Mets vs. Phillies – 5/7/12 – A Thug Life
How Mets Fans See the World
As a Mets fan, I think I’m pretty much accustomed to weird, goofy, crazy and insane stuff happening to my team. From epic collapses to freak injuries, the Mets just seem to be a magnet for the absolutely absurd.
That being said, I turned on the game last night to find the Mets and Phillies tied 2-2 and Roy Halladay out of the game which instantly made the Mets chances better. It isn’t difficult to see that outside of Phillies closer Jon Papelbon, most of the Phillies bullpen hasn’t been all that good so far. I watched the rest of the game, glued to great defensive play from both teams and the continuing tie game. I watched Josh Thole take a shoulder to the head and be forced to leave the game. I watched Shane Victorino pull one of his idiotic moron plays and FINALLY get called out for it. And, yes, I was watching when Mets prospect Jordany Valdespin golfed a 3-run homer off Papelbon in a stunning repeat of Papelbon’s Meltdown against the Mets a few years back when he was with the Red Sox.
Lost in all of the confusion was the rage Mets fans have at the Phillies for their atrocious actions on the field.
I admit, I hadn’t thought about the play at the plate this way. I watched the numerous replays like everyone else and I still think that Thole had good position to make the play and that Ty Wigginton did EXACTLY WHAT HE ALWAYS DOES. Ty was trained early on to run people over at home. He has always been this way – even as a Met. Even Terry Collins, the Mets Manager said he was surprised that Ty didn’t run Thole over. Did he throw an extra shoulder in there to separate Thole from the baseball? Maybe. Is it a dirty play? Since it’s been done that way forever, I’d say no. Catcher’s know it’s coming and they have to prepare for the hit. Thole just got hit in an odd way.
Throughout the last few innings of the game, we heard the announcers talk about Hamels admission, and subsequent suspension, for throwing at Bryce Harper as a “welcome to the big leagues – old school style” sort of thing. I have to agree with Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, it was a classless and gutless act and I’m thrilled that the retaliation went back to hitting Hamels with a pitch, not somebody else on the roster. Mets announcer Keith Hernandez has preached that several times over the years and in his book.
While reading articles on the internet today, I see a lot of Mets fans outrage at the “thug” Phillies. Over the years, the Phillies have definitely pulled a great many intimidation plays but I’ve never really thought about it before now. What angered people the most was Shane Victorino’s take out slide at second base that wasn’t even close to the bag. I’ve noted that before but he’s not been called for it by previous umpiring crews. I’m glad somebody finally called Interference on him. Don’t get me wrong, take out slides are part of the game too but not seven feet from the bag. Many fans are calling for retaliatory strikes at both Wigginton and Victorino and I think that’s wrong. I’d have to really get a closer look at the play at the plate with Thole but I think that was a clean take-out (the Mets themselves don’t seem to think it was a dirty play) but Victorino’s was clearly out of line.
As I look back over the last few years there are quite a few plays like this carried out by various Phillies, I just never connected them before now. It's a shame that such a good team has to play in such a awful manner.