Ah! Baseball is back! It feels so good. Wouldn’t you agree?
Well the Mets are playing against the Atlanta Braves as I type this. Nelson Figueroa is pitching. Got a little dicey, but it is just Spring Training.
However, this game got me thinking about who are the real rivals of the New York Mets.
What is a rivalry?
Well it is pretty much bad blood between any two teams that has been going on for years.
A fantastic example is the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees rivalry. That is the biggest rivalry in baseball that started in the early 1900’s. You know the story so I will not get into it.
So now I ask. Who are the rivals of the New York Mets?
I had a couple argue that the St. Louis Cardinals are. Others say the Chicago Cubs. I had one person say the Houston Astros. Maybe the Florida Marlins after 2007 and 2008?
I am not talking about the New York Yankees. They are in another league.
But when you think of Mets rivals, only one team comes to mind: The Atlanta Braves.
You can bring up the Philadelphia Phillies. The problem is, there is no real history of bad blood between the Mets and Phils because the Phils were pretty much a “who-the-hell-cares” team until 2006.
Now the Mets-Braves rivalry, WOW! I have always loved that one. It was always intense.
I think the rivalry really came to a head after John Rocker made the most racist comments about New Yorkers this side of the United States. I remember I wanted to take a baseball bat and beat his skull in.
Chipper Jones added to the rivalry by naming his child Shea and said:
I love playing there, check the numbers.
Mets fans loved to hate Chipper. Every game you could hear them chant:
When Andruw Jones came to the plate, we would hold our breath because it was almost a guarantee he was going to do some damage. Then there was Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and John Smoltz.
The two teams would go back and forth during the late 90’s to see who the top dog would be.
Sad to say the rivalry has since started to fizzle out. The Mets-Phillies rivalry is taking its place. You go to a Mets-Braves game and you just do not get the same feeling. Unless you grew up watching the rivalry, it means nothing to you.
I think it is really, really sad.
I remember having screaming matches with Braves fans at Shea Stadium. One time I heard a Braves fan screaming something, I don’t remember what, from the field level. I was sitting in loge above them. I wanted to take my soda and pour it on them just to shut them up.
A Mets-Phillies rivalry is starting. But it is all about how long it will last. How intense will it get? Has it already peaked?
Does anyone even give a care about the Mets and Braves rivalry anymore?
I do! And I miss it!