It's Never Too Early For Sox/Yanks, But Phillies/Mets?


Baseball fans in the northeast are usually guaranteed of one exciting rivalry each summer. From the looks of things, they’d better prepare for a double dose.

A pair of three game sets begins tonight in New York and Philadelphia between the Yankees and Red Sox and the Phillies and Mets. In terms of the big picture, each series has relatively no meaning…being that it’s May 9th… but when it comes to bragging rights, it might as well be the final week of the regular season.

Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees
On the American League side, the Yankees and Red Sox have that hate-hate thing going on so fans tend to get a little rowdy for these matchups. From what I notice, it’s always a little more important to Sox fans that their team take two of three from these early season meetings than it is to Yankee fans.

It’s not even that they care more; it’s just that their obsession with beating New York has no calendar… and every single win is just as good as the one before it – except for game seven of the 2004 ALCS. That was probably a tad better.

Yankee fans meanwhile, prove that despite the rumors, they are pretty decent counters. At least up through 26. That’s makes for an annoying argument before, during and after any of these games. You can’t even have a conversation with those guys because they all start with -in terrible New Yorker accents mind you- “How many World Series have you won in the last 88 years?”

And yes, they all have terrible New Yorker accents. As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t at least fake the New York voice, you’re probably just a Cowboys, Bulls, Duke, Nebraska, Brazil fan.

New York Mets/Philadelphia Phillies
The NL East is a little different. I’m not even sure that I would call the Phillies and Mets rivals. They’re almost like the Nets and the Celtics. When’s the last time fans were pumped for one of those games? Nevertheless, both sides’ fans can and will be brutal.

Fans in Philadelphia are genuine thugs. In fact, it’s debatable as to whether or not they even support their home teams. Whereas most people go to the game expecting to watch, these guys go expecting to fight, torture and potentially kill. They get all loaded on their cheese steaks and booze and then you can’t control them.

And they have plenty of fuel too. Billy Wagner, who still uses “reckon” in place of “think” or “suppose” called out his former teammates over the weekend, noting that he felt as though the team didn’t like him. Saying “we ain’t got no chance” to make the playoffs last July probably did it.

The Mets are starting to get plenty of those “man, I’ve always be a Mets fan,” guys as their wins pile up. Expect that the bandwagon to continue to grow throughout the summer making for a dangerous combination with real Mets fans. That of course, is because any true Mets fan must really be off his rocker. Being second best in your own city for so long will do that to you.

Divisions aren’t won or lost in May. This series is all about the fans gaining an upper hand on one another.

At least until next week.


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