Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Other Team's Fans Chuckle... Why?


With the way Joe Torre has been treated by Yankee management, several Met fan websites are chuckling with glee.

That's their right, but... consider the source. They're Met fans. The Flushing Heathen, as I've been calling them since 1998. What do these guys know about baseball?

The guy who ran the Always Amazin' blog for nj.com, the website for the Star-Ledger of Newark, the Jersey Journal of Jersey City and The Times of Trenton, has actually given up writing it. Maybe he's tired, maybe he's frustrated, maybe he's doing it for his physical and mental health. I applaud him.

(UPDATE: That blog would evolve into Amazin' Avenue, and is still being written today.)

There are others who apparently wish to flaunt their ill mental health. The Kranepool Society -- the equivalent of a Yankee Fan naming his website after... actually, there is no viable equivalent, as the Yanks never had a guy do little more than hang on for 18 years and make Gillette Foamy commercials -- calls the Yankees by their 1903-1912 name, the Highlanders, and posts a picture of Alex and Cynthia Rodriguez... with Derek Jeter's head on Cynthia's body.

Yes, we get the joke: "Gay-Rod" and a bachelor who dates famous actresses and singers only as a front. The joke was stupid in 1998, it was stupid when A-Rod arrived in 2004, and it isn't funny now.

And get your lies straight: Either Alex is fooling around with strippers or he's gay, but he's not both; either Derek is spreading herpes to gorgeous actresses (more on that in a moment) or he's gay, but he's not both. Better to be only a liar than a lying weasel.

They also have a picture of a post-spider-hole Saddam Hussein wearing a Yankee cap. Maybe so, but Bert Walker was one of the original stockholders of the Mets, and he was George W. Bush's great-uncle (as opposed to myself, Ashley and Rachel's great uncle), and Bush was and remains a greater threat to America than Saddam ever was.

The yutz who writes that blog also thinks the Mets are going to sign Mariano Rivera. In the words of the late, great Brooklyn Dodger fan Jackie Gleason, "Lemme have what you're having, I wanna get loaded, too!"

The author of the blog Brooklyn Met Fan writes of Joe Torre "firing George Steinbrenner":

Oh what a joyous day for Met fans and Yankee haters alike!... It’s all so perfect from where we as Met fans stand. Oh what a great moment at the end of this baseball season in NYC!

(UPDATE: That blog is now out of business.)

Perfect? Perfect? No, "perfect" is what ex-Met David Cone did on the mound at Yankee Stadium on July 18, 1999. "Perfect" is 25,000 people at Shea Stadium chanting "Let's Go Yankees!" and "Thank You Joe!" and "Thank You George!" a few minutes after midnight on October 27, 2000. (OK, maybe that wasn't "perfect," but, as MasterCard would say, it was "Priceless.")

He also says "the Yankees have choked for 7 consecutive years." Uh, no. The Yankees choked in 2004, and Jeff Weaver screwed everything up in 2003. In each of the other 5 years, the Yankees were outplayed, perhaps not by a better team, but by a team that was better that week.

And after what's happened to the Mets for 21 straight years, including the chokes of 1988, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007, to say the Yankees have "choked" is, as former Yankee 2nd baseman and broadcaster Jerry Coleman (now the longtime voice of the San Diego Padres) would say, "treading thin water here."

Then there's the guy who writes and edits "Yankees 2000: Promote the Curse." (Which curse would that be, the Curse of Kevin Mitchell, which has bedeviled the Mets for 21 years now?) He says, "The Yankees, as we have known all along, lack even the faintest semblance of class."

Right, I'm gonna let a guy who roots for the team of Pedro Martinez, Paul Lo Duca, Jose Reyes and Lastings Milledge (and that's just counting current miscreants) lecture my team about class.

Then he said, "The Yankees Are (Screwed)." Is that a reference to the Yankees' future? I'll take my team's prospects -- whether by "prospects" you mean "young, promising players" or "likelihood of future titles" -- over theirs anyway.

(UPDATE: This was written before I decided it was my blog, and I can use profanity in it if I want to. At that point, I wouldn't use it at all.)

Then he refers to "Jeter's herp," slobbering over the story that Derek Jeter gave a certain actress herpes. (I won't mention her name, because she does not deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph as the Mets, and, besides, she once starred in a TV show as a character who could paste either me or the doofus who writes that blog.)

(UPDATE: If you must know, the actress in question was Jessica Alba. It appears that she did, at one point, date Jeter. But there is no known evidence that either of them has ever had any sexually transmitted disease.)

He closes by saying, "Hating the Yankees just got great again." Really? And what has it gotten you? It's gotten you 1969, 1986, and up to your neck in agita.

Yikes. Makes you wonder if, loathsome though he was, John Rocker had a point: "I would say the majority of Mets fans aren't even humans. They're more like... Neanderthals."

Yeah, he should've looked in the mirror, having said that during a postgame interview during the 1999 NLCS. But... Choosing the Yankees over the Mets? Apparently, it's not "so easy, a caveman could do it."

I guess Met fans would like to gloss over the fact that the Yankees won the 2000 World Series in 5 games, beating the Mets and celebrating on the field at Shea Stadium.

And I guess they would also like to gloss over the fact that, just last month, their Metropolitans had a 7-game Division lead with 17 games to go, and didn't even make the Playoffs.

That gives them, in 2000, the most embarrassing loss in the postseason history of New York baseball; and, in 2007, the most embarrassing loss in the regular-season history of New York baseball.

More embarrassing than the 1904 Yankees, or Highlanders as the name really was at the time, who had to sweep a doubleheader from the Boston Pilgrims (as the Red Sox were then known) on the last day of the season, and did win the second game, but lost the first when 41-game winner (nope, that's not a misprint) Jack Chesbro let in the winning run with a wild pitch.

More embarrassing than the 1908 New York Giants, who arguably had a Pennant stolen from them, and had to replay a regular-season game as, for all intents and purposes, a playoff, but had it at home, and had Christy Mathewson on the mound... and lost.

More embarrassing than the 1912 Giants, who went into extra innings in the deciding game of the World Series, and made 2 errors to blow a 1-run lead and lose.

More embarrassing than the 1926 Yankees, who had Babe Ruth as the tying run on 1st with 2 outs in Game 7 of the World Series and Lou Gehrig at the plate... and lost because Ruth, not a man who looked like a base stealer, tried to steal second, and was thrown out.

More embarrassing than the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, who were 1 strike away from tying up the World Series at 2 apiece... and lost when their closer Hugh Casey threw what is believed to be a spitball, and catcher Mickey Owen couldn't handle it, allowing Tommy Henrich to reach 1st, Joe DiMaggio to single, and Charlie Keller to double them home, with the Yanks winning the Series the next day.

More embarrassing than the 1950 Dodgers, who were in extra innings of a game whose win would force a Playoff at home, and gave up a home run to Dick Sisler.

More embarrassing than the 1951 Dodgers, who had a 13 1/2-game lead on the Giants on August 11, blew it, and were still 2 outs away from winning the Pennant with a 3-run lead... and lost on a home run by Bobby Thomson.

More embarrassing than the 1956 Dodgers, who went into Game 7 of the last of the classic Subway Series at home, and lost when the Yankees beat them 9-0.

More embarrassing than the 1963 Yankees, who won 104 games, then got swept in the World Series.

More embarrassing than the 1973 Mets, who had a 3-games-to-2 lead in the World Series, and lost.

More embarrassing than the 1976 Yankees, who were physically and emotionally exhausted after winning a thrilling American League Championship Series, and were swept in the World Series.

More embarrassing than the 1981 Yankees, who had a 2-games-to-0 lead in the World Series, and lost 4 straight.

More embarrassing than the 1988 Mets, who had a 3-games-to-2 lead in the National League Championship Series, and lost to a Dodger team that had Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson, Mike Scioscia and 22 guys named John Shelby.

More embarrassing than the 1995 Yankees, who had a 2-games-to-0 lead in the American League Division Series, and lost 3 straight.

More embarrassing than the 1998 Mets, who had to win just 1 of their last 5 regular season games to make the Playoffs... and lost them all.

More embarrassing than the 1999 Mets, who lost a Pennant on a bases-loaded walk, a method of losing a title or series that no other team has ever used.

More embarrassing than the 2001 Yankees, who were 2 outs away from winning the World Series, and lost.

More embarrassing than the 2004 Yankees... as bad as that was, it was in the Playoffs, something the 2007 Mets cannot say... and the Mets only had to win 1 more game against either the 2007 Washington Nationals or the 2007 Florida Marlins, not exactly the 2003-07 Boston Red Sox.

Why, it's even more embarrassing than the 2006 Mets, who were tied going into the 9th inning of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series... and let Yadier Molina, the 3rd-best Molina brother, hit a Pennant-winning home run, and then, with the tying and Pennant-winning runs on base, Carlos Beltran just stood there with his bat on his shoulder and took a called 3rd strike.

Whether the Mets' 2007 collapse is worse than those of, say, the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, or the 1978 Red Sox, or the 1987 Toronto Blue Jays, or the 1995 California Angels, or even those of the 1969 Chicago Cubs, the 1973 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 1986 Red Sox, from which the Mets benefited, is debatable.

What is not debatable is that the Mets ended the 2007 season worse than the Yankees have ended any season. And that the Mets still had the chance to "own New York" in 2000, and blew it.

It's not even the very simple math of "26 > 2" anymore. It's "1 > 0." Not "1969 > any Yankee title" or "1986 > 1998," not that either of those was ever true.

So, go ahead, post your cheap laughs. It's your right as an American.

But it is your responsibility as a New York baseball fan to remember: You root for The Other Team. And until your team beats the Yankees in a World Series, they will always be The Other Team.

And until then, you have nothing to say.

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