Follow-Up: Santana Kicks Rivalry Into High Gear – Phillies Nation

Follow-Up: Santana Kicks Rivalry Into High Gear

For those who haven’t seen it, the Mets exploded the offseason to bits with their trade for Johan Santana.

Here’s what people are saying about the deal:

ESPN’s Keith Law says the Mets are arguably the best team in the National League now. He adds the Twins got a raw deal, not being able to grab Mets’ top prospect Fernando Martinez or young pitcher Mike Pelfrey. I wholeheartedly agree.

Jim Callis of Baseball America also says the Twins got a low hand. The four prospects are all Major League probables, but risks are plenty. Personally, the Twins should’ve taken the Yankees proposal of Phillip Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Co., if that was on the table.

Shane Victorino said the Phillies shouldn’t be considered second rate after the deal. “It’s one significant move, but we made four moves to make our team better. We added in a third baseman, a right fielder, moved me to center, got Brad Lidge. We made our team better. They acquired a great pitcher, but we’re a lot better team, too.” Whoa, Shane, you also lost Aaron Rowand and still need some pitching. But I agree for the most part.

Jim Salisbury of the Inquirer says the Phillies will absolutely feel the effects of the deal.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday spoke to David Wright, who is loving the current Mets rotation. “Not only what he brings on the field, but for our younger pitchers to develop under a guy like Johan, a guy like Pedro, you can’t ask for a better situation,” he said. How true.

Casino Gaming Web (yes, them) are chiming in, saying the Mets should be among the top favorites for the World Series for 2008’s odds. The Phillies? They don’t say, but I’d guess top-8.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer thinks the Santana trade will bring the Mariners closer to dealing for Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard. Hey, Gillick, Carrasco, Madson, Outman and Marson for Bedard?

And Larry Brown Sports says “hold the phone, kids,” because he isn’t handing the Mets the 2008 World Series trophy yet.

Yup, this is why they play the games.

Of course, as I commented in the game thread, there is a huge positive out of all this: The Phillies and Mets rivalry has just been amped up a ton.

Just the volume of our comments section in the past 24 hours (and other Phillies blogs) show that the Mets fans are celebrating in our faces because, well, we are the team to beat. Still are. We won the division last year. Now the target is on our backs.

It seems the Santana deal is working much like the Yankees deal for Alex Rodriguez in 2004. Maybe the Phillies answer at some point with a big deal; maybe they wait until mid-season to pull off a deal involving a Nomar-type player (like Burrell?). Whatever the case, the rivalry is growing evermore.

No longer can we say the Mets and Braves are top rivals in the East. In 2008, it’s all about the Mets and Phillies. Sure the Braves will be in the mix, but we’ve all been hoping for this rivalry to come — the fandom, the slurs, the berating. It’s more fun with these two teams. Way more fun.

A few of the more tolerable Met fans in the comments said that the 2008 race for the NL East title will be tremendous. One said “first one to 100 wins … wins.” I pretty much agree — the race is more heated than ever, and it’s up to the Phillies to answer, both on the field, and in the front office.

Get ready, fans, we’re in for a hell of a ride.

Click to comment


  1. PatheticPhillies

    January 30, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Shane Victorino said the Phillies shouldn’t be considered second rate after the deal. “It’s one significant move, but we made four moves to make our team better. We added in a third baseman, a right fielder, moved me to center, got Brad Lidge. We made our team better. They acquired a great pitcher, but we’re a lot better team, too.” Whoa, Shane, you also lost Aaron Rowand and still need some pitching. But I agree for the most part.

    LOL Aaron Rowand was huge last year for the phillies.
    AVG .309 HR 27 RBI 89 R 105 SB 6
    That is a lot to lose and claim your better than before.
    Pedro Feliz is nothing great, not sure why you guys feel he’s so good
    AVG .253 HR 20 RBI 72 R 61 SB 2

    His average is horrible and this guy has been on the decline for the past 3-4 years.

    Not saying the phillies are horrible, let me just say this. With Utley, Rollins and Howard you guys are a great offensive threat. But your pitching is absolutely horrible, who do you have besides Hamels thats reliable? no one

  2. Gnomicide

    January 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Don’t be so quick to point out the inadequacies of the Phillies rotation. Mets fans are quick to overlook the often shaky and inconsistent careers of Orlando Hernandez and Oliver Perez. While not on the epic scale of Adam Eaton inconsistency, they can’t be overlooked. Hernandez is getting old as well. And John Maine has barely proven himself to be a guarantee.

  3. CJ

    January 30, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t bring myself to declare a Mets-Phils battle. It took an historic collapse and near-historic hot streak for the Phils to squeak by last year. It is entirely possible that, even before Santana, the Phils-Mets were going to have the same season as last year, without the suprise ending.

    There is no reason to assume the Phils will play most of next season the way they ended last season. They could very well play the way they played for most of 2007. Still hopin’, though.

  4. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    First of all, I congratulate the Mets front office in landing the best starting pitcher in baseball since 2003. As a Phillies fan it is frustrating to watch you guys land him. It is depressing that the Phillies didn’t make an offer for him either. And I agree with you that Aaron Rowand is a big loss for us, however, Victorino is just as good, if not better CF. Offensively, he brings a different approach. Having Rollins and Victorino might be the best one-two punch in the NL.

    Now, all of you Mets fans have to realize you are coming off of the biggest collapse in baseball history. You had a 7 game lead with 17 to play. The psychological toll on this collapse in a virtually unchanged locker room has yet to sink in. Now landing Johan puts even more pressure on a young team that folded big time down the stretch.

    How will Reyes rebound from a horrible second half last year? He was your table setter all season and choked down the stretch. Their is a big difference between potential and actual production. Will Pedro, Alou, Delgado be able to stay healthy all year? What Beltran will show up? Does Castillo have what it takes to handle a full season in NY? And you talk about our pitching- no one brings up Billy Wagner and his performance down the stretch. He has as more questions to answer than Lidge, who regained his form in the 2nd half of last year.

    This trade no doubt makes the Mets the favorites in the East but how will you respond? Last time you were the favorites you choked and blew the division to the worst team in baseball history.

    Let the games begin!

  5. PatheticPhillies

    January 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    don’t get me wrong, the phillies are good but not great. if after last year you think the mets are terrible you are crazy. the mets lead the nl east for 3/4 of the year. the phillies can be great too but the front office let aaron rowand getaway, which was a huge factor last year. they need to get some pitching and get it fast. you guys got a big bust when freddy garcia has been injured nearly the entire team on the phillies. the phillies are only a few good players away from being a contender in the NL. we shall see how this season turns out but i think the phillies will definitely beat out the braves for second place in the NL east and maybe earn a wild card. enjoy.

  6. PatheticPhillies

    January 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    hey guys check this out, the braves fans swear they are the best team in the NL East, did they not forget who was 3rd the last 2 years??? LOL This is some funny stuff. They’re pitching stuff is possibly a tad better than the phillies but their offense is not even in the same league as the phillies. here is the link

  7. Sebastian Miller

    January 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I shit you not, the Braves comment above left me laughing like a drugged-up, Japanese schoolgirl. Seriously, it almost made me think that New York may have a shred of humanity not worth obliterating! If you’re all curious as to where my mirth originates, in a word, it’s Atlanta. Go to Hell Muts for your shrewd negotiating, and maybe we’ll discuss an upper-management acquisition next off-season, but for the time being, we’re all looking at a Ph-in’ hell of an ’08 season!

  8. Brian

    January 30, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I completely agree Shane Victorinos comments. I believe he is just as good if not better then Rowand in center defensively and Werth/Jenkins will be a close equivalent to Rowands batting stats from last year. Im pretty pumped for opening day.

  9. RSantiago

    January 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    If there is ONE thing Phillies fans and Mets fans can agree on is that the Braves are NOT better than either team. I still think the Braves and Mets are a bigger rivalry BUT as a Met fan I’d rather see any player on the Braves come to the plate before Utley, Howard or Rollins. Good luck Phillie fans it should be a great battle!

  10. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 30, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I don’t think the Mets are terrible but I think you still have a ton of questions to answer as does every team. I think you guys are pretty old outside of Reyes and Wright, even older than the Phils. I am not sold on your bullpen at all. Plus, we did lose 4 out of 5 projected starters and closers last season to injury yet somehow pulled out the division. (Garcia, Leiber, Myers, Hamels, Gordon plus key bullpen guy Madson all missed significant time if not the season).

    Your psyche is damaged too. The collapse will be brought up again as your recent history suggests you fold when having the division lead (2006 is the exception). You don’t want your young guys learning how to lose, especially when you have the lead. Bringing in Johan is huge but it only increased the heat on Randolph and everyone else, especially when the celebration of the acquisition is over and expectations begin to set in.

  11. PatheticPhillies

    January 30, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    If you honestly think the mets aren’t going to win 95+ you got to be crazy. The Mets are vastly improved. We now have a healthy Pedro that showed some great stuff in the 5 games he did pitch. Remember Beltran missed about 3 1/2 weeks, Alou missed 2 1/2 months, Delgado missed about 3 weeks, El Duque missed nearly half his starts, Glavine missed 4-5 starts and Valentin was injured basically the entire season and had a big hole at 2nd till Castillo came in the picture. As you can see there was quite a few injuries. Which also led to the Mets having a less than .500 record the last half of the season. This year if everyone stays healthy and with a steady RF and 2B and a much better defensive catcher behind the plate, i think can be a huge year. But if injuries occur like last year there will be a close race again. If you are not sold on our bullpen just look at the numbers, you have possibly the worst bullpen in all of baseball statistically in philly. I definitely expect the Mets to win the NL East pretty easily and the Phillies to win the Wild Card over the pathetic offense of the Padres. Got to remember also, the DBacks are top 3 team in the NL with the pitching they have.

  12. Fran

    January 30, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I got my sealtbelt on. Let’s get this thing started.

  13. bob

    January 30, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    You think the Mets had injury problems last year?!? How about Howard, Utley, Victorino, Myers, Gordon, Madson, Hamels, Garcia, Lieber, and Eaton ALL hitting the DL for significant stretches of time. You gotta be kidding me!

    Managing/surviving injuries is always the most significant factor to any pennant race because the dropoff from superstars like Wright to their replacement is so significant. This is where depth comes into play. This is also where team chemistry and a clubhouse environment that motivates understudies to performance consistently at high levels.
    Edge: Phillies on the field, Mets in the rotation and BP.

  14. VA Steve

    January 30, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Keep in mind, injuries can quickly change a rotation. Look what happened to us last year, losing Garcia, Lieber, Eaton and Hamels. Could happen to the Mets. Besides, the Phils goal is to win a WS. Fortunately, this does not require us to win the Division, although that would be nice.

  15. Seamus

    January 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Im a mets fan, And i honestly think teh Mets r gonna take the East now. But i still think the Phillies have the Best offense in the NL, thats why they r my Wildcard pick.

  16. Chris.I

    January 31, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Va Steve..Your absolutly right!! Its only a matter of time that Santana’s arm is going to snap like a rubberband. Hes been a work horse for the Twins for years and never had a serious injury yet. Its only a matter of time. And to be truthfull..I believe the Phils will explode on Sanatana. All this talk on how he dominates lefties (based on facts however) but we aint just any ordinary team fellas. I hope Rollins hits him with a line drive in his pitching arm haha (just joking) This should be interesting though.

  17. Sam

    January 31, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I am a native new yorker, live in manhattan… and am a big time phils fan. First things first, this is a yankee town. The mets are a 2nd rate organization whose existence is entirely predicated on the fact that that dodgers and giants skipped town. Those fans (my father and family included) couldn’t possibly become yankee fans as that was a real geographical rivalry… and then came the mets. ugh.

    now that I got that off my chest… santana is a huge addition and will make that team A LOT better. However, being in NY i watch a lot of met games (I think SNY does a pretty good job with the exception of a few retards they stroll out there that work in print/radio for a reason) and no met fan seems to want to discuss WHY they lost last year. It was never really the starting pitching, save for that last game where glavine gave up after 4 pitches. There were tons of errors, bad baserunning decisions (helllllllllo marlon anderson) and massive offensive droughts. Where did Jose Reyes go? He might be the best player on the team… he barely showed up the last 3 weeks. What about Wagner… he blew a few well-pitched games by perez and maine… will it be any different for johan santana? Maybe, maybe not… he’ll put them in position to win almost every game he pitches, but they still have to hit, play defense and run the bases. Based on what I saw for most of last year, those aren’t givens.

    You guys can bitch all you want about handing over the division, but if you’re a met fan, you watched those games just like i did. You saw all of the errors and the Ks with 2 men on and 1 out… you saw the same bad baseball that I did. Let’s not pretend that an entirely different team is just gonna show up next season because of 1 new starting pitcher.



    January 31, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Sam you are a retard and if you lived in NY you would know that since 2006 the Mets have taken a lot of the fake yankee fans on their side. In the last paragraph you make no sense, every team goes on a drought like they did, did you forget that they lead the division for 3/4 of the season? Next time please think before you write and actually talk about the entire season not the 7-17 skid at the end of the season. Who cares they lost the NL East OMG they are done, they can never even win a game again. It’s ok, they won as much playoff games as Phillies did without making the playoffs. It’s very funny how everyone forgets that the phillies barely made the playoffs even with a 7-17 skid, just to get destroyed by the rockies. did you guys forget about that now?

  19. Sam

    January 31, 2008 at 10:50 am

    no, haven’t forgotten about that at all as i watched the phillies play… in the playoffs. I also had the pleasure of watching met fans cry in their seats after they lost on that last day. As someone else on this board said, “it takes two to tango…” and the phillies held up their part of the bargain. The rockies were a better team, and the red sox were better than them. I don’t care about the first 3/4 of the season, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish (evidenced by the phils 4-11 start.)

    My point was, the mets are a very good team… but with some serious holes as I… and apparently you… saw last year. It wasn’t just that 7-17 stretch. There was some bad baseball happening before that, I watched many games… we both know I’m not making this up… and those things just don’t disappear. The Mets are in no way done… or never to win another game, they are as serious a contender as there is in NL, maybe in all of baseball. Putting aside the santana deal for a sec, the upgrades they made were minor but important. Schneider and Church are big defensive upgrades over lo duca and green. However, offense is another question… castillo’s game is speed and he can’t run anymore… and if you wanna pretend that jose reyes’ maturity level isn’t an issue, be my guest.

    i don’t know what fans have switched sides… i don’t care, the yankees have been around for 100 years and have 27 championships. The mets are a replacement team. We have 10,000 losses, you’ve got that. Dig?

    oh, and I’m not a retard as I don’t say things like, “It’s ok, they won as much playoff games as Phillies did…” what is that man, come on. Are you one of the guys the rest of these met fans are apologizing for? See you at shea buddy.

  20. PatheticPhillies

    January 31, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    i’m not apologizing for anything, you won the season on the last day and now all of a sudden the phillies are the better team? who are you kidding? Anyway the Yankees have 26 championships, if you lived in NY you would definitely know that. i’m not a complete Met fan, i’m more of a baseball fan than anything. I even like the Yankees but I like the Mets way more. All I gotta say is we’ll see this upcoming season. Have fun with one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Go look at some statistics and ohh yea we play at shea not Citizens Bank Park where softball should be played.

  21. Sam

    January 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    haha… like there’s a difference between 26 and 27… but if i was really in NYC, I’d know that. Right… I live in NYC dude… I live here, I work here, I’m from here… and i don’t sweat the details on yankee dominance.

    I don’t think the phillies are the better team, but i also don’t think the mets are all of a sudden that much better because of one player. Still lots of holes… damn, i really do have to keep making that same point over and over again.

    i had fun with one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball last year… didn’t i? I mean, we should look at all the stats if we’re gonna look at them… and that crappy staff did surprisingly well against the mets.

  22. Bob

    January 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Let’s see now Mr. Met, was it like this last year:

    Mets five wins, 13 lost to the Phillies

    Phillies 13 wins, 5 lost to the Mets

    Last year the Phils had five of the six starters go down with injuries and still won one more game than the Mets…..oh well

    If i were a Met fan, i would be to embarrassed to even look at a Phillies web site, let alone respond to one…..


    January 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    head to head means nothing, where are those supposed holes in the mets? i’m not saying they are perfect but they are pretty damn good. Every position is covered pretty good and the pitching rotation is in great shape. You can’t tell me we don’t have the best or close to the best 3-4-5 rotation in the majors. You guys can shit on pedro all you want, he’s a future hall of famer and i think he might be good. He pitched in 5 games last year and his ERA was suprisingly 2.57. I think he’s smart enough to be able to pitch with what he has. Like i said, the phillies are only a few players away from being not good but great.

  24. Sam

    January 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    the mets are a good team dude, i’m certainly not arguing that… the rotation looks solid and santana is a beast. As for holes… middle relief, 1B (Delgado will have those 6 week slumps and you know it) and although i like Castillo, he’s just real banged up these days and his speed seems gone. That’s his game on offense and defense. I also like Alou, but he’s old… will be hurt and they won’t be able to get his power from anywhere else in the lineup when he’s out. Also with Reyes… one of the best, but that was a major disappearing act last season. Just like Rollins, mets can’t win unless that guy plays well. I’m also gonna say Wagner… not that lidge has my/our trust, but he has choked in soooo many big games dating back to when he was in houston… us philly fans know it well and you guys learned about it last season. His playoff ERA is something silly, over 5.

    No one’s knocking Pedro… at least i’m not, he’s as good as anyone when he’s on. I think mainly, what met fans are getting back from philly fans is something we haven’t had in a very long time. Confidence. Not that we think this is the best team, but these phillie players aren’t scared or intimidated and we know it. We haven’t had that in… maybe 30 years? So, if you are 35 or under, you’ve never seen it.

  25. Brian Michael

    January 31, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Remember, the Santana deal isn’t done yet….

  26. Bob

    January 31, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    why are the Phillies not interested in signing K. Lohse back for this year? I thought that he did good enough to be in our rotation as a number four.

    That sure looks better than Eaton being in the rotation

  27. mikeyradio2008

    January 31, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    This will be a fun year bank on it


    January 31, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    one thing for sure the mets are fine for 2 years but after that what will they even do when Alou and Delgado are gone? Those are going to be problems. Sam, you are right about Delgado, last year he would heat up and then miss a week with injuries and it would take him like 10 games to find his swing again and then again he would get hurt. He broke his hand on the last game of the year when Willis hit him. That’s another thing that can be bad for him this season. but i’m pretty confident in the team as long as everyone can stay healthy. the bullpen is good but can use help, i can’t stand heilman, he’s painful to watch and wagner hasn’t be what you call dominant especially at the end of last season. but who knows we’ll see what happens.

  29. Sam

    February 1, 2008 at 9:51 am

    hey, if that guy that they didn’t trade for santana (martinez i think?) can come up and do everything that milledge couldn’t… they won’t miss alou and delgado’s bat as much.

    and watch out for those nats met fans… a few ex mets on that team that would love to whoop on you

  30. Angel Vannest

    March 2, 2010 at 7:35 am

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