Five Reasons Mets Fans Should Root for the Phillies

phillies-76It’s a Mets fan’s worst nightmare: Phillies vs. Yankees in the World Series. Many will simply avoid the Fall Classic altogether. The rest will begrudgingly watch — but it’s darn near impossible to invest yourself in a ballgame without pulling for one of the teams. Which to choose? Simple: the Phillies. Here’s why:

1. Because the reason you are a Mets fan is because you are NOT a Yankees fan.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone of course, but it does fit a significant portion of the fan base. If you are a Mets fan, chances are you are from the New York-Metro area. Which means you have a choice between two teams: the Mets or the Yankees. You (or your parents, or your grandparents) made the conscious decision to root for the Mets because you despised the Yankees and everything they stand/stood for. With that kind of deep-rooted hatred for the Yankees, you can’t possibly want them to win the World Series.

2. Because you are a National League fan.

If you didn’t choose them because they were the alternative to the Yankees, then you (or your parents/grandparents who handed down your Mets fandom) may have chosen the Mets because they were the New York team that represented the National League — one of the few leagues left on the planet that still plays baseball, as opposed to some sacrilegious abortion of the sport (i.e., those “baseball” leagues that allow such atrocities as a “designated pinch hitter”). If you are one of those people who believes in the purity and sanctity of the sport, and therefore also agrees that everyone who plays the field should also be allowed to bat, then by default you must also root for the NL team in the World Series, every year — just as you root for the NL in the All-Star Game. Of course you prefer that your team is in the Fall Classic, but if it is not, your next loyalty is to the Senior Circuit — the league upholding the standards and purity of true baseball.

3. Because the Mets-Yankees rivalry is much older and more intense than the Mets-Phillies rivalry.

Let’s face facts: Three years ago, you hated the Cardinals. Five years ago, you could care less about the Philadelphia Phillies — you hated the Atlanta Braves! And before the Braves (if you can remember that far back), you probably hated the Cubs — or the Cardinals (again). This Mets-Phillies “rivalry” only came about in 2007, and only because the Phillies happened to be the team that reaped the benefit of the Mets self-destructing in the final days of 2007 and 2008. Heck, the Mets beat the Phillies 11 out of 18 times in ’08 — so they were hardly a “nemesis”. If there was any true “rival” in ’08 it was the Marlins, who knocked off the Mets in the final days of both collapses.

In contrast, the Mets-Yankees rivalry has been going strong since 1962 — even without the two teams playing each other. Not unlike a big brother – little brother rivalry. Do you want to give up 47 years of hatred for a “rival come lately”? Not me.

4. Because you want the World Champion to come from the NL East.

If the best team in baseball comes from your division, then there’s at least some argument that your division is one of the toughest in all MLB. The Mets played the Phillies 18 times in ’09, and maybe all that competition had something to do with “toughening” the Phils or otherwise preparing them for their destiny. It sounds a little weak, I know, but think of it as an extension of the NL allegiance. Or, think of it this way: if your favorite team can’t win its division, don’t you want it to be because your division was led by the very best team in the world? There’s some solace in that, isn’t there?

5. Because a Yankees World Series win will be more annoying for a longer time through the winter.

This one does not apply if you live in South Jersey or within striking distance of Philadelphia. Otherwise, consider that you will have to listen to all the Yankees fans who come storming out of the woodwork — at your place of work, on the subway, on the bus, in the bars, etc., etc. — talk about the World Series win and take every opportunity possible to shove it in your face, every day from now through Opening Day 2010 (and perhaps beyond). In contrast, if the Phillies win, you will have the right to trash-talk and tease all the Yankees fans — because of reasons 1,2, 3, and/or 4.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Original Met October 28, 2009 at 8:24 am
    As a Mets fan since ’62, I have decided to root for the Yankees, but I must say you make as compelling a case as possible for going the other way. I guess my love of NY, hatred of Philly fans and contempt for that second rate city still trump my lifelong hatred of the Yankees. It’s just a gut, visceral call – I just can’t stand the idea of those punks strutting around with “back-to-back” all over them, while Yankee fans will always strut anyway, and the difference between 26 and 27 WS titles won’t change that anyway. We can just do womething else when they have their parade.
  2. Walnutz15 October 28, 2009 at 8:44 am
    Having lived through RIVALRIES with the Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, Braves, and now — Phillies…..I understand that these things come and go, and are much more media/fan-driven than they are on the field.

    The Phillies are not the Red Sox — we’re not the Yankees….this is what certain Met fans need to get over in telling their friends who to root for. LOL

    Hell, Cole Hamels was brought onto WFAN after the Phillies had won the World Series…and was set-up with a direct question, asking if he felt the Mets were chokers by Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno. Did he say anything different from what the rest of us already believed about our own team?

    Speaking for myself, I can respond with an emphatic “NO”.

    I’m not necessarily rooting for anyone, but would prefer to see the Phillies win. They’re a team full of scrappers; and come through when the chips are down.

    The Mets, essentially, created their own “Philly-Problem” and haven’t responded to it since they started opening their mouths and getting cocky (point directly to their W-L records vs. the Phillies all you’d like, but it doesn’t mean much — in fact, it lessens the “rivalry”, to me since the Mets have had success vs. the Phils at points. My overall point being: the Mets haven’t followed through vs. the rest of the league, and the Phils have.)

    With regard to the Yankees, I’ve seen their direct-competition play some of their worst ball throughout these 2009 playoffs…wilting down to Big Brother at the worst possible times. To me, that kinda diminishes certain accomplishments of a team with a $200MM payroll.

    Hopefully, this series plays out as one of the good ones.

    I understand that much of this plays into your demographic, and geographic-location — but “Remember 2000”. Seeing another squad celebrate the last World Series won at Shea Stadium….amongst 25 others that they’ve won through the years — is enough for me to know:

    I ain’t pullin’ for the Yankees…..never have, never will.

  3. RobT October 28, 2009 at 9:47 am
    I hate the Philthies and abhor the Yankees…but I will say that for this year, and this year alone, I wouldn’t be horrified if the Yankees won. For Game 6 against the Angels, they hosted 25 friends and family members of Patrick Joyce, the Yonkers firefighter that was killed in a blaze caused by an arsonist. Here is the link:

    Classy move by the Yankees.

  4. Original Met October 28, 2009 at 10:03 am
    Appreciate your post, RobT…another reason to wish the Yankees well during this (very) temporary alliance. Being baseball royalty, so to speak, they can occasionally act as such, as opposed to the Phillies (or more specifically, the city and their fans), who are trying to work out all their jealousy, anger and hostility to both our team and our city with their usual ugliness.

    This rivalry is different than Braves, Cardinals, etc. in one critical way: there was no issue between our city and theirs.

  5. TheDZA October 28, 2009 at 10:28 am
    As I live in London I can’t really comment on what it is like to have my face rubbed in it by Yankee fans.
    Yet I will be rooting for them this time around as I have had enough in two years of the Phillies and their chest-thumping, and I know that we can say this about the Yankees – I understand that.

    But somehow with 26 World Championships under the belt: to some degree you have earned that right.
    I would rather see it as supporting New York.

    Perhaps most recent in my mind is myself and a Met buddy headed into central London to catch a playoff game at a bar (Phillies vs Rockies), naturally wanted the Rocks to win.
    After a couple of innings we had soon separated ourselves from the main following (Phillies fans)and we got all sorts of sneering looks, back talk etc. UNTIL the Rockies closed that game out (the only one they did you’ll recall).
    It was a joy to watch them slink out unable to even look back or shake a hand. Classless.

    Go New York City.

  6. Harry Chiti October 28, 2009 at 10:40 am
    Reasons to root for the Yankees:
    1. The sporting world in most cities hate all New York teams.
    2. Sport fans who hate all New York teams show grudging respect for the Yankees history. The Mets however, they think of as garbage, with nothing to back the fandom.
    3. The better the Yankees do, the lower SNY ratings will be next year, the less jersies the Mets will sell, the less tickets the Wilpons will say. This will eventually cause Fred wipon to straighten out his front office like Met ownership does best whenever the field in Queens has amty seats.
  7. Mike October 28, 2009 at 11:19 am
    I can’t root for the any Philadelphia team. The team I hate the least is the Eagles, but I would never root for them against a NY team. Being removed from the NY area for over a year has shown me that in the eyes of everyone else, the Mets and Yankees are the same. I actually identify more with the Yankees now that I have left the area because of this. I love that city and want to see it happy. Obnoxious, arrogant, ignorant as they may be they are still NYers. Go NY.
  8. Walnutz15 October 28, 2009 at 11:37 am
    For what it’s worth — I grew up on Staten Island (the mecca of bandwagon Yankee morons)…and currently reside on the Upper West Side.

    I am still rooting against the Yanks.

  9. joejanish October 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm
    Phillies fans can be obnoxious, but they’re 100 miles away. Yankees fans are right next to us — and can be just as obnoxious.

    The parade will be tough to take. I wouldn’t even notice a parade in Philly. Not to mention all the crap about the Yankees we’d have to hear on talk radio for weeks on end.

    I don’t know about the idea of rooting for the Yankees because they’re from New York. It would make you one of those bandwagon Yankee fans, wouldn’t it? I identify myself more as an NL fan than as a “New Yorker”. There are too many different kinds of people and too many different things going on in New York for me to align myself with the entire city or state. Maybe I’d feel differently if I moved far away.

  10. Cleon Jones October 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm
    I cannot root for the Yankees under any circumstances (well, maybe if they were playing the Al-Qaeda All Stars.) Secondly, if you’re a Mets fan you probably have a natural inclination to root for the underdog and the Phillies definitely fit that description. As you point out, intra-league rivalries ebb and flow but the Yankees have been and always will be our nemesis. Finally, I appreciate the Phillies because they are everything the recent Met teams are not: tough, confident and determined. Also, they have built the their team almost exclusively through their farm system and trades and I admire that.
  11. Nick October 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm
    I will never root for the Phillies! The only way you can understand this is if you are a Mets Fan and live in Philly! IT SUCKS! I would much rather root for the Yankees because having to endure another Phillies World Series is my personal HELL!
  12. Monique October 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm
    I have been a diehard Mets fan since I was 2. All my life, I’ve hated and despised the dreaded Bronx Bombers. I came to Penn State in 2007 – yes, the year of the first collapse.

    Now, as a junior, I’ve spent my 2-3 years in PA watching the Phillies crush the Mets in everything. While all my friends are home are Yankees fans, all my friends at school (including my boyfriend) are Phillies fans. As obnoxious as Yankees fans are… Phillies fans are even worse.

    Right now, this is my worst nightmare. I can’t root for A-Roid but I certainly can’t root for Rollins and the rest of the Phillies. This is Baseball Armageddon and there’s nothing any Mets fan can do about it.

  13. Mike October 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm
    Monique, I too grew to hate the Phillies while at Penn State. My first year was 2004 and I graduated last May in 2008 so I only suffered through one collapse in enemy territory. I agree I can’t win with this because I have many friends from college who are Phillies fans and many friends from my childhood who are Yankee fans. As I said as time goes by and I am removed from the NY area I identify more with Yankee fans than ever before because people treat me the same as they treat Yankee fans.

    Joe, I understand that Yankee fans are more local to you and thus more of your enemy but for me at Penn State Phillies fans were closer and now that I am in Texas all northerners are treated the same. So, the Yankees are more of a home town team to me than ever before. I still hate everything they stand for with the only exception that they stand for NY and I love that city.

  14. CatchDog October 29, 2009 at 8:55 am
    This series is a no win situation for Met fans so there’s really no wrong answer. Therefore, it comes down to personal opinion. Every Met fan has at least one relative, friend or associate that is an arrogant fan of the Yanks or Phils. I opine that rooting for a specific team simply comes down to which person really pushes your buttons more. Human nature will then make the choice clear.

    Personally, I thought that calling out the Mets numerous times, including during their own WS parade last year, was rather low brow of a few Phillie players. That’s being a sore winner and a HOF Bush leaguer if you ask me…

  15. Brice October 29, 2009 at 11:44 am
    I’m 18 years old and the bleed the colors of blue and orange. I tell you my age cause as a met fan this is what i know. The braves have straight up molly wopped us since i can remember. Pennant after Pennant the mets marlins Phillies and at the time Montreal Expos could only watch the braves dominate. The phillies only have been considered rivals to the mets for two years. TWO YEARS!!!! whats two years compared to a lifetime of yankee abuse. Im from ny which im sure most of us if not all of us are and we have watched the yankees control not only the sport we love but the state and city we live in. I dont like the phillies at all but its our own fault we dont like them. The yankees have been the bully at recess taking our lunch money all these years and even if it is the Philadelphia Phillies that stop them. They need to be put in their place
  16. Fla-Mets-Man October 29, 2009 at 1:40 pm
    I hate to say it, but Mets fans NEED the Yankees to win. And i say this for one reason only…

    If the Yanks win, the brass will seemingly be happy with the product they put on the field this year, and fill holes in the offseason with more role players to support their current product.

    If they lose, they’re going to raid the free agent market(Holliday lf. Vladdy dh.), and trade joba and and a handfull of good prospects for Halladay. Its just the Yankee way.

    If the yanks win… maybe the mets have a shot at Halladay and Holliday (should the Wilpon boys feel inclined to pay for the product).

    Our best chance for next year may very well hinge on this world series… even though the golf course is the only grass our ballplayers are gaming on.

  17. duncan October 30, 2009 at 12:09 am
    As a foreign Mets fan in Taiwan, I would prefer to see Phillies taking the series title, my reason is…

    In 2005, the Yanks brought up Chien-Ming Wang to big league and since then, we’re watching at least 100 Yanks games a year(including 6 Mets games…smile)on Taiwan TV(not cable)…and guess what happened? Most of the people(even not baseball fans) are rooting for the “Taiwan Yankees”.

    The TV Channel had announced that they will hold an out-door telecast for game 3…even Wang is still on D/L. Can’t imagine how strident will be if the Yanks did reach world champion.

    p.s. just to letting you know, Nelson Figueroa, who pitched Mets’ 2nd 9innings shout out this year…he played Taiwan CPBL league(President Lions)in 2007 and recorded 4-0 with ERA 3.0

  18. Mike October 30, 2009 at 11:33 am
    I have a new theory on who the Mets fans should root for: whoever wins.

    Let me elaborate.

    As Mets fans it is our curse to be losers. We always lose and it is part of what brings fans closer. Right now arguably our two biggest rivals are playing each other in the World Series. I believe, then, that as Mets fans we really can’t “win” in this situation. No part of us wants either team to be champions. So instead we decide that we must chose a side. I ask why must we chose a side?

    I believe that as pessimistic Mets fans we are naturally going to view this as “one of our rivals is going to win the World Series” and then rationalize which one we can tolerate more and then root for that team. I hold that this is unnecessary torture. Why not look at it another way? Why not see the glass half full? Why not think “we can’t lose” instead of “we can’t win?”

    I propose that we, as Mets fans, root for the team that wins because when someone wins someone has to lose. Yes, by rooting for the winning team you are in fact choosing to celebrate the loss of the losing team. So instead of focusing on the winner, we should focus on the loser, whoever that may be. In the end the loser is no different than the Mets. If the Yankees lose then the season is always a failure, there are no moral victories in Yankee land. If the Phillies lose then they have lost to a NY team and yet again they fail to conquer the big bad city of NY.

    Yes if we chose to celebrate the loss of the losing team then we cannot lose. Join me Mets fans, root for the winner, because as long as someone loses you win.

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