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NationalsThe Phillies are 57-96. In other words, they stink.

You’ve given up on baseball this season. You decided the Eagles were more important (good look, right?). You don’t see any need to pay any more attention to the last-place Phillies, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong.

Here we are. It’s a Friday afternoon in September, and the Phillies have a rare opportunity: take out the Washington Nationals. Eliminate them. Scrub them out like the stain they are, and shove the shirt back into the drawer for the winter. It’s over, Washington. See you later.

The Mets are eight games up on the Nationals. The Nationals have 10 games left to play. It’s pretty damn simple: Beat the Nats three times and take them out. Maybe the Mets win a game or two against the Reds. Who cares. Do the job yourself. Beat the Nationals. No, #BeatTheNats. Make these the biggest three games of the season.

I came of age during the Second Golden Age, the age of sweaty anger toward the Mets. I hated the Mets. We hated the Mets. I sat in Shea Stadium in 2007, watched a Phillies fan start a mini-brawl, and subsequently get thrown two rows south. I sat in Citizens Bank Park a year later and watched a Mets fan suffer a black eye at the hands of an eager Philadelphian. Mets fans had bite. Mets fans had pure blood, sharp fangs and wide eyes. They wanted to kill. You wanted to hate them.

Nationals fans are flies to slap, air to kick, balls of dust to wipe up and toss into the trash. They don’t deserve it. They’re waste. Discard them. Take them out. Start tonight.

And tonight we have Jerad Eickoff, a young and sparkling prize from the Cole Hamels trade. He sports a 3.16 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 37 innings. The kid is solid. He can do it.

Tomorrow we have Aaron Nola, he of the 3.84 ERA. What, he faces Stephen Strasburg? Who cares. He’s nothing. Into the garbage with you.

It can be done. It will be done. The Nationals deserve to be thrown into the pile of mediocrity. They paid too much for Jayson Werth. They risked their sanity on Jonathan Papelbon, the lint that sticks to your t-shirt, the flint of dandruff you just can’t remove. They’re perfect for each other – this team of privileged pawns playing in front of the quietest fans in the whole sport. This is the mission, Phillies: Walk into Nationals Park, guns blazing. Knock out the Nationals. Take no prisoners. Eliminate them.

Prove to those Nationals that they’re a fad in the fading sun. All thanks to that No. 1 pick, the precious thing on which the Nationals built their entire empire. Without Strasburg and Bryce Harper they’re nothing. Lucky fools couldn’t even take advantage of the best hitting season in decades. They deserve nothing but failure.

This is the weekend, Phillies. Take out those Nationals. Make them meet their failure. #BeatTheNats.

Turn the turn UP, Phillies fans. #BEATTHENATS.


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