Monday, February 16, 2009

The rivalry with the Mets continues in 2009

The Phillies vs. The Mets Rivalry continues in 2009

A lot of words have been exchanged by both the Phillies and the Mets in recent years. The rivalry was always there, but rarely did members of either team say anything publicly about it. All that silence is history now and a rivalry has gone even further between the two teams to a war of words.

Jimmy Rollins boldly stated two seasons ago, “We Are The Team To Beat,” referring to the Phils being the team that would take the NL East. The Phillies made good on that promise following the utter collapse of the NY Mets in September of 2007 when they had a comfortable lead over the Phillies and the talk was how far the Mets would make it into the post season. The Phillies clinched the NL top spot on the last day of the season following the Marlins whipping up on the Mets that day, and the Phillies victory over the Washington Nationals that fateful Sunday afternoon. I was in attendance for that game, and to date I think it was the game that produced the most goosebumps that I’ve ever had before and during an MLB baseball game. The only other times I’ve felt that way was when Mike Schmidt would hit a walk off homer and win the game for the Phillies some years ago. The crowd on that last regular season game in 2007 was electric from the time Jamie Moyer walked out of the dugout and proceeded to walk towards the bullpen for his warmups prior to the start of the game until well after when the celebration continued well after the game when the Phillies were in.

The Mets became ‘the goat’ after that. Not only did the Mets collapse in 2007, but they didn’t even make the playoffs again in 2008 despite hefty payroll increases and a new manager and bold moves from Omar Minaya. The Yankees proved that you cannot buy a pennant, although they went out again prior to the start of the ‘09 season and signed yet another round of players to salaries that make you say, “hmmmm.” The start of the 2009 season starts yet another rivalry up against the Phillies and the Mets, with the Phillies now spending more than they ever have, and now with a new player in the war of words, Cole Hamels.

Cole Hamels enjoyed the waves that he rode on with being named the MVP of the World Series, he made the talk show circuit from the east to the west coast. He never was a participant in the war of words with the Mets publicly, but all of that changed just a few short weeks ago. This happened when WFAN the New York City sports talk radio station interviewed Cole for his promoting the DVD of the World Series and the Phillies win. The two sportscasters did their best to try to get Cole to say a lot more than he wanted to during the interview. One of the questions asked to Cole about Jose Reyes, “Is it fair to say that you hate Jose Reyes?” just as they were talking about Shane Victorino when he pointed to the skies after a homerun in comparison to Jose Reyes. Cole didn’t bite at that, and said, “No”. Hear the full interview here.

The sportscasters made their mark with the term “Do you think the Mets are choke artists?” So Cole finally answered them, “Yes”. So Cole enters the rivalry with a fun interview he did with the NY media.

Phillies vs. Mets 2009 schedule

Phillies Home Games vs. Mets
May 1-2-3
July 3-4-5
Sept 11-12-13

NY Mets Home Games vs. Phillies
May 6-7
June 9-10-11
August 21-22-23-24

So there you have it, 18 games this year in the regular season vs. The Mets.

Early on the rivalry between the two teams went back to Met player names like:

Tom Seaver
Jon Matlack
Cleon Jones
Bud Harrelson
Rusty Staub

and Phillies players:

Steve Carlton
Mike Schmidt
Bob Boone
Larry Bowa
Dave Cash

Then there is Tug McGraw who played for the Mets from 1965 to 1974 and then with the Phillies from 1975 to 1984 - a 19 year career that was topped off with a World Series victory and perhaps one of the greatest photo's ever when the Phillies won and he leaped off the mound and into the air.

The past three seasons have seen this rivalry really heat up between the Mets and the Phils here is the results of the games between the two teams in the past three seasons:

2008: Mets 11 wins Phillies 7 wins
2007: Phils 12 wins Mets 6 wins
2006: Mets 11 wins Phillies 8 wins

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