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Commentary: Stop Crying Your Heart Out

After one game of 18 between the Phillies and Mets, Mets world is already a shambles. MetsBlog turned off comments after the game and kept them off for more than a half day. Injuries are piling up and fans are already cursing the 2008 season. To us Phillies fans, it’s fantastic to see this kind of madness on our side of New Jersey, but let me make a statement for the Mets, because, really, I want them to be competitive. I want this rivalry to remain at a high level. So to the Mets:

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s something we hear all the time in baseball — the traditional code that reminds all of us that this sport is a taxing, emotional game, one that ebbs and flows, carried by multiple factors.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

And yet the Mets are already feeling the heat, acting as if this season is a sprint — a sprint to brush off the collapse of 2007. Today, Matt Cerrone at MetsBlog questioned Willie Randolph’s mantra with 2007. Randolph — along with the rest of the clubhouse over there — say they’ve moved on from the collapse, that it’s a new season.

I say bully. No Johan Santana deal, no trade, no managerial switch, no hot start will ever erase the memory of the collapse. Why? It’s still in the minds of fans and media members, for one. Even if the players claim the collapse is old hat, the hat still remains, and it’s being worn by many. Yesterday, the Phillies comeback win — one that mirrored just about most of their wins against the Mets last season — only reminded Mets world about the collapse.

Charlie Manuel said it best:

“As long as we whip them, we don’t have to make a big deal out of it. They’ll talk, we’ll hit. That’s the only way I see it.”

And they’ve been talking — talking about putting the whole thing behind them; disregarding the collapse as if it wasn’t a big deal; claiming they’ve been “healed” by the Santana deal; making jest jabs at the Phillies. Please — there’s a sure difference between the Phillies attitude (we’ll play around, but we’re all business) and the Mets attitude (we’ll play around but dance with the past), and it comes out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Now, that’s not to say the Mets are screwed. No, not at all. Remember the credo. The Mets could be fine. But here’s the thing — if the Phils drop the final two games of this series, sure we’ll be upset, but we know there’s still 150+ games to go. If the Mets drop the final two games? Heh.

Cerrone makes a good point — acknowledge the collapse; use it as fuel. Don’t go on preaching that Santana changed everything. Just go out and play the game. Give the Phillies a reason to be scared, becuase right now, you’re all acting like babies, and it’s easy to push around a baby.

And remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Also, Mets fans are way too dramatic. Calm the hell down, guys.

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