For the first time yesterday, they were not showing my Giants on Fox/CBS where I live, so I had to make my way to the local Ale house. Im sure everyone here has been to one(or several) but if you have not, its like A.D.D. for a sports fan. I found myself actually catching a bit of post season baseball(for the first time this year). Now, I do have a confession to make. I have pretty much boycotted every postseason that the Phillies have been in. I hate the Phillies with a passion. I would say my hatred for the Phillies rivals that of the Braves in the 90′s or central Florida drivers, maybe it even surpasses it. The last few years, I have mentally checked out of baseball right around the time football season started because the Mets were usually out of it by then and the Phillies weren’t. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a sore loser but to miss out on every post season since the Phillies dominance began made me reconsider my position. As I looked around at all the hopeful Tampa Bay Rays fans cheer and go insane watching their team fight to keep their post season alive, it really made me think long and hard about my Mets. I started remembering how good we once were and how good it felt to be one of those fans living and dying on every pitch in the post season.
As the Giants finished up the beating they put down on Houston, A commercial came up showcasing the Phillies and Reds. The same feelings of anger and total apathy toward the post season reared its ugly head again but this time, I took a hard look at why did I feel that away about the WHOLE post season. After the __th Sam Adams(because your guess is as good as mine as to which beer I was on), I realized why I felt the way I did. Pure, flat out jealousy. The Phillies have made the post season EVERY year since 2007. The Yankees have made the post season 3 times in that span. The Rays and Twins have been to the playoffs 2 times during that span. Where am I going with this your probably asking(if you’ve read this far down)? Each of those teams realized how dominant they were and did what was needed to capitalize on their window of dominance. The Mets won 97 games in 2006. The Mets SHOULD have been one of those teams to make the playoffs for multiple years because they were nothing short of a dominant team.
I know, I know…most fans will say something to the effect of “the Mets were 1 game away in 2007 and 3 in 2008 from making the postseason”. My deal is, do you think any of the teams this year would have let that happen? The Phillies took down the Braves with one month left to play for a playoff spot, the Giants took over that division in the last week of the season for a playoff spot. They did what they had to do to win. They made no excuses where I have made plenty to explain why the Mets could not be one of those “teams” after 2006. After an order of onion rings(which were delicious), a fellow Mets fan came to our Giants nook and started talking Met baseball. Naturally the Yankee and Rays fans in our Giants nook chipped in with their 2 cents about the state of the Mets. Of course, in a usual Yankee fan condescending manner, he explained that he sees the Mets as a “little brother” and as any “big brother” would say, he wants us to do well for ourselves. The Rays fan basically offered that his team sucked for a long time before they were able to field the team they have today and thinks the Mets might be in a similar period. I could only wonder where in that period the Mets find themselves today. With the other Met fan in the group, we argued there is definitely something to build on for the Mets going forward and just like all those teams went through a transitional period before becoming great, we are on the cusp once again. Just as I completed that sentence, the Ale house erupted in cheer as Evan Longoria hit a home run to build on his team’s lead.
As I paid my tab and tipped the ridiculously hot bartender(whose hotness took a major hit with the Eagles jersey she had on), I walked out feeling a bit different than I did going into that Ale house. My bitterness toward the post season on account of my hatred of the Phillies slowly went away and a little sense of optimism brewed instead. The optimism brewed from the fact there are positives with the Mets going forward. Granted, they have not elected a new GM but from what I read, the candidates for the job are pretty good. The Mets let go of Jerry Manuel and hopefully Hojo will be reassigned or let go as well. The Mets have a solid youth core to build on and it looks like David Wright is back to normal. The Mets might not be the Phillies in our division come next year, we are on our way to hopefully opening a new window for ourselves. The one thing that needs to be resolved if we are ever going to be that team is something that I noticed we had but they lacked…they did not suffer from an Oliver Perez. Whoever the new GM is, they will need to find a way to resolve that issue immediately but I am confident with the actions so far that have been taken, Oliver will not be on the team next year. With those demons being exorcised, I finally turned on the television to MLB Network(which I have not seen in over 3 weeks) just in time to see Hollywood Hamels sweep the Reds in his first complete game post season game. It was then that I learned a valuable lesson in life….dont mix onion rings, beer and Philly baseball.