Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Strong Word

Very interesting article on ESPN.com about hate in relation to baseball fans, and who public enemy number one is for every fan base in the major leagues.

Now as you may have figured out, hate is a concept that is near and dear to my heart, as I have a list of five hate targets per day. But here is who David Schoenfeld says is public enemy number one for the New York Mets:

New York Mets: Chipper Jones. The Brave originally known as Larry Wayne hit .400 with seven home runs and 16 RBI against the Mets back in '99, killed them in a couple key games in September, hit .395 against them in aught-zero and brings just enough Southern charm to drive New Yorkers nuts.

A good choice, but I'm surprised that Roger Clemens wasn't the play here. Clemens, after all, has peppered Mike Piazza with various projectiles (acts which would be good for 5-10 if committed outside of a major league stadium), and was the center of a huge blood war for years. Larry, to me, is number two on the list when it comes to visiting players (for players who wore the Mets uniorm. Larry's only sins are wearing out the Mets, and making a dumb comment about Mets fans going home to put on their Yankee jerseys.

The other consideration here is that I consider the Yankees more of an enemy of the Mets than the Braves. I understand the other side of the argument, that the Braves play the Mets 19 games a season to the Yankees six, and the Braves kick the Mets tails in every year. But when you look at Met history on a whole, the Yankees have always been blood enemies, always been close by. The Braves? They've only been blood enemies since 1994, when they joined the National League East. I can remember a time when the Cardinals were the McCoys to the Mets' Hatfields. And before that, it was the Cubs. But both of those teams are long gone from the east and we're left with Larry and the Braves.

The Mets will never have a true N.L. enemy like the Yankees have the Red Sox. When the Braves go back to being doormats (whatever century that is), the Mets will hate the Phillies more, or the Marlins, or the Nationals. It will always change depending on the standings. The Yankees and their fans have always been close by, and will always remain as blood enemies. For that reason, I put Roger Clemens on top of the overall hate list.

But on a daily basis? I have plenty of hate to go around. Trust me.

Note: ESPN has given fans a chance to vote for their most hated sports figures here. Roger Clemens unfortunately was not an option.

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