As long as I can remember, I have hated the New York Mets. I never had any particular reason other than the fact that they are the Stinkin' Mets. Perhaps being a lifelong die-hard Phillies fan has much to do with it.
I'll be turning 38 right in the middle of the 2012 season. That means for nearly 4 decades, I have lived and breathed Phillies baseball. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve watching my guys do what they do.
In 1980, my impersonation of a fidgety Tugger made my mother and cousin laugh. So engrossed in the World Series, I spat on my living room floor as though I were one of the on-field nine. Mom forgave my little indiscretion; she knew how much I loved the game.
In 1983, my heart broke as the Orioles made short work of my beloved Phils in the World Series. My dreams were again shattered as Joe Carter homered off the Wild Thing in 1993.
Trivia Time: Who was the only player to play for both the 1983 and 1993 World Series-losing Phillies squads?
Then, in 2008, I felt just like that little kid again when the Phillies fought through rain delays and Joe Buck's incessant put downs to take the crown. Ah, what joy!
The joy of winning championships, while great, is fleeting. The sting of chips lost also fade with time. One thing, however, keeps me going throughout the summer doldrums. Only one thing really matters: beat those stinkin' Mets.
Too long between WS appearances was I forced to watch Daryl, Doc (Gooden of course, he's no Halladay), Hojo, Keith stinking Hernandez, et al. compete for NL East titles. 1986 didn't just suck for Red Sox fans. Let's face it, the Mets were good. And that was painful to experience.
That's what made 2007 so great. Not only did the Phillies win the NL East. They did it amid and due to a fantastic Mets collapse. How awesome it was to see those friggin' bums fall apart! Granted, the Phils went on to get swept by the Rockies (the Rockies? Yeah, that still stings a little too).
With 26 days, 17 hours and change until pitchers and catchers report
(http://www.springtrainingcountdown.com/home.php), my mind is abuzz with baseball. I am compelled to study stat sheets and box scores of years and games past. I tried answering the quiz posted on DPF's Facebook page and only got four of the 37 Phils pitchers to have homered since '80. That's unacceptable!
Therefore, I thought it might be fun to do some Phillies research. While I'm at it, why not start with significant dates? Being the egomaniac writing-type person that I am, what date could be more significant than that of my very own birth?
July 4, 1974.
Turns out the Phillies split a doubleheader at Shea the day I was born. I'm going to assume this was a day-night double dip. The Phils lost the afternoon portion 5-3. That may account for my surly attitude. Born at roughly 4 p.m., I likely showed up with a scowl and a message.
"Wah, fuck the Mets! Wah!"
Or something to that effect. But there must've been something in the air, something that carried word to the Phils that their newest, biggest fan had just arrived and that it was paramount they avenge their earlier loss. Which they did, 6-2.
For complete coverage of the doubleheader, check out:
So they split, leaving an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. Fireworks to cheer me up? Yeah, they're nice and all, but I still feel unsatisfied. Not even a day old, you say? Granted, but I've been alive long enough to know two things: I like breasts and I hate the Mets.
What more do I need to know?
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