Dr. Strangeglove, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hate the Braves More than the Mets

I’m a pretty evangelical Phillies fan. Sometimes I yearn for the days when upper deck tickets could be had for $6, or half a pack of smokes and a Twinkie from the prison commissary. Sometimes, I yearn for the days of trying to talk to myself into the playoff chances of a Millwood/Myers/Wolf/Padilla/Duckworth rotation (which, even now, wouldn’t look too bad) and a Rolen/Brogna/Lieberthal heart of the order. Sometimes, I yearn for the days of wondering how Dan Lauria, the dad from The Wonder Years, knew so much about baseball (I was quite young during the Fregosi era). But on balance, I think the change in the Phillies’ reputation and prominence over the past five years or so has been a good one, and that the bigger tent in which we hold the congregation of Phillies fans today is not even not a necessary evil, but an active good.

That’s probably not a controversial statement. But this might be: If I could change one thing about the recent events that transformed the Phillies franchise and its fan base, it would be to disabuse them of this ridiculous notion that the Mets are somehow the Phillies’ biggest rivals, or are at least the club most worthy of our scorn. The Mets, of course, play the Phillies for a three-game set this weekend, and I can’t be bothered to care. Wake me up when the Braves come to down.

First of all, I get it. It’s a New York-Philadelphia thing, and we’re supposed to hate each other. I certainly do hate New York sports teams, and the idea that if you live in New Jersey you’re from New York. Buy a map.

I hate the whole idea of this supposedly-gleaming metropolis, this center of art and culture to shame all other cities, this mythical Oz where fortunes are made, love is found, and essentially that whole theatre-of-dreams crock of shit that Glee tried to sell us in last week’s season finale. The best city I’ve ever been to in the U.S. is Nashville, and while I’d live there rather than New York City no matter how much you paid me (for reasons other than the cost of living), no one dreams of making it big in Nashville except for country music stars, all because of this New York-centered cultural narrative perpetuated by New Yorkers themselves. In terms of cultural self-congratulation, New York is the macro-South Boston. Grow an imagination and set your movie someplace else.

I hate the haughty, pretentious manner in which New York looks down on the rest of the world, particularly Philadelphia, as somehow inferior, and that we ought to look up to the Big Apple in an aspirational manner, as if somehow we could shrug off the slings and arrows of living outside the Five Boroughs and one day join the elect to live on Olympus. It’s like the hot chick from high school who knows that no matter how badly she treats other people, they’ll worship her. New York City is the Regina George of New World cities.

Anyway, the point is that while I’m as sick of New York as the rest of you, I don’t get the Mets-as-Phillies’-biggest-rivals argument. Why should they be? The history of generational, almost sectarian conflict, a la Red Sox-Yankees or Cardinals-Cubs? Well, those rivalries go back a century–the Mets only joined the NL in 1962, and for the first 15 years of their existence or so, either they or the Phillies or both were so woefully awful that their games we more about a race for the No. 1 overall draft pick than for the NL East title. Did your great-grandad sit you on his knee and make you repeat after him: “In this family, we’re polite to strangers. Except Ed Kranepool”?

I’ve only been a Phillies fan since 1993, when I was six, but in that time, the Braves have stood out as the antagonist, with their crisp, unchanging home uniforms, their phenomenal pitching, and Chipper Jones‘ squinting, smirking face, often as not full of dip and buried in a Hooters waitress’s, well, you get the idea. Their players (Maddux, Klesko, Javy Lopez) were bright-eyed and handsome–except for Charlie O’Brien, I grant you–and, perhaps most irritatingly, were almost all avid golfers. The Braves were the ideal, the all-smiling, all-winning starched-and-ironed All-American heroes, while the Phillies were a team that looked and played like it was assembled out of spare parts.

And they tormented us, year after year, for no other reason than that they could. Remember all those great pennant races with the Mets? The collapses of 2007 and 2008, for sure, but apart from that, do you remember going to Shea to settle the division title, once and for all, year in and year out? Me neither. The Phillies and Mets have finished 1-2 in the NL East three times in the three-division era: 2006, 2007, and 2008, and in 2006 the division was decided by 12 games. However, the Phillies and Braves have finished 1-2 in the division five times in that span, and last year and in 2001, the division title came down to a do-or-die series in the last two weeks of the season. Of course, the same could be said of 2007 and 2008, but what tips the scales for the Braves, at least for me, is that those pennant races were interspersed with the 1990s, a period of time in which these Nietzchean ubermensch from the American Southeast dashed the hopes of our boys in red pinstripes year in and year out. Beating the Braves out for the division title would have been like the dog catching the car, and when the Mets finally did in 2006, I was not so much upset that the Mets had won the division as I was that it had been them, and not the Phillies, to end Atlanta’s run of dominance.

The Braves consumed my imagination throughout the 1990s. They were so beautiful, so perfect that they had to be destroyed. I was blinded by the brilliance of their reflection and I wanted nothing more than for them to be sullied, to be beaten, to prove that they could bleed just like the rest of us. The Mets? They were just another team that happened to play in our division.

The worst part I didn’t realize until after it was all over: no one in Atlanta cares about the Braves. As a South Jerseyite going to college in South Carolina, in the heart of what is, ostensibly, Braves country, I expected to wear my “J-Roll for MVP” t-shirt around campus proudly, starting shouting matches and fistfights indiscriminately with those poor hicks who had the misfortune to have different geographical footholds than I. Freshman year, there was a kid from Kentucky on my hall who was a rabid Braves fan. I remember Ryan Howard hitting a home run to beat Atlanta, in Atlanta, near the end of the 2005 season, and I ran down the hall to find him swearing at his television, so I ran down to his dorm room, and very respectfully, eloquently, and maturely, stuck out my tongue at him, put my thumbs in my ears, and, more or less, did this.

And you know what happened? I never saw another serious Braves fan ever again. Not in South Carolina, not in Tennessee, and not in my frequent trips to Atlanta itself. Those Southerners just cannot be bothered to give a crap about baseball. If it’s not college football, it might as well not exist. Don’t get me wrong, I love college football, and I’m more awed by the spectacle of 92,000 screaming Georgians spewing invective at their neighbors than I ever will be by anything baseball-related, but the point is, the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s were, against all probability, taken for granted. I was shocked, and angered. If you have a team that good, you ought to love it and cherish it every moment. It made me want to burn Atlanta down again.

This gives the Phillies-Braves rivalry sort of an odd character, where one side cares much more about winning than the other. I’m invested in a lot of these: South Carolina-Florida, Eagles-Cowboys, and so on. But what enrages me about this more than anything is that a fan base could care as little about as great a team as the Braves. And it’s not like they even care that the Braves aren’t in the playoffs every year anymore–no World Series means fewer distractions from UGA or Georgia Tech football. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Well, unlike anything except Philadelphia before 2005 or so, before all the people starting “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!” chants at Phillies games suddenly decided to care about baseball, and suddenly decided that we hated the Mets more than the Braves.

What’s more, berating the Mets nowadays is like, in the words of the author Bruce Brooks, challenging a double amputee to a footrace before you mock him. Think about what Mets fans have had to go through: the flip side of the 2007 and 2008 collapses, Game 7 the 2006 NLCS, John Maine, Johan Santana, the Kazmir Trade, Madoff, Minaya, Luis Castillo‘s pop-up, Oliver Perez, Mike Piazza‘s Freddie Mercury period, and suffering through nearly a decade knowing that watching your team play meant watching Rey Ordonez hit four times.

Haven’t they suffered enough? I just can’t get myself worked up enough to get the Two-Minute Hate going. At least, not enough hate to break Michael Irvin’s neck, then throw snowballs at Santa Claus while vomiting on Jimmie Johnson’s daughter, who’s throwing batteries at J.D. Drew. You know, Philly sports fan-style hate. I have no trouble hating the implacable foe, but the Mets aren’t that. They’re almost pitiable.

Maybe I’m completely out of touch with this–it wouldn’t be the first time. And I know we’re going to talk about rivalry, and Billy Wagner, and 2007 all weekend, and blah blah blah. Blow me. I may be the only one who feels like this, but in the same way you never get over your first love, I will never hate another baseball team the way I hate the Braves.

Click to comment


  1. TH

    May 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Wow. Co-sign 100%. I feel the same way. The only team in sports I hate more than the Braves is the Cowboys.

  2. Steve from Philly

    May 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this article, The braves have been the only threatening team to the Phillies for as long as i can remember, I mean how could you say there is a rivalry between the Phillies and Mets, Thats like saying there is a rivalry between the Flyers and the Islanders. Maybe at some point in time, they were rivals, just like the Mets/Phils, but on a consistent basis…Rangers/Penguins/Devils, depending on the year…There is no need to hate on the mets, or constantly remind them that they suck, because if there is one thing the Mets know how to do these days, it’s lose

  3. Nick

    May 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Great article. I feel the EXACT same way- the mets are nothing more than sparring partners, much like the nats. I grew up watching the Braves kill the Phils and had to deal with my dad who was a huge fan of the Braves because he’s from Tennessee… it certainly didn’t help my hatred for the Braves to lessen, and I hate them just as much as I did during their golden years. Nonetheless, they were a phenomenal team, so they’re “respectfully hated” by me… Braves/Phils > Mets/Phils by a longshot

    • emoney

      May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      i concur

  4. Lefty

    May 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    “They were so beautiful, so perfect that they had to be destroyed.”



    My brother is a Mets fan, and the reason I loathe them so.

  5. Brooks

    May 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Your point is well taken but lets get over the Braves bashing excuse me, was it more the Braves veneration?

    One more item to add to the positive side of the Braves (which is essentially the core of the evilness that is Muts heritage):

    The Braves are and have been for the most part home grown talent. They infrequently spent any money outside of the teepee to bargain like a horny sailor on leave in desparation to forge gratification or (bleh) a winner of any sorts. Year after year, pitcher after pitcher, outfielder, 3rd baseman – you name it until todays Heyward, McCann, Prado, Jones, stars yet to shine like Freeman – the pitching is still rag tag and that is one of the main reasons why the Braves will not really threaten the Phils this year.

    Now take the Muts – Mess whatever emotional dirge you want to throw at them. Since the early 2000’s they have been burning money not unlike their Bronx neighbors yet with each new purchase, the press and the Muts themselves have spoken trash about how they are the team to beat. Well, they are bankrupt, they will be shedding some payroll maybe by the mid-summer and they stink, they smell they are going nowhere and its great by me. Their fans are a problem, with signings like Beltran, Santana, FRod, Castillo, Sheffield, Cora, Delgado (puke) – each signing they annointed themselves again and again. What a pleasure it is to watch this team go up in flames and now be dismantled, like the Pirates – in favor of financial solvency. One player and only one player on the Muts has my interest – that would be David Wright.

    Realistically do I think the Braves are more of a threat to the Phils? Of course, no doubt in my mind at all but which team gets under my skin the most? The NY Metropolitans (what a name…)

  6. MP

    May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Great article. As one who lives down south – I totally get it. But with that said these teams can be hated equally.

  7. PHilsz

    May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I kind of agree. But Ill always hate the Mets more… On a side note – you watch Glee and think the Braves are handsome ?….

  8. clivejameson

    May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. The Braves are just an all-around loathsome organization, evil to an extent well beyond anything the hapless Mets could hope to accomplish. So well run and put together. Smart people in the front office and excellent player development providing a constant stream of young talent. A rich history…

    And yet their fans are terribly apathetic and constantly claim to make up for it in “class.” Their legendary manager is a wife-beater and the face of their franchise cheats on his wife to knock up a Hooter’s waitress. Not to mention the fact that the entire team concept is a racist mockery of Native Americans. THE TOMAHAWK CHOP (nothing gets me more pissed off than the Braves getting hits in Atlanta and hearing that awful chant). Yep, stay classy Atlanta.

  9. phillyjoe

    May 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Its not so much I hate the team (although how can you not despise Reyes Wright and Beltran) as much as it is I cant stand the fans. How many Braves fans work in your office in the middle of south jersey? The rivalry doesn’t necessarily come from the play on the field but more from the close proximity of the two fan bases.

  10. Pat Gallen

    May 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I get both sides – The Mets are easy to hate with guys like Reyes and Beltran and the way their franchise is run. K-Rod, too.

    The Braves though, are our true foe. I remember watching throughout my childhood in anger and awe. They were so good and I wanted the Phillies to be just like him. Here’s to 10 more division crowns for the Phils.

  11. bacardipr05

    May 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Right now the Mets rivalry is on hold. I think this year an later part of last year it is the Braves. The Braves for the foreseeable future are our biggest threat an rivalry. The Bravos are a better run organization with a farm system an excellent young pitchers. They may not spend as much money as other teams but then no one goes to the games so they develop a lot of young players much like the Phils did 6 years ago. The Mets are in shambles right now an they will probably be restructuring the whole team at the end of the year.

  12. Don M

    May 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    The only guy i hate on the Mets is Jose Reyes…. just because of all the showboat stuff.. His dancing in the dugout, etc… same reasons im not a huge Victorino fan – if Vic wasn’t on the Phillies we would all dispise him.

    I hate, but respect the Braves… they dominated baseball throughout my childhood

    • Pat Gallen

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Vic is a nuisance, but I dont think he’s even close to the level that Reyes is on.

      • Don M

        May 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm

        True… I think a lot of credit goes to Burrell, Rollins, Utley, Howard for keeping Vic in line… Reyes doesn’t really have anyone to answer to.

      • Chuck

        May 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        Not ANYWHERE close. I think Vic has A.D.D…..whereas Reyes is basically just an a$$.

      • buffy08210

        May 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

        After speaking with Vic in Clearwater for a few minutes, it is my clinical impression that he has a heart of gold. I accept his ADD and teeth grinding–nobody’s prefect, as they say…

  13. ABM

    May 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I totally hear you on this! I grew up in Georgia and have always disliked the Braves for everthing you stated in your post. My mother is from this area and I grew up a Phillies fan. I even wrote a paper about Mike Schmidtt in 2nd grade (my teacher called my mom about that one, wanted to know who I was writing about and how I knew about them). I have lived in the Philadelphia area for almost 7 years so I have seen the team grow into the Championship team it has become and it is awesome. They DEFINITELY never appreciated what they had and still have in Atlanta. I went to a few Braves games over the years (due to people giving me tickets) and I was always stunned at how ambivalent their fans are. As much as I wish that it was easier/cheaper to get a ticket to a Phillies game, I LOVE that it is always sold out, that wearing Phillies t-shirs is commonplace, how much energer is at the ballpark. I have a hard time seriously rooting for a team where the organization/players are not classy. That is what I always hated about the Braves. I know Bobby Cox is a hall of fame manager and acknowledge his accomplishments on the field, but never could respect him off the field (beat your wife again?). Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones were other ones that had quite a reputation in Atlanta. The only Braves players I liked were Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz (all classy guys) am not saying or players are angels by any means, but they are known to do good work in the community and you see it al the time. I love how the Phillies organization seems to be (in the last few years) committed to spending money on good talent and treating their veteran players with respect. The Braves were awful to their star pitchers (see above) their last few years which had them finish up their careers with other teams. So for me, Braves are definitely our biggest rival. Could care less about the Mets (kinda feel sorry for them, well sorta! ;).!!!

  14. big robb

    May 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    wow i def agree with u 100% i became a phillies phan 93 and since then it was all the braves getting on my nerves…. i dislike the braves naturally and i was taught to hate the mets… so yeah i hate the mets but they are more like a joke to me and i never really understood why to hate them… u gave plenty of reasons how our rivalry doesnt make any sense until 07 when it finally seemed like one… after 08 mets still suck and will continue to suck till the end of time… braves… another story…. they are good… scary good and thankfully they havent able to get it together and clicking and im sure our pitching staff will keep it that way for a while.

  15. TheDipsy

    May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I, who actually find it pretty easy to generate some hate just bout anytime I want, don’t mind the Braves so much. What’s to hate? Their great G.M.s? Their terrific farm systems? Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz? Chipper Jones? I don’t mind them. In order to truly hate a team it has to be personal and its just not, for me, with the Brahhh-vos. Now the Mets. Jose Reyes, Wally Backman, Lenny Dykstra, GARY CARTER, Bobby Valentine, Davey Johnson, Felix Rodrigues, Billy Wagner…and the beat goes on. They were and are thoroughly unlikable people. Why would anyone dislike Terry Pendleton? Nope. I hated the Mets because they were competing with us AND they were arrogant and obnoxious douchebags AND they were from New York. Oh, the accents on those fans! Sorry, can’t jump on board with you guys but if you hate em…great! Let that energy feed you as my hate for things does me.

    Pendantry police: It is “Nietzschean”. Repeat: Simpler Is Better.

    The Dipsy

    • buffy08210

      May 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      The tomahawk chant still annoys the crap out of me…

      BTW, those Met amputees will likely beat us one of three…as may those gnats.
      The Pirates of the Allegheny may put one or even two together. (they won 2 of 3 in April and 2 of 2 in May against the Reds and went 2 of 3 against the Cards.) I suspect some of our position players may be gassed by then.
      There is more parity than we’d like to acknowledge.

      Try not to hate; it’s just not good for you.

  16. Turtle23

    May 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Sure the Braves are our real rival, but they are a class organization with a lukewarm at best fan base. That does not generate the pure hatred that the Mets, their obnoxious fans, and everything New York does.
    One of my earliest baseball memories is sitting thru a multiple rain-delayed twi-night doubleheader at the Vet until way past my bedtime. The Phillies got swept and serenaded by the chants of lets-go-mets from the jersey shore assholes who regularly took over OUR HOUSE.
    The Braves are a respected rival. The mets are an evil ass cancer.

    • Pat Gallen

      May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      This is a solid argument.

    • Brooks

      May 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Evil ass cancer? Classic Turtle, classic!

  17. TheDipsy

    May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I actually hate the Mets fans now more than the Mets. FRod is a smack. Reyes has toned it down a little (plus I wish we had him). There is nothing like a drunken Italian dude with a Mets jersey on and a nasty Queens accent to get the blood boiling of any righteous Phils fan. K@A accents are nice too, though. I feel about the Mets they way the the Cowboys feel about the Birds. We hate them but they could actually care less about us. Their rivals are the Redskins. Sure, they don’t really like us, but I think they view us as a nuisance. Like we do the Mets until they get good again or ass a couple jerks to their team.

    The Dipsy

  18. Corinne

    May 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I’m an equal opportunity hater on both the Braves and the Mets, though I currently offer condolences rather than trash talk to friends/family that are Mets fans. However, fans, geography, and history make a rivalry. The Phillies have even less history with the Braves than the Mets and as you point out there’s no fan-fueled rivalry.

    The Braves/Phillies have faced each other just once in the postseason (1993) and have only been in the same division since 1994. During the Braves run, the Phillies were not a good team, with slight exceptions in 2001 and the end of the Braves run. There is just not a history of competition between the clubs. The Mets/Phillies have the geographical and fan edge as well as recent competition with the 2007 and 2008 triumphs.

    Hate both, but it’s difficult to claim the Braves as their true “rival”.

  19. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    New York has an arrogance. They really think everything they have is the best of the bestest.
    An announcer like the idiot for the Yankees who says the Yankees win (Sterling I believe).
    He isnt a charachter like Harry Caray who used to say the Cubs win. In a lovable fun way.
    He is an obnoxious boob.
    It isnt just for sports they also think everything about them and thier city is not only the best in America but the best in the world.
    I have seen bands play in 60 plus cities all over north america. New york is one of the worst.
    The fans there think they are the best and they are not.

    The Mets are irrelevant now. The big news yesterday was they found a minority owner. wow good luck to you.

    Sandy Alderson is a serious baseball man though. And now that Minaya and Jerry are gone things may turn around. But it will take years and years.

    TheBraves have no fans for a 1 pm game ATL in sept in a pennant race there will be more Phillies fans than Braves fans. 4,000 to 3,000.
    The Phillies main rival may end up being themselves. And keeping an aging team with 4 division titles, a few world series appearnces and several MVP awards from becoming stale and old.
    Like the Yankees and Mets.

  20. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I remember when I was a little kid 14-16 during the Buddy Ryan years of going to see Eagles games at the Vet. When you would see fights every time.
    The Cowboys fans even then were like loser types who you would feel sorry for.
    The most obnoxious by far fans were the Giants fans.
    Not even close.

  21. Bart Shart

    May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I have hated the Braves way more than the Mets for many years —- ever since Bobby Cox, the most overrated, most arrogant wife-beating manager in baseball. The Mets fans were funny. They had swagger and many times sunk into the woodwork with tails between their legs. The were fun. The Braves fans with that awful chop just pissed me off and made me puke. They still do. Just hate ’em

  22. TheDipsy

    May 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    AWF, Alderson is basically the guy who is watching over the “receivership” of the Mets. I doubt he could make a trade or do anything that would add payroll. In fact, they and the Dodgers might have to dump payroll at some point and wouldn’t that be sweet? The Mets are just gnats that I shoo in the air. An irritant. As I think about it…all the great rivalries are gone. Celtics, Lakers, Mets. Cowboys and Giants have lost a little, I think. I don’t follow hockey. Do the Union hate anyone. Rivals…anyone? Need a rival ova heya!

    The Dipsy

  23. Pat Gallen

    May 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    The Flyers Rangers hatred is still there. The Sixers have been irrelevant for quite some time, so they don’t really have a rival. The Eagles/Cowboys rivalry still heats, up same with the Giants.

    Phillies/Mets still does get people fired up, much more than Phillies/Braves. It’s all about beating the big guy down (Although you could argue the Phillies are the big guy now).
    I know for some it just feels better to beat a team that hails from a city with 10x as many people. The Braves have never been taken seriously here because their fans don’t infiltrate our ballpark and basically, aren’t much like us.

    That’s another reason why people hate Mets fans. They’re pretty similar to us. Live and die on every pitch. Have accents and are stubborn people. THink about it…

  24. TheDipsy

    May 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    No question Pat. They are carbon copies and thats why we hate them. That obnoxious ginzo from Queens and irish dude from K@A are basically the same guy. I like to see them fight. Very evenly matched. New York City blows. Some people love it. The so called “great melting pot” is one big freakin ashtray to me.

    The Dipsy

  25. TheDipsy

    May 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    BTW, has everyone seen “Dr. Strangelove”? Compulsory viewing for all.

    The Dipsy

    • buffy08210

      May 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      IMHO in the top 5 American classics with The Graduate

  26. Andrew From Waldorf

    May 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Alerson is 63 years old and the Mess ara minimum of 3-5 years away so who knows what hes thinking. But he is a very serious baseball man. The previous Mets GMs were laughable clowns.
    Braves fans dont even infiltrate their own stadium. So really they are no threat I agree.
    But thier team is a threat to the Phillies that the Mess are not and will not be for sometime.

    As far as the biggest assholes in the NL east? The Mess and their fans get first prize.

  27. Pat Gallen

    May 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Gelb saying Wilson Valdez’s hat from the 19 inning game is heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Good for Wilson!

  28. Corey Seidman

    May 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    All angles covered nicely, and this is obviously true. Unfortunately, a lot of today’s Phillies fans are accustomed to winning and do not remember the 90s. I’d wager that something like 60% of all fans at Citizens Bank Park on a given night could name Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz, and maybe 35% would know Steve Avery.

    Because of the Short Tenured Phillies Fan, and the shorter memory derived from winning, the last real threat to these people was the 2007 Mets.

    The 2010 Braves probably served as more of a challenge to the Phils than the 2008 Mets, but because so much of this current fanbase knows Atlanta only as the town that draws 20,000 fans a game and has no real in-their-prime superstars, the Braves don’t evoke as much as emotion as the city with Jose Reyes, David Wright, and several million citizens with a superiority complex,

  29. krukdriver

    May 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    The ex-friend of mine who did my ex-girfriend and ripped me off for $300 was, (and probably no doubt still is), a Mets fanatic. I hate the Mets.

    I hate the Mets.

  30. barry m

    May 28, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Sure, dimiss the dogass Mets for always playing below their possible ability and below their hype, and despise Atlanta for having ignorant fans whot apparently have to have little organized cheers, chops and other distractions to keep them interested in baseball. And for sticking with the worst sportscasters in the history of blind hucksterism and boosterism.

    But..beat Florida.

  31. Ken

    May 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Lets face it: the NY/Philly rivalry will always be more compelling than anything else in the division. The biggest problem with the rivalry is that throughout history, both teams have rarely been good at the same time. There have been long stretches where one team was great and the other sucked and vice versa. I dont see the same competitiveness that the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry has enjoyed. It seems those two teams are always neck and neck in the standings all summer long which makes for great baseball and a rivalry. The Mets are 3 or 4 years away from being good again and will probably completely retool their team by then. By that time, guys like Howard, Chase Halladay and Lee will either be gone or in serious decline. Id love to have a good rivalry but now its just smack talk between loud mouthed fans of both cities.

  32. Dan

    May 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    As a die-hard Braves fan I must say I really enjoyed this article. It’s nice to be reminded how miserable the 90s were for everyone else, but I digress, and don’t really want to start a poo-throwing contest.

    I strongly disagree with a lot of the statements you made about Braves fans and Braves nation in general. First off, Columbia is not even close to being the heart of Braves country. Geographically, Columbia is over 200 miles away from Atlanta- more than TWICE AS FAR as Philly to NY. Not exactly an easy commute to the stadium. I went to high school in Columbia and college in Atlanta, and can say from personal experience you are completely right about Columbia- it is not a baseball town. But why would it be? There’s one baseball team near them and its 4 hours away, while they have great collegiate athletics. Yea there are some Braves fans in Columbia, but if you want to go to a game its a pretty big event, seeing as its an 8 hour round trip.

    The Braves don’t have the highest attendance in the league, and only sell out a few games each year, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say no one in Atl cares about the Braves… In the past five seasons the Braves have finished in the top half of the league in average home attendance every single season. Isn’t that considered good? Especially in light of the where Turner field is and the way Atl is organized. It’s not the highest attendance, but we’re in the top half, which is pretty damn good for a team that hasn’t had a division title in that span.

    I do, however, agree with you when you say “the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s were, against all probability, taken for granted.” The Braves played a tremendous brand of baseball but didn’t have a tremendous fan base. But I dont care. I loved watching them and have fanatically watched them for years, and I have tons of friends and family who do the same. It doesn’t bother me when I go to a game and see 20,000 people, because it doesn’t take 40,000 people sitting around me to make me care about my team. There’s a serious logic flaw in going from lower attendance to less passionate fans. Fewer people does not equal less passion.

    Also, tell Pete Orr hi. I hear he’s still holding onto the pictures of Bobby Cox hitting a bong while stomping on a burning American flag. An idea what sort of leverage he used over Manuel to get playing time?

    • Austin

      May 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      As a Braves fan I also enjoyed this article. It is true the attendances aren’t in the top 5 and we don’t sell out a lot, but that has a lot to do with the shitty roads trying to get to Turner Field. It is ridiculously hard to get there and the traffic is horrendous. The other thing is the TBS effect, the Braves were on tbs for the longest time and for a lot of people it was the only baseball they could see, so Braves fans are more spread out across the country and not in ATL. I live in NC and have been a braves fan since i was 6, 1993. There are so many passionate fans out there who love the Braves but can only afford to make the 6 hour trip there only once or twice a year. That being said, since I dislike the Phillies now, I could see how fans from other teams would hate the Braves of the 90’s. And screw the Mets they are just LOL.

    • Brooks

      May 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Dan, appreciate you coming to our site and reading your feedback as a Braves fan.

      Now, you question the logical assumption that lower attendance means less passionate fans? Well, if we follow your logic would that mean out of the 200 some fans that go to the Fish games there are probably some passioinate fans in there somewhere?

      You misinterpreted the point. The Phils fans are really a pretty exclusive, sometimes raucous bunch but definitely passionate about their sports. Passionate fans is more suggestive to filling the house, with only the weak of heart leaving before the final pitch is thrown even though we may be down 6-1 going into the 9th. Passionate fans are over 140 straight sell outs, the tickets extremely difficult to acquire. And, there are tons more people who cannot go to the games but are watching on TV every night, posting to the internet, calling the sports shows and raving about this team.

      Yes, passionate fans do equate to a packed stadium, you should try it sometime, come up and enjoy the lunacy – its an experience you wont forget and will want more of.

      • Austin

        May 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm

        read my comment above, most braves fans live 4+ hours away from Turner Field thus cannot afford to go to every game and have a packed house

      • Dan

        May 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

        It’s difficult to believe, but there are passionate Marlins fans out there. If I did not know one personally I wouldn’t believe it either, and to his credit it takes a lot of balls to love a team like the Marlins (or rather, a team with management like the Marlins). And then theres this http://tinyurl.com/3jat9mq

        I think you misinterpreted my interpretation, because I wasn’t talking about Philly fans at all, I was defending Braves fans. My point is that although the Braves do not sell out every night, that does not mean that the fans coming to the games (and the huge television audience the Braves enjoy) are any less passionate about their team. The Phillies have passionate fans, I’m not debating that, but Braves fans are every bit as passionate. The difference is that there are more Philly fans than Braves fans (at least now that the Phils are winning games). I have been to quite a few sold out games, and always enjoy them, but I honestly wouldn’t want to go to sold out games all the time. Aside from the price going up, it takes away from the special feeling of important games (like the playoffs or when the Phils come to town). I love my team, love going to the Ted to see them, and seeing some empty upper deck seats just don’t take anything away from the game for me.

        Also, I saw you wrote “the pitching is still rag tag and that is one of the main reasons why the Braves will not really threaten the Phils this year” up above and, well, no. Just no. The Braves pitching is phenomenal in every statistical category, and that doesn’t reflect the even more phenomenal young pitching talent coming up through the minors. Few quick stats

        2011 Braves pitching staff ranks(NL only)
        ERA- 1st
        Shutouts- tied 1st
        QS- 5th
        Strikeouts- 2nd
        BAA- 1st

        Plus the Braves have the most unhittable man in baseball- Jonny Venters. Prove me wrong

        We could debate which team has better overall pitching- Braves or Phillies- but its an exhaustive debate that I promise is fruitless because of how close and dominate both teams are from a pitching standpoint. So lets just not go in to who has the better staff and let it play out over the season.

  33. mike

    May 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Im a lurking Mets fan and wanted to chime in: I do think that the most passionate fans are in the Northeast. Fans in other areas, even if they are packing their stadium dont get as loud for whatever reason. Cardinal fans are said to be great – but they dont get very loud. As a Met fan Ive been through rivalries with the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Pirates (yes they were our nemesis in the late 80s – hard to believe that they were once an elite team), then the Braves in the 90s and the Phillies today. Never really had that one true rival like the Yankees have had with Boston. I envy Philly and what they have done the past few years building a great team and atmosphere. I hope in a couple of years Sandy Alderson will get my franchise back to the upper echelon of the NL east because all the rivalry stuff is more fun when you are competitive.

  34. Stan

    May 28, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I like how all of these Phils fans are all of a sudden “experts” on how to be a passionate fan…..If memory serves me correct, Twice now Jroll and once Victorino have called out Philly fans for being frontrunners…..those are two of your own calling out the fans for being frontrunners….oh yeah, that is passionate

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