Thursday, June 29, 2006

Reversal Of Fortune

I don't know whether to gag or giggle.

On one hand I'm pissed off that the Mets have stunk Fenway up like the Fulton Fish Market on a humid day in August with no air-conditioning. Granted the only thing that kept me from going postal Tuesday after the Yanks loss to the Braves was Routh and Spacey (It is mandatory for everyone who read this blog to go see Superman Returns. Mandatory!!! An absolutely awesome film.). As annoyed as I am about the Mets getting Love Trained by the Infidels, we still control our own destiny. Winning two out of three against substandard teams might be ok in most years. But not when the top three teams in the league are making the Senior Circuit look like the Carolina League in Interleague play. We need some sweeps, because there's no guarantee that we'll be getting any help from the opposition.

But despite the discomfort and agita this Sox Barnstroming tour has given me, I'm willing to endure for three reasons. 1) I have no choice 2)We don't have to face them again until August and a lot of things can happen between now and then...and 3)Seeing these Mets fan in A)complete denial about what this series means 2)the ones who were strutting around like Horny Roosters when they were beating on the D-Backs and the Phillies....who now realize that their team isn't nearly as good as they think.

My favorite line of the day? The Red Sox fan who told Mike Francesa after Tuesday night's loss to "bring on the team from New York who can actually play." Priceless.

It's not that fact that the Mets lost this series that's so alarming. If you lose 3-2, 2-1, 5-4...there's no shame in that. It's that you're heads and shoulders better than anyone in the Senior Citizen circuit...and you've gotten beat a combined 19-6 in the two games to a team that's currently the third-best in the American League. Make no mistake, the Red Sox are still a very flawed baseball team. The back of their rotation is a big question mark as is their bullpen outside of Timlin and Papelbon. But they have two frontline starters that can win a short series all by themselves and the best 3-4 tandem in Manny and Papi in the majors. That and Papelbon make them a force to be reckoned with it pains me to say.

So while I'd be lying if told you that I'm not surprised that the Mets have been manhandled at Castle Grayskull the last two days. I would say that I did consider this more of a test for the Mets than the Red Sox. Why? Because the core of that team has already won a World Series and been regular participants in hotly contested pennant races.

They have to face the Yankees 19 times a year and that's more intense than anything the Mets have had to experience. The Red Sox know that even if they sweep this series, that they still have to face off against Yankees, Chi-Sox, Tigers and others. They'll be battle-tested come October if they're still standing. The Mets coronation as the NL's best team is complete. Outside of the Yankees this weekend, what other series will the Mets have this season that will compare to these two? The NL East is in shambles. I doubt the Braves, Phils or Marlins will put up much of a fight this summer. Only the Cardinals have a chance to challenge the Mets. But I doubt that they have enough pitching.

These six games give them a chance to gauge themselves against two potential opponents in October. Even with all the injuries in the Bronx and the ugly skin of their teeth wins against bad teams. The Yankees are still a good barometer for the Mets. Because you know, barring major injuries, that they aren't going to tank like the NL East. They'll find a way to stay in the mix until the very end.

The Yankees are also very flawed. But they still have Captain America, one of the best players in the world, a former MVP and the greatest closer of all time. Say what you want about the Tigers and the Chi-Sox. Would you trade any of their players straight up for Jeter, A-Rod or Rivera? If you would, you're an idiot, a liar or both.

I have no idea what A-Rod's homer yesterday means for his season. Jorge Sosa is awful and the Braves have blown 15 saves this year. But there's no denying that's he's still one of the top five players in baseball. A talent that can carry a team over long stretch. If yesterday was a harbinger of things to come, it could be what gets the Yankees through the summer while Matsui and Sheffield heal.

This weekend series is the first time the roles are reversed. The Mets will come in as the team with the most to lose. If they lose this series after the Red Sox series, they take a huge blow to their credilbility as a World Series contender. Pennant contenders? They're still the class of the league. But noone's going to take them serious as the ones who can win it all.

In the meantime, what happens to the Yankees? Lose, they're in the race and noone thinks they're done. If they win?

Cue the Imperial March.


Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Darth, you really think that the Mets would not be viewed as WS contenders if they lose a series to the Yanks? I realize the fact that they are in first by 11 games is a shock, but Darthy, your team is going to have to win the division if they are to make the playoffs. The Sox are playing quite well right now. By the way, they play Florida this weekend, so it is not like they are going to be swept.
Focus on your own team, I will worry about mine.
I do look forward to reading Metstra here next week.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

It's my blog and I can write about whatever I want. This is not a democracy.

If you don't like it, don't read it. Don't worry, I won't cry....

8:05 PM  

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