mets staff is, and it is somewhat, but why no mention of Jamie Moyer pitching into his mid 40’s? The guy is getting social security for crying out loud. Eight of the last nine years he’s thrown 200 plus innings, isn’t it about time he’s due for a new transmission? Brett Myers? That guy should win 20 games every year and strike out over 200 plus, yet his major league high is 14 wins? That’s one less than Steve Trachsel last year for crying out loud. John Lieber has been a Godsend for you guys, which means that you’re probably looking to trade him for middle relieve help, ironically the only relief that will provide will be to us for not having to face him. He kills us.
Speaking of which, we understand that your offense is loaded. Ryan Howard is a pleasure to watch and Chase Utley destroys the Mets every game likewise Pat Burrell. But the rest of the lineup doesn’t worry us. For some reason Rollins has tried to add power to his game and despite posting more HR’s and RBI’s, thanks to playing in that Little League field that should be in Williamsport, his average has suffered because of it. He needs to get on base more judging by the fact that his OBS has dropped each of the last three seasons as well.
Which means less talky, Jimmy’s and more walky.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to remind Phillies fans of the team’s history.
The Dallas Green factor:
We know you sent him to ruin our young arms: Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher and Izzy, and he was quite good at it if not masterful during his tenure as Met manager. We haven’t forgotten. Figuring that he is a "special consultant" if that in any way means he as much as talks to young pitchers, he will ruin them somehow."
The Curse of Larry Bowa:
How many times did he manage you guys? Only once? He seems like Philly’s version of Billy Martin. Whatever the case, Mets fans always knew, regardless of how good his team’s were, he’d find a way to end up starting a fight with a player in the locker room steps before, during AND after games. The great thing is now he’s with the Yankees, where the curse now lies in both places. Thanks.
Lenny Dykstra was a Met:
We know you guys think otherwise, as the beefed up "Ulitmate Warrior" version of #4 had his least healthy yet most productive seasons in Philly. And yes Juan Samuel still bothers us, but the fact remains that Lenny won a championship in New York and will forever be our "Nails."
Sorry boys, once again your team is on the outside looking in. No way does Charlie Manuel last the season and, after getting spurned by Joe Girardi, the Phils look to Von Hayes for a dugout spark. In his opening press conference Hayes feels the team could use "more pine tar" to solve their hitting woes. When a reporter informs Hayes that the team’s hitting is fine and the bullpen is the problem, Hayes resigns on the spot, thus forcing Dallas Green back into action. As for Manuel, he promptly joins Andy Reid’s staff as "Fried Food Consultant."
Record: 87-75, 3th Place NL East