Category Archives: Baseball

New York Yankees-Philadelphia Phillies World Series: A Mets Fans Perspective

Several people have asked me which team I’d root for if it’s the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. As you probably know by now, I’m a huge Mets fan, so just the thought of having to choose between these two teams makes me a little nauseous.

Though I wouldn’t root for either team, I would prefer that the Phillies won. I know, I know, this is the hated division rival, the team with the somewhat dirty Chase Utley and Shane Victorino and the arrogant, big-mouthed Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins. I hate the Phillies, and over the last year and a half I’ve decided I hate them more than any other baseball team, including the Yankees.

So why would I prefer they win it all? As strange as this may sound, it’s because they won it all last year.

I hate to write these words, but the Phillies own the Mets. They have since those final weeks of the 2007 season. Regardless of what happens in the World Series, the Phillies will open next season as three-time defending National League East winners and two-time defending NL Champions. The way I see it, another World Series win wouldn’t make it any worse.

The Yankees, however, have not won the whole thing since 2000. They have not won since they brought in perhaps my least favorite player, Alex Rodriguez. I’d like to keep it that way. Yes, the Mets payroll is big, but the Yanks’ is far bigger and I want them and their reckless financial decisions to fail. (Plus, I know a lot more Yankee fans than Phillies fans and I don’t need to hear it from them.)

No doubt this is a lose-lose situation for me and most other Mets fans. But when the Yankees play the Phillies in the 2009 World Series*, I’ll take the Phillies. Just don’t expect me to root for them.

*Yes, my intention was certainly to jinx the Yankees, who have not yet qualified for the World Series. At the time I started this post, the Yanks, up 3-1 in the ALCS, were losing Game Five 4-0. By the time I finished, they had taken a 6-4 lead. And right this very instant, the Angels have tied it at six. I think my jinx is working. I think.

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Mets: A Fan Perspective

Tuesday night, in what could have been the last game in the Metrodome, the Minnesota Twins fell behind the Detroit Tigers 3-0. They came back. They fell behind in extra innings and came back again before scoring in the 12th to win.

I watched the game on television, but I had already seen a different version of it in person. The Mets, needing a win on the final game of the regular season last year — the final at Shea Stadium — to force a one-game playoff, lost at home. It was the second straight year my beloved Mets were in that situation and lost.

So if I said I wish I were a Minnesota Twins fan, could you blame me?

The Mets, who, despite their 145 million-dollar payroll, the second-highest in baseball, haven’t made the playoffs the last three years and only once since 2000. The Twins are a playoff team this year, their fifth postseason trip this millennium, in spite of their 67 million-dollar payroll, the eighth lowest.

Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota’s manager, has held the position since 2002. I don’t watch Twins games regularly, but in my opinion, he’s one of the best, if not the best, skipper in baseball. He’s come in second in Manager of the Year voting four times and it would be hard to argue that anyone does more with less. I can’t speak personally on his in-game strategy, but to be as successful as his teams have, he’s got to be doing something right.

During Gardenhire’s tenure, the Mets have had four different managers. The only one who could hold a candle to Gardenhire is Bobby Valentine, who took an overachieving bunch to the World Series in 2000. Jerry Manuel, New York’s current skipper, showed promise taking over for Willie Randolph last season, but still couldn’t stop a late season slide. This year, he didn’t bother enforcing fundamentals.

The Twins and Mets differ on the field as well. David Wright, the face of the Mets franchise, is a great player and role model. I could mention some of his disappointing offensive numbers this year to try and expose him as overrated, but I can’t do it. He is an All-Star , no question about it, and has a great attitude.

Outside of him though, it’s hard to find a generally likeable everyday player. Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes don’t fit the bill after they spent most of 2009 on the disabled list with mystery injuries. (Which reminds of yet another difference between the Mets and the Twins: the medical staff. From the clubhouse trainers all the way up to the surgeons, the Mets have a joke of a staff. I know nothing about the Twins staff but I still know it’s exponentially better than the Mets’.)

Along with Wright, the only player living up to the big expectations is Johan Santana. He’s tough, ultra-competitive, fearless — everything you could ask for in an ace. Of course, he pitched for Minnesota for the first eight years of his career before coming to New York in 2008.

The Twins, at least from an outsider’s perspective, have highly likeable stars — guys like Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Mauer is an in-state product and a front-runner for the MVP this year. Morneau has already won the award, but you’d never know it. Both have been with the Twins their entire careers.

Listen, I know some of these characteristics I’ve described are inherent differences between big market and small market teams; but not all of them. There is no reason why the Mets can’t have a competent medical staff, for example. There is no reason why their highest-paid players can’t perform like the stars they supposedly are. There is no reason why the Twins could overcome a seven-game September deficit while the Mets blew the same type of lead in 2007.

The fact remains, of course, that I don’t really wish I were a Twins fan; I’m just jealous. I will be a Mets fan for life, which is why I hope they can adopt some of the qualities — heart, fire, sensibility — that make the Twins such a success.

New York Mets Season Ticket Prices Reduced for 2010

I’ve written letters to the New York Mets before, as you may know. Yesterday, the Mets sent me a letter. Well, not me. They sent it to my dad, a Mets season ticket holder the past two seasons.

The main point of the letter is simple: Season ticket prices will be reduced by an average of 10% next season, with some being reduced by more than 20%.

Good news, right?

Of course, unless the recipients of the letter don’t plan to buy next year. Could you blame them if they didn’t? As the letter states, “Everyone at the Mets…shares your disappointment with the 2009 season.”

Before current season ticket holders make up their minds though, I think they should wait for the second letter promised by the Mets. The one that will outline how they “plan to improve the ball club through a combination of player signings, trades, enhanced player development and continued commitment to one of the highest player payrolls in Major League Baseball.”

But if this highly-specific plan isn’t enough for you, middle-aged season ticket holder, there’s always the Mr. Met Dash on Sunday!

New York Mets season ticket holder letter