Friday, July 28, 2006

Rekindling The Hate

Are we playing the Braves this weekend?

This is certainly a different type of series from what Met fans are used to, isn't it? Usually, it's the Mets who are looking to prove something, looking to make a statement at Turner Field. (More often than not, the statement becomes "We're the baseball equivalent of impotence.") The Braves, meanwhile, are the ones with the comfortable lead...the ones with the division sewn up...and the ones who hold all comers by their outstretched arms as they flail wildly thinking they'll land a shot.

I hate cliches, but the tables are indeed turned. The Mets are well out in front, the Braves are the ones swinging wildly with their heads firmly pressed against the extended palm of the New York Mets. Tonight, we find out if that outstretched palm belongs to one Pedro Martinez, making his return to active baseball duty tonight.

Forgive me if it's taken me a while to rev up the hate machine for the Atlanta Braves this time out. It's now that I'm reminded of the constant question I get from Yankee fans "Why do you hate us more than the Braves?"

The same reason that you have better relations with your parents after you move out...you don't have to see them every day (and vice versa).

But it's time to hate them again...and not because of this notion that they still have a chance to catch the Mets, no matter what Bobby Cox said before his team lost two of three to the Marlins at home, and no matter what Marcus Giles says now. But rather because the Braves still have a chance at the wild card, and anything the Mets can do to derail those chances would benefit them greatly.

You see, the only reason the Braves have a chance at being the wild card is because there is no real dominant force in the N.L. that has run away from everyone else for that spot. And that's unfortunate because the Braves pitching staff in no way shape or form belongs anywhere near a race. But that isn't going to matter if the Braves take two or...gasp...sweep the Mets at Turner Field. If that happens, then all of a sudden the Braves strut through the rest of the season with their chests puffed out (or for Bob Wickman, his belly), and confidence can go a long way towards overcoming the hurdle of incompetence.

Now for the Mets, losing two or three at their personal house of horrors isn't going to kill them, but it is going to put that seed of doubt in their collective heads...all right, in their fans' collective heads anyway...and all of a sudden, there are questions as to whether this team can handle a potential seven game NLCS with these pests after all, fair or not. So for that reason, it's time to take all of the advantages that the Mets enjoy on paper and end the Braves once and for all...give them the seed of doubt that they have so rightfully earned with the pitching staff they have.

It's time to bury them...right Paulie?

5 comments:

Unser said...

Another reason to knock the Braves out of wild card contention - we don't want to face our good friend Piazza and the Padres in the post season. We want to face the Reds. . . or the Astros . . . or the Brewers . . . or the Giants. Is there anyone not in wild card contention?

Ed in Westchester said...

I want a sweep.

I want Pedro to back a couple of these guys off the plate (no head hunting, just pitch inside).

I want Francouer to apologize on behalf of all the Atlanta boosters who call David Wright the Mets Francouer.

I want Larry Jones to shut up.

I want Roger McDowell to tear off his Braves jersey to reveal a Met 1986 World Champs T-Shirt after pulling Wickman out of a close game and replacing him with Sosa.

I want their streak over.

I want the Mets to win the division.

But I'm not bitter :)

Kyle in Newport News said...

"Before we think about kissing our sister with the wild card," Marcus Giles said, "we have a division to think about."

I think this explains a lot about our friend, Marcus.

Metstradamus said...

Kyle, I was just thinking that maybe that line isn't the best analogy to use down south...they have a little bit of a complex about that stereotype.

I don't think that's the last we'll hear that line here.

Kyle in Newport News said...

Ayup.