Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis: On Rooting for the Phillies or Yankees

Dave MeiselContributor IOctober 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 21:  Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies and teammate Jimmy Rollins round the bases after Victorino's homerun in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the NLCS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 21, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

The raging debate that will go on from now until Wednesday (actually, through the end of the series) is really tearing me apart. 

What's a Met fan to do? You've got our current arch nemesis, the Phillies, against the "jerk of a big brother" in the Yankees.

This situation exemplifies that saying, "Between a rock and a hard place."

There's no good way out from where the Met fan is other than just hoping the nightmare ends as soon as possible. But you've got to weather the storm first. And if you're as big a baseball fan as I am...well, you can't just ignore the fact that the World Series is going on.

So in the battle between the two most hated teams for the Mets, which do you root for?

For the past two months, this nightmare has seemed well within the realm of possibility. I've been prepared for it, so it's not that difficult to deal with now. Both seem like "teams of destiny." And for a while, I have been prepared to root for the Phillies. However, today, I've been twisted and torn about in questioning that.

Let's take a look at the argument.

The Phillies are the Mets' current arch-rival. Even though they've always been around, this rivalry is "new" in the sense that in the past half-decade, it's become one of the most recognizable in baseball, as a result of the conclusions of the 2007 and 2008 seasons and due to the offseason back-and-forth in which players from both teams say "we're the team to beat."

Participants include Carlos Beltran, Jimmy Rollins, Francisco Rodriguez, and several Phillies who took the liberty of ripping the Mets at their own victory parade.

Philly fans, traditionally, are known as some of the worst on the planet. They booed Santa Claus. They regularly fight. Philadelphia is essentially the antithesis of New York in general. We know who the better city is. 

However, in the same time-period in which the Phillies/Mets rivalry developed, Yankee fans have developed a sentiment of "we're better than everyone" particularly the team they share a city with, the Mets. While not all Yankee fans are like this, a great deal of Yankee fans have a holier-than-thou-because-we-won-26-championships attitude.

They constantly put down the Mets, EVEN NOW, when we're out of the playoffs. Additionally, how can you not hate them? They spend the most money in baseball by a ton. They have A-Rod. And the list goes on.

I was going to base my support on the Phillies of the Yankee fans' constant barrage on the Mets. But...what's really rational here?

Both teams bag on the Mets a ton. Philly actually laid off some this year just because they won. Honestly, I'd rather see some intensity return to the rivalry with both teams being hungry again (the Mets are the ones who really need to hold up their end of the bargain here).

And, additionally, many Yankee fans don't actually care about the Mets. Some even have a soft spot for the Mets.

The Phillies have a similar "we're better than you" attitude at times, even though they can't back it up.

As far as money goes...maybe it's not the Yanks' fault they spend like they do. Baseball doesn't do much to prevent it. Essentially, they rake in the most money, so they spend the most. Can you blame them? Well, yeah, you can. But maybe it's not a reason that we should hate them more than the Phillies.

Heck, the Mets spend money, too. Just not as well. Maybe it's more of a constructed, Freudian feeling of insecurity that the Mets have toward the Yankees.

I'm not trying to convince anybody, or myself, not to hate the Yankees. I still do and will always because I can't support anyone who trashes the Mets constantly. But maybe it's rational to say that all the bad stuff the Yankees do justifies rooting against opposed to rooting FOR Shane Victorino.

Seriously, you're gonna root for THAT GUY?