Growing up in the 1990’s it’s amazing to think that the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the New York Mets would take shape into a rivalry. Remember the days when the Phillies had some no name manager named Terry Francona?
They were an afterthought to Mets fans. They had very little fan support in a hideous stadium and their big name players, Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling, loved the city so much that they left town.
From 1994-2000 the Phillies didn’t have a winning season. I remember looking at them on the calendar as any other game, almost comparing them to the Montreal Expos, dare I say. It was the Atlanta Braves that we all worried about.
David Daniels writes that the Mets core is broken. Omar Minaya needs to make some creative moves to fix a team built around stars that aren’t performing.
It seems that every year it’s the same old story. We can’t seem to get our All-Star center fielder and All-Star shortstop on the field together. Whether you want to call it back luck, bad management or you just chalk it up to the fact that these two are injury prone, we can’t afford to keep both players if they keep going down so much. What to do…?
If I were Omar Minaya, I would trade one of these injury prone superstars to get a top line starting pitcher. If I had to trade one, here’s who I’d trade:
Carlos Beltran? – At 32 years-old and with two years left on his contract, if he can get back by May, get some playing time under his belt and show off the five-tool, Gold Glove, All-Star center fielder that he is, a trade involving Beltran by the July trading deadline could bring back at least a #2 starter and some major help for the minors. Re-stocking the minor leagues for future trades should be a priority and a front line pitcher would certainly help us now. Of course we would need a strong defensive center fielder to replace him to cover such a large outfield at Citi Field. Is F-Mart that guy? I’m not sure but he certainly stacks up to Reyes when it comes to nagging injuries.
Normally, I try not to post a story if it’s only related to the Phillies. But this new commercial for Dick’s Sporting Goods featuring Jimmy Rollins is too good not to post. Thanks to Darren Rovell from Sports Biz at CNBC for the link.
Philadelphia Philles shortstop Jimmy Rollins spoke to reporters yesterday at spring training in Clearwater, Florida. Among other topics he discussed, he said that his World Series hardware will put an end to his talk about the Mets.
The Mets and Phillies have engaged in a three year war of words. And the Phillies have come out on top in the standings for the last two seasons. Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes have continued the verbal sparring this spring, mentioning their disdane for Cole Hamels calling the Mets “choke artists” during a radio interview in December.
It has been pretty funny just to hear it going on and on and on,” Rollins said. “I sit there and I laugh and say, ‘This is still going on. They’re still rolling with that?
It’s going to be a fun game any time we play them,” Rollins said. “But I guess when Cole is pitching, they are going to step it up and, of course, we are going to stand up for Cole, so that is going to force us to step it up. But that just brings out the best in both teams. We’re going to win, but it definitely will bring out the best in both teams.
I have to say that I’m surprised we haven’t seen the war of words spill out onto the field over the last few years. There haven’t been any bean ball wars that escalated the situation. Hopefully, it’ll stay that way. Now that the Phillies are the world champs they can rest on that without engaging with the Mets this season.
I’m not a big Stephen A. Smith fan but I thought that I’d link to this article that he wrote for ESPN The Mag. The subject is the relationship between Mets manager Jerry Manuel and Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Apparently, they’ve known each other for more than 20 years which isn’t a big surprise as the baseball circle is pretty small.
It sounds like the two have a lot of respect for each other and a good relationship:
“Charlie and I have known each other for more than 20 years. And every time he sees me, he says, ‘Jerry, you know the only thing good about you is your last name.’
I thinks it’s probably obvious that I can’t stand the Phillies but it seems like Charlie Manuel does a good job of maximizing the talent that he’s given. That’s all you can ask of a manager. He does a much better job of setting rules and expectations with his players than Willie Randolph did while he was with the Mets. That’s evidenced by his benching twice this season of reigning MVP Jimmy Rollins. Randolph was criticized for having two sets of rules: one for veterans and the other for younger players. Jerry Manuel’s seems to have done a good job of evening the playing field for the team and setting expectations.
It’s an interesting read as much as Stephen A. Smith could be.
Ben Shipgel of the New York Times has a terrific column today interviewing Philadelpha Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins about what he sees in Jose Reyes. There are many similarities in their games. As a matter of fact, I compared the two back in April which you can read here.
“Sometimes it takes a year or two, but with me, it took three,” Rollins said in a recent interview. “I was the same way until I figured out who the heck I was. I could run, I could play, I was fast, but it was all raw ability. But now, I’m showing off my raw ability, with learning, with knowledge. I’ve learned the game. I understand the game. You come out of that, you’re a completely different player.”
That’s a great quote that he got from Rollins. Reyes still hasn’t gotten to that point yet, but he will. Hopefully he’ll still be a Met when he does because he’ll be unstoppable.