Well, Mets fans, our nightmare has come true. Yankees vs. Phillies........ goddammit to hell. It's like the culmination of everything that has sucked for us over the past few years. It was bad enough when we choked and the hated Phils made the playoffs in '07... worse when we choked again and the Phils won the whole damn thing in '08... this year, we didn't even have the opportunity to choke, and now we are faced with the most horrifying World Series imaginable and forced to make our very own SOPHIE'S CHOICE....
It's like 1999 all over again, only worse. Don't get me wrong, I have not forgotten how much we hated the Braves back then... but despite idiots like John Rocker who tried to make it personal, it was mainly because they were so good and they had our number. I booed Chipper Jones mercilessly but I didn't exactly hate him personally -- I hated him because he owned the Mets like few others ever have. (In fact, nowadays, I feel a bizarre kinship with ol' Larry because I believe he truly misses Shea Stadium as much as I do.) The Phillies don't necessarily have our number, and I believe that even they are self-conscious of the fact that the only reason they've had the opportunity to win anything in recent years is because the Mets keep shooting themselves in the foot. Not to say that the Phils don't have a powerhouse of a team, but their success is more a testament to the Mets' failures than anything else. Hell, even their fans are horribly self-conscious and suffer from intense inferiority complexes -- how else to explain their anti-Mets chants even after winning the freakin' World Series last year? (Seriously, if the Mets won the World Series, bad-mouthing the Phillies would be the LAST thing on my mind!) Even the players couldn't help but trash-talk the Mets during their own victory parade last year. Or best of all, their blatant thievery of the Mets' ultimate rally cry, "YA GOTTA BELIEVE!" Really, Philly, you're that insecure? The whole thing is pretty sad, and it's infuriating to see this team put on a pedestal. So in that sense, my hatred for the Phillies is far deeper and more personal. I don't respect Rollins, Victorino and Hamels the way I begrudgingly respected Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz -- I hate them as ballplayers and as human beings. The Phillies are a bunch of dirty, trash-talking goons and their fans are a bunch of ignorant, insufferable, bandwagon-riding neanderthals wearing Chase Utley jerseys that they just bought last October. In a few short years, the Phillies have become the cancer on baseball's testicle.
Meanwhile, since the Yankees have pretty much lain dormant for the past eight years, I'd almost forgotten how much I hated them -- but that loathing has quickly returned over the past couple of weeks. I am surrounded by far more Yankees fans on a daily basis, and it would be sweet if they lost just to clear my Facebook news feed of their nightly blather. Not to mention NYC in general -- dear lord, the buzz of the Yankee machine in this city has been more annoying than ever. (Did anyone else read Mike Lupica's ridiculous article about how Yankees fans are the greatest fans in the world? It's good for a laugh!) And don't even get me started on A-Rod -- my hatred for him almost cancels out any semblance of respect I may have for guys like Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera. I don't even care about the steroids, but how anyone can cheer for such a sniveling, whining little shit is beyond me. Indeed, after all these years, the Yankee Empire remains evil incarnate.
So, yeah, it's a tough call. If I could root for the plague or an earthquake or a goddamn nuclear holocaust, believe me, I would. But since I can't..... I suppose that I will be "rooting" for the Yankees in the 2009 Fall Classic. It's almost unfathomable, but in this case, it's kind of like a FRIDAY THE 13th film where you find yourself rooting for evil Jason to knock off the douchebag camp counselors. I can deal with evil more than I can deal with fucking douchebags, and the only thing worse than a pompous, gloating Yankee fan is a pompous, gloating Phillie fan. When a Yankee fan gloats, I can roll my eyes and ignore him -- but a gloating Phillie fan is enough to make me want to break things. Besides, you gotta figure that a Yankee win will be quickly forgotten, anyway -- they are, after all, a dime a dozen -- whereas a Phillies win would actually be fairly historic and we'd never hear the end of it. I'd rather endure a day or two's worth of annoying-but-ignorable "THAAAA YANKEES WIN!" spewage (which, again, is almost like white noise at this point) than have to hear about a Phillies repeat for years to come -- especially during the nine times the Phils visit Citi Field next year. And perhaps most importantly, I can always say with some level of honesty that I'm pulling for the Yankees for the sake of my grandfather, the greatest Yankee fan I've ever known, who died last December. If the Yanks can make themselves useful by honoring Tony Sarnicola AND breaking the hearts of Phillies fans in one fell swoop... well, I could live with that.
But understand this: Regardless of whether they're playing the Phillies, the Braves, or the Nazis, I will never be able to bring myself to utter the words "let's," "go" and "Yankees" in succession, nor express the slightest inkling of positive vibes towards them. It just goes against ever fiber of my being -- so in that sense, when I say I'm "rooting" for the Yanks, I really just mean that I'm rooting for the Phillies to lose. I watched maybe a few innings of the 1999 World Series and will likely watch even less this year. Is this all making me sound like a very bitter person? Yes indeed. But like it or not, the worst World Series of all time is upon us, and as much as it pains me to say it........ Yankees in 5.