Concessions, Philly and Other Musings

So if you listened to the Kiner’s Korner Debut Podcast on December 14, a “Kult of Mets Personalities” as we like to call it, you’d know that I was ready to concede the division after Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies.

Well, why did I do that?  They haven’t played any games yet, right?  My overall thinking is that the NL East is the Phillies to lose at this point.  After winning four seasons in a row, it’s safe to say that the Mets should not be running their mouths particularly during Spring Training.  That’s not to say I don’t think they’ll make things interesting.  Who knows?  With a starting rotation of Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels (and pitcher-to-be-named-later), the Mets might actually fare well against them.  After all, it’s pitchers with names like Mitchell Friedman (Major League reference for those of you who recognize it) who are making their major league debut tonight who give the Mets the most trouble.

Now what?  It seems like Philadelphia is really giving New York a dose of that so-called “brotherly love” this week.  If you are a football fan, I won’t even touch the whole Eagles/Giants game on Sunday.  Oh wait, maybe I just did.  Though I am a Jets fan (thanks, Dad), I do sympathize with the Giants brethren especially in a loss like this  — beating Philly is something I think we can all break bread on.  It set off a chain of events, mostly shell-shock, but even David Letterman got in on the fun, in his infamous Top Ten List.

“Knicks are doing well, which means somebody has to suck while the Mets are off.”

Ouch.

A local Philly writer heaped on the smack-talk as well, with his “Philly teams are putting a fork in New York” piece.  Give the Eagles an inch, and the sportswriters there take 100 yards.   They take it upon themselves to gently remind us that Cliff Lee didn’t sign with a New York team, he chose to sign with the Phillies.  OOOH smart writing there, jack.  Yes,  it’s true that Cliff Lee didn’t sign with the Yankees (nor the Mets, though they were never in the running really), but why did he do that?  Let’s take a second here.  It’s more because the Phillies put him the best position to win, with their offense, and not to mention NL East hitting will make his stats look a LOT better.  Given Lee’s less-the-stellar stats in the AL East (his lifetime record against the Orioles as an example were abysmal to say the least), I suppose even he has standards for himself.  So that has less to do with playing on the New York stage than Lee wanting to strike while the iron it hot.  Can’t say I blame him.

Then what happens?  You’d think we’d just dust ourselves off and move along?  Heck, no!  Filip Bondy piles the misery on higher and deeper, with his woe-is-me piece on the horrible horrible Philadelphians have stolen Cliff Lee away from the Yankees.  Oh boo hoo.  Can’t say that I am displeased that the Yankees lost out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes.  After all, I’m the one who has to hear about it all offseason.  That said, as a Mets fan, besides some fans waxing over having to face him, I really haven’t heard anything at all from Philly.  And why is that?  Maybe because a) their fans suck and b) they are so wrapped up in football season to even remotely care?

I had a conversation with some fellow Mets fans at a game earlier this season.  We discussed the weirdness in Philly, regarding their sports allegiances.  it’s not like New York where you can have multiple teams to choose from — Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Devils, Islanders —  in several different sports, but in Philly it’s pretty cut and dry.  You root for the Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers.  There’s reason why I put those teams in that order.

Fact is, nobody cares about the Phillies in Philadelphia.  Well, save a few well-intentioned bloggers I know whom I respect in that area.  But considering when I was going to games at Citizens Bank Park when the Mets would visit and it would seriously be 65/35 Mets over Phillies fans.  Then after 2007, it became more like 50/50.  Now you can barely see any blue and orange.  It has less to do with the Phillies fans having something to cheer for.  It has to do with all their fans are a bunch of frontrunners who didn’t root for them prior to 2007, and all of a sudden had something to do to distract themselves from football.

Which is all it really is there.  The city of Philadelphia would give up five World Series titles for just one Super Bowl.  That’s what all this smack talk is about these days.  This city craves that, and they haven’t gotten it yet.  When I told my friends this back at CitiField in May, they not only said — Wow!  This is a real sports fan!  But they agreed 100%.

So why is it that we’re getting all this abuse, not even Mets fans, but from Philly in general?  I have to believe it’s the Napoleonic Complex, the Little Guy Syndrome.  They will always be in New York’s shadow, no matter what.  No matter how many championships, no matter how many agonizing defeats, fact is, New York the city is just WAY cooler than Philly would ever hope to be.

And on that note, I wish you all a Merry Mets-mas.

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