The above picture is a photo of Shawn Green late in the 2007 season as the New York Mets squandered their seven game division lead to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Fact that the Phillies got embarrassed by the Rockies in a three game sweep kind of softened the blow.
But in 2008, the Fightin' Phils' won a season long battle for the division and made the post season for the second consecutive year, screwing the Mets out of a postseason berth yet again.
Only this time they won the World Series.
And on the behalf of all New York Mets Fans, I'd like to be the first to congratulate them on this Great accomplishment....
THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF BREAKING OUR HEARTS FOR TWO STRAIGHT YEARS!
All kidding aside this was a brutal World Series From a New York fan's point of view. True, some Yankee fans would have been more upset if it was a Red Sox and Phillies series, but If I was a Yankees fan I'd be scared that the lowly Tampa Bay Rays managed to win 97 games in their tough division.
That brings me to the main topic of this article: Which team will continue to dominate their division in 09 and beyond? The Phillies or Rays?
I believe it's the Rays.
The AL East is no longer a two team powerhouse where the Yankees and Red Sox rule and the other teams suffer. The Rays are going to be in it for the long haul as long as they don't start trading away all of their best players this off season (which I don't think is going to happen.)
I don't see them winning 97 games again next season, but I dont see reverting back to a cellar dweller like they were all these years. They will remain competitive and probably push for a wild card.
This makes it tough for the Yankees because they now have to put up with two good teams in their division instead of one, like the Mets.
The Mets will not be the favorites to win the World Series in 2009 like they were the previous two years. Instead all the pressure is going to be on Philadelphia to repeat. Unlike the AL East, the NL East will have only two dominant teams, the Mets and Phillies. The Braves won't improve enough to get over the hump, and the Marlins are already selling their players, which means they are getting for another championship run in 3 or 4 years. The Nationals.... well they are going to be the Nationals.
So In other words, next year's NL East is going to be the "Round 3" in the Mets and Phillies Rivalry and it's going to come down to the wire again like it did this year.
HOWEVER I do believe the results will be different....