Thursday, June 29, 2006
Our new foe? Pirates fans
Mets fans, we have a new enemy.
Not the Braves. Certainly a menace of the past, but now they are 15 games out, tied for last and dealing with the desired defection of Mr. Brave, John Smoltz, who apparently wants out of town now that team won’t be around to choke in the playoffs.
Not the Yankees. They’ve become like that scene in the Holy Grail where they guy pushes the cart of stiffs through the streets.
"Bring out your disabled!"
Bernie Williams: "I’m not disabled!"
"Yes you are."
BW "I’m getting better!"
"You’re not fooling anyone, get on the cart!"
Heck, the Yanks barely beat the Braves this week.
No. Our new enemy is the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans.
Normally, I don’t worry much about the ‘Rats. They pose no threat to anyone. I love their stadium and think their sleeveless uniforms are pretty sweet. And they made Mickey Mantle cry all the way home in 1960, which nearly earns them a lifetime pass in my book.
But now the team is messing with the Mets chances in the World Series, and that’s when I get ticked off.
Follow my logic.
The team apparently found a way to get its fans all riled up and voting for their favorite players to start in the All-Star Game.
Shortstop Jack Wilson — hitting .266 with seven homers — is coming out of nowhere to slide in behind Jose Reyes. This would be a travesty should this scrub pass our stud.
Second baseman Jose Castillo and his robust .277 stick is in third place and gaining rapidly on Craig Biggio and Chase Utley.
Third baseman Freddy Sanchez, with just four bombs, is fourth place and climbing, though it would take a miracle for him to displace our man David Wright.
In the outfield, near-Met Jason Bay somehow climbed atop Carlos Beltran, though Beltran is still in line to get the start.
Albert Pujols won’t be passed at first by anyone, much less a Pirate, and Paul Lo Duca maintains a lead over Mike Piazza at catcher.
Look, we don’t want a bunch of Pirate stiffs clogging up the All-Star Game lineup. We want to win this game. For several reasons.
First, we don’t want to have to endure another round of column from Yankee apologists like Tom Verducci going on and on about how he thinks the American League is superior. Verducci usually has some condescending All-Star rant. I remember one that ripped Milwaukee — the city, not the team — for daring to exist in a place like the Midwest that doesn’t meet Tommy’s approval.
Verducci’s still reeling from having to say nice things about Jose Reyes in a column last week, and even in that he felt the need to branch off into a Don Mattingly-Rickey Henderson lovefest because, well, you can't praise a Met without making sure the Yankees get their due.
But most importantly, the winning league gets the home field advantage in the World Series.
We plan to be in the World Series.
Our record in previous World Series: 1 win (1986) with home advantage, 1 win (1969) and two losses (1973, 2000) without home advantage.
I can understand the Pirates fans. When their team is as bad as it is, the best thing they have to look forward to is their hometown players going 0 for 2 in an All-Star Game before being replaced by someone who deserves to be there.
But there are bigger issues at work, and we don’t want a bunch sucky Pirates tampering with our plans to hoist a World Series trophy in a Shea clubhouse come October.
All-Star voting ends tonight! Get busy.
In other words...
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