Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mets and Phillies latest rivalry continues

The Phillies vs. The Mets

The rivalry grows into 2008

The 2004 opening of Citizen’s Bank Park seems to have ignited a better rivalry between the Phillies and the Mets. The rivalry may have been there before this time, but with sitting in the stands and hearing the numerous Mets fans get vocal in the smaller Citizen’s Bank Park makes me feel that we are in for several more good years of Phils/Mets rivalry ahead. Both teams have a lot of great players, and are contenders.

Met fans have taken to Citizen’s Bank Park, they have been holed up in Shea Stadium for so long it’s no wonder that they felt like they were in fantasy land when they drove down the turnpike and arrived at the sparkling ‘new’ ballpark that the Phillies play in. In 2009, Met fans will get their own shiny new stadium and upon monitoring some of the New York sports radio shows, a lot of baseball fans are looking at the capacities of the new Mets and Yankee stadium and are damn mad that the prices will be rising and previous great seating will probably be going to corporate types that are the only people that will be able to afford astronomical ‘premium’ box seats. That is the topic of another blog column though.

The Phillies beat the Mets on 4/8/08 at Shea, the last time the Mets opened at home against the Phils at Shea was 3/31/1998 and the Mets won 1-0. The winner of that one was not Bobby Jones who started for the Mets, it was Turk Wendell, and the loser for the Phils was not the starter who was Curt Schilling, but it was Ricky Bottalico. Schilling pitched a great game, 8 innings with only giving up 2 hits.

In the last ten years, from 1998 to Apr 8, 2008 the Phillies and the Mets have met 169 times. The Phillies hold a slight edge in wins with Tuesday’s win included: 86-83. So the recent surge of the past 19 meetings between the Phils and the Mets have helped the Phillies get into the positive win column against the rival NY Mets, the last 19 games including Tuesday’s game the Phils record is: 13-6. Remember the Phils will face the Mets 18 times during a season as a division team.

Fans have a big rivalry factor in this Phillies vs. Mets topic. A lot of Mets fans have high opinions of the Phils players and likewise, there is a common respect factor involved here, even though there may be an intense bitterness between the two fans. That’s what goes into making such a great rivalry. A lot of Phillies fans have not taken the low road and trashed the Mets for falling apart in 2007. Some are still in disbelief as I am. I still cannot believe that the Phillies came out of nowhere to win the division last year on a Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia before one of the liveliest crowds that I ever watched a baseball game with. We stared at the scoreboard in disbelief when we saw the Mets losing, hopelessly spiraling out of control that Sunday, as the Phillies poured it on to beat the Nationals and win the division.

The good natured rivalry goes on, and I suspect a lot of Phillies fans will make the trek to the new Citi Field in 2009 to check out a Phils / Mets game in the new digs of the NY Mets. Time will tell what happens over the 2008 season with the rivalry burning on.

Rich Baxter / Fightin’ Phils Blog

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