The Mets season ended nearly a month ago, and somehow it keeps getting worse. Deep down, we knew it was coming, but now that it’s here, we don’t know what to do. I’m talking, of course, about the Phillies and Yankees meeting in the World Series. Our two most hated rivals, playing for the championship. It couldn’t be any worse, unless somehow the Braves make an appearance in this nightmare of a Fall Classic. So what do we do? The way I see it, we have three options, none of them particularly appealing. But we’ve got to choose one. So here goes:
Just ignore it, and hope it goes away
That’s right, bury your head in the sand, pretend the World Series isn’t happening. Watch “Dancing With the Stars” or whatever crap Jay Leno is doing. If you live in New York, this won’t be an option. You won’t be able to walk down the street without seeing someone in a Yankees hat. You won’t be able to read a newspaper without seeing a dozen stories on the World Series. And forget local TV news — it’ll be all Yankees all the time. Not to mention all of your friends who are Yankees fans, who won’t shut up about their stupid team being in the stupid World Series.
And then there is the issue of being a baseball fan. Can you call yourself a baseball fan if you ignore the pinnacle of the season just because your team isn’t in it, and you hate the teams that are? We may be Mets fans first, but we are baseball fans second, and ignoring the World Series is something we shouldn’t do.
Root for the Yankees
During the regular season, the Yankees and the Phillies played each other in interleague play. During the Mets broadcast on that day, Keith Hernandez asked lifelong Mets fan Gary Cohen for which team Mets fans should root. Cohen thought about it, and said it was still early in the season, it wasn’t really going to have an effect on the Mets, so he really didn’t care who won. Well, it’s time to make a choice. So how about (gag) rooting for the Yankees?
The Yankees really aren’t a bad bunch of guys. C.C. Sabbathia is a good pitcher who seems like a nice guy. At least he does in that Subway commercial with Johan Santana. A.J. Burnett and Nick Swisher like to hit guys with shaving cream pies, so they’re fun. Jeter, Rivera and Teixeira seem like class acts. And A-Rod…
We just can’t do it. Rooting for the Yankees goes against everything we’ve ever felt as Mets fans. Even though they are only rivals six games per year, they are like our big brothers with whom we are always in competition. And when was the last time you rooted for your big brother to succeed? No, rooting for the Yankees is not an option, either.
Root for the Phillies
Which brings us to the third undesirable option (I never said this was easy). The Phillies are our rivals, but they’ve only been our rivals for the past three years, since both teams were never good at the same time up until now. Compare that to the 40-plus years we’ve been hating the Yankees. And as much as we hate the Phillies for beating us out the past three seasons, keep in mind the Mets really beat themselves the first two years by choking away big leads, and this year they just stunk.
The Phillies won the World Series last year, so what’s the big deal if they win another one? Compare that to the joy we get watching the Yankees fail to win World Series after World Series while spending $200 million a year on payroll. Do you really want to deny yourself another year of that pleasure?
The bottom line
In a choice of the lesser of three evils, I say just suck it up and root for the Phillies. Sure, it’ll be lousy to see them celebrating another World Series win, but it’s better than watching the Yankees parade down the Canyon of Heroes hoisting another World Seris trophy. And besides, Pedro Martinez is on the Phillies. We still like him.