End The False Rivalry

An article by posted on November 6, 2009

This year marked the end of my rivalry with “true” Yankees fans. Personally, I know there are many Mets fans that simply cannot accept another Yankees World Series Championship, but I can. This year, the NY Yankees defeated the NY Mets division rival in the World Series, yet so many Mets fans were found trying to come up with logical reasons to root for the Phillies. Let me be clear, I hate the Yankees. If I know 100 Yankees fans I’d say 65 of them are watching a game on May 23rd (random date,) and the rest just hang on and wait for the playoffs or a Red Sox series. 

I said it once and I’ll say it again. You don’t root for division rivals. Not only do you not root for rivals, you don’t root for Philadelphia. It’s a crime against New York. It’s a crime against the Mets. Tell me the last time a Yankees player called the Mets chokers on the NY radio? Tell me the last time a Yankees outfielder tried to elbow our infielder in the chest while turning a double play? The only, and I mean this, the only reason to root for the Phillies over the Yankees was pure jealousy. I won’t stand for it, and I won’t accept it. Here are the two most popular arguments made: 

#1 The Yankees buy championships: 

This is easily the most popular argument and to me proves how jealous we really are as fans. The NY Mets had a payroll of over 130 million this year, more than almost every team in the entire league, yet somehow we aren’t trying to buy a title but they are? Not only do we have a high payroll, but tell me again what EVERY Mets fans wish is for this off-season? 

Oh right, it’s to spend more money. If you look at archives on this site or any Mets site really, you’ll find articles upon articles of concerned Mets fans thinking the Mets will not be willing to spend money in this off-season, and how distraught they are over that “decision.” So while “we” hate the Yankees for spending money, we get angry at our owners for not spending whatever it takes to win? Something doesn’t add up there. There are several of us that hope the Mets sign Lackey AND Holliday (which they won’t,) but how is that any different? Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me that if the Wilpon’s had $200m to spend and it put the Mets in the World Series that you wouldn’t be happy because we “bought it?” 

#2 The Yankees/Mets Rivalry: 

I’m going to tell you fellow Mets something that may be tough to read. There is no rivalry. I can’t speak for generations before me, but I can tell you from 1980-1995 the Yankees were never on my radar. I was never concerned with how they ran their team, who they played and how they did. When they won in 1996, I thought it was pretty awesome. How could you not? I mean, any true baseball fan who can’t appreciate that 1996 team is just a fool. 

After 1996 is when the Yankees got a little greedy, and started to enjoy the taste of winning a little too much and would spend whatever it takes to get there again.

The problem to me is, we don’t have to like the Yankees, but let’s not call them our rivals. The Yankees are only our rivals because Fox and ESPN tell you they are. They play one another 6 times in a regular season, and for some reason people think a series win versus the Yankees is more important than the Phillies-Braves-Marlins. 

When the Mets build their team for 2010, they aren’t building it to beat the Yankees. They are building to beat everybody in the division, and anybody who would stand in their way heading to the World Series. 

If you take 100 Yankees fans and asked them Red Sox/Mets who are they rooting for, there’s no way more than 10 would say Red Sox. Absolutely, no way. Yankees fans don’t hate Mets fans, they pity us. Why? Because for the last 10 years we’ve tried to make claims that we belong in the same conversation with them, and we simply have not proven it. 

I can understand disliking them and enjoying the moments in which they fail due to their payroll, but to cheer for a division rival that has thrown our miseries in our face over the last 3 years is ridiculous. 

#3 Steroids 

I’ll be brief here. Anybody who uses steroids as a reason to root against a single team is just ignoring the truth about the issue. Alex Rodriguez was 1 of over 100 players on a list. If you honestly think it’s impossible anybody on your team whether it be the Mets or whoever is not or could not be on that list, then you just have a selective thought process. They all either did it or knew about it. Get over it. 

So let’s take a page out of the Yankees book. The franchise has the money, let’s spend it. We’ve got our core guys, now let’s go sign the missing pieces so that this time next year we’re talking about the Mets parading down Broadway in New York City. Let’s focus on the National League, and the NL East, and start realizing the Yankees only matter to us if it comes down to a 7 game series, until then, let’s keep our eyes on the prize.

Finally, the 2009 season is over and it ended with the Philadelphia Phillies former ace pitcher practically quitting on his team, their closer imploding, and their star 1B not showing up in the series except to strikeout. Celebrate that. Celebrate the fact that if we want to win the NL East next year, the team likely standing in our way just had a small meltdown. It’s Hot Stove season, and if we can’t win the 09 World Series, let’s go out and win the 2010 Hot Stove Title and get ready for April!

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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