Just 59 days until the Phillies opener and already there is bad blood boiling between them and their division rival, the New York Mets.
Last year with just 17 games to go in the regular season, the Phillies were trailing the Mets in the NL East by seven games. The Mets squandered their hold on the NL East by ending their season 5-12.
At the beginning of the season, soon to be National League MVP, Jimmy Rollins announced to the press that, “We are the team to beat.”
Many criticized Rollins and his leadership skills, but little did anyone know the up and coming Phils were about to make an impact on the NL East.
This year, four time All-Star, Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets decided to put his team, and himself, out on a ledge. Two days ago Beltran took a shot at Rollins during a press conference.
He told the press, “This year tell Jimmy Rollins WE’RE the team to beat.”
The Mets were not the only ones having fun though. The Phillies decided to play a little prank on their third starter Kyle Kendrick. Charlie Manuel, Kyle’s agent Joe Urbon, Philadelphia Media, and Phillies players were all in on a prank in which they told Kendrick that he was being traded to the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Central League. They told him he was being traded for Kobayashi Iwamura.
Since the Met’s acquisition of star pitcher Johan Santana, the whole organization is running high. The Mets, and general manager Omar Minaya, are looking forward to what they believe is to become an incredible season.
The Mets were not the only National League East team that acquired some offseason talent. The Phillies signed out fielder Geoff Jenkins, traded for reliever Brad Lidge, and resigned key reliever J.C. Romero.
But the MVP beat Carlos Beltran to his remarks. Earlier in the offseason Rollins told reporters that the Phillies would win 100 games. Brett Myers responds to his teammate's remark, “I think he said it because he believed it. We all believe it in our minds but we’re not the outspoken types to come out and say it in the media. Jimmy is the type of guy who can do that.”
Myers is not the only Phillie that has been jawing this offseason. Reliever Tom Gordon said that he believed they were still the team to beat. But no one said it better than Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino.
“It’s gonna be fun,” said Victorino, “Put it that way, its going to be an interesting season, New York Mets 1, Philadelphia Phillies 1. Let’s get it on.”