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Mets Find Way To Make Jerseys Uglier

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Above (at left, obviously) is the patch the Mets will wear at the inaugural season of Citi Field next season. Maybe due to budget cuts the Mets eliminated everyone on staff who has taste? Oh, wait, I bet there wasn’t anyone like that on staff.

And, if you’re wondering, it will be enormous on the sleeve. Considering the Mets’ manager has already denounced the idea of using any sort of logic or reason in regards to managing a baseball team, I think it could be a long season for the Metropolitans.

Mets pizza patch the laughingstock of the baseball uniform world [Big League Stew]

Clap Your Hands Shea Yeah!

Yesterday, the Mets came into the final day of the season tied for a playoff spot for the second straight year. Again, all the Mets needed to do was beat the Florida Marlins on the last day of the season and the worst they’d do was a tiebreaker game.

Again, the Mets lost and will miss the playoffs. The team closed Shea Stadium with another September swoon, bumbling away a 3 1/2 game lead in September to the Phillies. Geeze, at least the Eagles made the NFC Championship before closing the Vet with a pathetic choke.

Yes, the Mets actually won one more game than they did last year. And, yes, it was amazing the Mets were in it this long with the injuries they had. And, yes, the Phillies went 17-8 in September to pass the Mets.

But, really: Ha, ha, hahahaha. Nice way to finish out the year, New York. It’s actually the first time a team has passed another team in September for the division in back-to-back seasons. The only similar occurrence was before divisional play: The Dodgers passed the Giants for the pennant in September in both 1965 and 1966, but it happened on Sept. 2 in the second year.

So, ah, congratulations, Mets fans, on your team’s unprecedented collapse in back-to-back seasons. Enjoy your consolation prize of Citigroup buying Wachovia!

Photo by JJWay2006 used under a Creative Commons License

Phillies Magic Number: 1!

Never. A. Doubt. Last night, our Fightin’ Phils clinched at least a tie for the the NL East title with an 8-4 victory over the Washington Nationals and a Mets’ loss to Florida. (Thanks, guys!) Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer and Chase Utley hit a bases-loaded double to life the Phils.

A win today at 4 pm over the Nats (on FOX) would give the Phillies a second straight division title. A Mets loss would do the same. So would a win or a Mets loss on Sunday.

The Phillies won 90 games for only the 12th time in their 126-year history. The Phils haven’t won consecutive division titles since the 1980 World Series win and the first half of the strike-shortened 1981 season. (The only other time the Philadelphia National League baseball club strung together division crowns was when it won three in a row from 76-78. The Phils have won the NL East eight times since baseball began divisional play in 1969.)

The Mets are now actually a game back in the Wild Card as well, as the Brewers won last night. Everything’s kind of going right for the Phillies right now; there’s even a dude on Arizona with more strikeouts than Ryan Howard. But if the Mets miss the playoffs! Ha, ha–Oh, let’s not count our eggs before they’re hatched (and all in one basket). Now go win a second straight division title, Phillies. For the first time in my life. Uncle Cholly, we never doubted you.

The Phillies Are Good (Really!)

Ryan Howard After Brad Lidge struck out Gregor Blanco to put the Phillies into first place last night, it finally dawned on me: The Phillies actually have a shot at the postseason again.

That’s unprecedented — for me, at least. The Phillies haven’t made the playoffs in consecutive seasons my entire life. Last year’s shocking run to the NL East title always kind of seemed like a fluke. Sure, the Phillies were good, but coming back from 7 down with 17 games to play was a once-in-a-lifetime sports moment. It was like 1993, a year when everything fell into place (or all the players were on the best performance enhancing drugs, take your pick). The Phillies finished last the year before and next-to-last the year after.

For most of my life, they’ve been awful, out of it by mid-June, a team where no-names compete in front of empty seats for the second half of the season. The Phillies haven’t been that team since 2001, though, posting winning records every year but one (80-81 in 2002). Their players are stars and future Hall of Famers (well, Chase Utley at least). This year, they’re (jinx alert!) a near-lock for the playoffs all of a sudden. They should be good for the next several years, if they can get some pitching.

It’s taken nearly a decade for this to sink in, but the Phillies are good. Let’s try to enjoy the next 11 games — and hopefully a bunch more. The Mets are a half-game back in the division, the Brewers are a full one back in the Wild Card. Nobody can score enough runs to put the Phillies away. They can conceivably win every game they play.

It should be a great couple of weeks.

Phillies-Mets Play At Noon For Some Reason

The Phillies may have lost to “Dancin’” Jose Reyes and the Mets last night, but they can still take the series with a win today at Shea Stadium. The game begins at 12:10, so the place will be empty since all the fans are still hung over from last night.

I’m going to try to liveblog it assuming nothing blows up tech-wise. After the jump.

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Phillies Shut Up Sox Fans At CBP

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I asked, and Phillyskyline delivered (thanks, Brad). Also delivering: The Phillies, who have the leader in All-Star votes, Chase Utley, got two homers (and a triple!) from Ryan Howard, as well as a triple from known speed demon Pat Burrell. The Philliesbeat Boston, 8-2; meanwhile, in Anaheim, the Mets fired manager Willie Randolph at 3:15 a.m.

The Phillies are 3 up on the Marlins and 6.5 up on the Mets and Braves. I think the Phillies will still have to eventually worry about the Mets and Braves both, but we’ll see. Jamie Moyer goes tonight against the Red Sox.

1960s Radicals Continue To Be Attacked

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Look, a man goes to a Phillies-Mets game at Citizens Bank Park with his Met fan wife and says Philly fans are awful. His reasoning? “You must remember that this is the same city that is famous for booing Santa Claus during a pro football game a number of years ago.”

Uh, no, you probably don’t remember it, because it happened before Woodstock. Complaining about Philadelphia sports fans and referencing the Santa Claus incident is like going to Chicago and saying it’s a bad place because of the police response to protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It’s kind of exactly the same, since both happened the same year.

Kalas Already Depressed About Phillies

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Eh. Losing a series to the Mets less than a dozen games into the series isn’t a washout, but once again the Phillies have opened the season flat. If the Phillies had any sort of psychological edge against the Mets, it ended when Jose Reyes was called safe last night in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Bugs and Cranks has frame-by-frame coverage of the play at the plate — thank you, I didn’t want to have to do that myself — and it appears Coste (ever the wily minor league vet) blocks the plate and tags Reyes out before he touches the plate. It’s hard to tell.

This is true: Harry Kalas had already ended the game by the time Angel Pagan singled into center field. Check out his call after the jump.

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Nutter Drinks Water At Ballgame

Enrico points out on The 700 Level the above video, where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg enjoys the Phillies 5-2 win over the Mets yesterday with our very own mayor, Michael Nutter.

But wait! While Bloomberg is enjoying a beer — that he said he didn’t have to pay for himself, that cheap millionaire! — Nutter is simply enjoying a glass of water. A glass of water? Geeze, way to be healthy, Mr. Mayor. At least get a Coke or something.

Nutter Not a Beer Guy Or Just On Call? [The 700 Level]

Hey, Why Not? Phillies-Mets Liveblog

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We all know what happened last year. The Mets were 7 games up in the final month of the season and somehow managed to lose the division to the Phillies, of all teams. For good measure the Phils went 12-6 against the Mets last season, the exact same record the Fightins had against the Washington Nationals.

It’s the last Shea Stadium home opener as the Mets move in to Citifield — yes, that’s what it’s called — next season. The Phils have beaten the Mets eight straight times and swept ‘em three times last season. I believe this is what we call a “baseball rivalry.” I know we haven’t had one in so long it’s hard to figure out how to act, but let’s all get ready to boo the Mets out of their stirrups today, even if it’s just in front of your computer.

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