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The Mets and the staff


Allstarjim
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Man I can't wait for baseball to start. And because of my optimism, this thread is born... I will tell you, my fellow faithful Mets fans, why the Mets will win the NL Pennant and have a great chance to win the World Series.

 

First let me tell you who the other "contenders" are:

 

Rockies

Padres

Diamondbacks

Phillies

Braves

Cubs

Dodgers

Brewers

Cardinals

 

Of course, everyone starts of 0-0, and the games are determined inside the lines, not on paper or in the blogosphere. And like Charles Schwab will tell you, "Past performance is not an indication of future results." However, you have to smile if you are a Mets fan today. And the reason why is pitching. It's always about the pitching, isn't it? The Red Sox won the World Series last year largely because of the heroics of Beckett. In 2004, it was Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Derek Lowe. In 2006, the Cardinals won it all (I still think they are the worst World Series champion ever), but they did it on great performances by Chris Carpenter, Anthony Reyes (yes Anthony Reyes), Jeff Weaver (yes Jeff Weaver) and awesome bullpen relief by Adam Wainwright.

In 2005, the White Sox held the trophy due to in large part to the arms of Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle, and a spectacular game 4 shutout by Freddy Garcia.

 

The bats matter of course. In the end, you win by scoring more runs than the other team. But the team with the best pitching almost always rises to the top.

 

So how do the Mets' pitching staff stack up with the rest of the NL?

 

The Padres lost a tiebreaker last season that cost them a playoff berth. They have the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, in Jake Peavy. They have Chris Young, who, with a 3.12 ERA, was tremendous last year... in the first half. Justin Germano was encouraging, but he too tailed off in performance. They brought in Mark Prior, a wild card in this discussion. Will the guy ever stay healthy? And will he be as dominating as he was earlier in his career after all the injuries and setbacks? They brought in Randy Wolf. The Wolfman pitched only 102 innings last year, and posted a 4.73 ERA, going 9-6 in 18 starts. One through five, the Pads starting rotation looks like this:

 

Peavy

Young

Mark Prior

Randy Wolf

Justin Germano

 

One and two looks great, especially if Young can prolong his success throughout the second half. Prior will make or break this staff. Wolf is nothing more than filler, though, and Germano is another maybe, but he's clearly not there yet.

 

A very good staff, just because of Peavy and Young.

 

How about the D-backs?

 

They have Brandon Webb, a stud for sure, and just imported another stud, Dan Haren. One and two again look real good. Here's the rest of the starters:

 

Randy Johnson - clearly at the tail end of his career. Only threw 56 innings last year. His last full season (2006) he pitched a 5.00 ERA.

Doug Davis - The big lefty is a decent starter. 4.25 ERA, went 13-12 last year.

Micah Owings - A young kid who is the wild card on this staff. Had a 4.30 ERA last year, has potential.

This staff is good because of Haren and Webb. But the rest of these guys are just ok.

 

The Dodgers:

 

A lot riding on Jason Schmidt having a bounceback season after only throwing 25 innings last year. If he can, this staff can be very good as well. Here is how they stack up:

 

Brad Penny - Great starter who is a definite ace.

Jason Schmidt - Needs to stay healthy and regain form.

Chad Billingsley - Had a nice '07... 3.31 ERA, and went 12-5.

Derek Lowe - Still a decent pitcher.

Hiroki Kuroda or Esteban Loiaza - a has been and a who knows?

 

This could be the best one through four in the west, surprisingly. But a lot has to go right, especially with Schmidt. They also have Jonathan Broxton in the bullpen, a guy who throws a 100 mph, and a guy who the Mets hitters can't hit.

 

The Colorado Rockies -

 

We all know Jeff Francis is good, but after that, there is just hope and hype.

 

Ubaldo Jimenez needs to be great, not just good for them to compete in the west this year. The other pitching staffs are just too good.

Franklin Morales is another kid with a lot of potential.

After that, you have Aaron Cook and maybe Kip Wells. Cook is decent, and Wells lost 17 games last year, winning 7.

 

Nobody in Colorado should dilude themselves with envisioning the Rockies making another run in '08. Their pitching is just not going to cut it.

 

The Cubs -

 

Does anyone remember the Cubs won their division last year? Gone is Mark Prior, and Kerry Wood is in the 'pen. Here's how their staff shakes down:

 

Carlos Zambrano - overhyped "ace" had a 3.95 ERA in 07.

Rich Hill - Showed lots of promise early, but finished 11-9 with 3.92 ERA.

Ted Lilly - Had a career year in '07, 15-8 with a 3.83 ERA. Probably a mirage.

Jason Marquis

Jon Leiber

 

The last two guys are nothing to write home about. The Cubs 1 through 3 are ok, and they can come out of the Central, only because it's a weak division.

 

The Brewers -

 

Interesting team that I think will take the Central. With Ben Sheets leading the way, as good an ace as you can get, they have some young pitchers that can really pitch.

 

Sheets - Coming off of injury-shortened season, but one of the best.

Jeff Suppan - How does that big money signing look now? Suppan in '07 - 12-12, 4.62 ERA

Yovani Gallardo - A name to remember went 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 110 innings last year.

Carlos Villanueva - another young kid who could be good. 3.94 ERA went 8-5 last season in 114 innings.

Dave Bush or Chris Capuano - a couple of guys who had 5+ ERA's last year, and lost a lot of games.

 

One through four looks like they could be pretty good, although Suppan was a mistake for them. But they can do it, because of the division, especially if their new closer, Eric Gagne, can dominate again.

 

The Cardinals -

 

In trouble because Chris Carpenter won't be back from Tommy John surgery until the All-Star break. Matt Clement is coming off major shoulder surgery and didn't pitch at all last year. Here is how their staff looks until Carpenter comes back -

 

Adam Wainwright - converted reliever had a pretty good season at starter - 3.70 ERA, 14-12.

Braden Looper - Another converted reliever not having the same success as a starter. 4.92 ERA in '07.

Joel Piniero - He's aight. 4.33 ERA, went 7-5 in '07.

Matt Clement - a wild Card. Needs to be very good for the Cards to make a run.

Al Reyes - plus 6 ERA last year. Not good.

 

The Cards need Carpenter to come back and dominate to make a late season run, and even then, they won't have enough one through five. A pedestrian group of starters to begin the season.

 

And now for the EAST!

 

The Braves -

 

Could be in the wild card hunt this year. Why? They are solid at one and two with Smoltz and Hudson. Both guys had great '07's and show no signs of slowing down. They got Tommy Glavine back, but I'm not scurred.

 

Smoltz

Hudson

Glavine

Chuck James - was actually decent last year. 4.24 ERA and won 11 games (in 30 starts!)

Mike Hampton - Their hopes ride on this guy. That's not a good thing.

 

If Hampton can finally stay healthy and win games, they have something. Having Glavine means that the bullpen will get plenty of work. This team will compete because of Smoltz and Hudson at the top. If Hudson goes down again, they are in trouble. Still not enough to compete for the East crown (more on that later).

 

The Phillies -

 

Ah, the big bad Phillies. Humbled the Mets in '07. Then got swept in the first round of the playoffs. Typical Philadelphia sports team behavior. Here is what they look like:

 

Cole Hamels - A young stud at the top who went 15-5 last year, with a 3.39 ERA

Brett Myers - Eh. Decent pitcher, but not going to dominate.

Kyle Kendrick - went 10-4 with a 3.84 ERA. Pretty good for a young guy.

Jamie Moyer - the ageless wonder won 14 games, but had a +5 ERA last year.

Adam Eaton or J.D. Durbin - both had +6 ERA's last year.

 

The Phillies one through three are pretty good. Really Hamels is the only standout. Moyer is just an innings eater, and I predict he's going to have a losing season, losing at least 15 games this year. Eaton and Durbin? Bad choices for the last spot in the rotation.

 

And now the Mets! Now that you have an idea of the other contenders and the kind of numbers they put up and what they bring to their teams, how does the Mets staff stack up? It is my argument the Mets staff one through five is the best in the NL. All these teams have good pitchers at the front, but are weak on the back end. The Mets have as good as a starting 5 as you could ask for.

 

Johan Santana - what can you say? Two Cy Youngs, won 15 games last year with a 3.33 ERA, and it was a down year. Still pitched 219 innings so you know he pitches deep into games. Coming to the NL will only help him.

Pedro - missed most of '07 but what we saw of him late was encouraging. He says he feels good and the toe shouldn't be a problem. His ERA in 5 starts was 2.57, and he went 3-1! Small sampling, but very encouraging!

Pedro is 36, not ancient, he can and will get it done still!

John Maine - this is the guy that is going to make our staff go from good to exceptional. Everyone remembers the awesome game he pitched in his last start of '07. A one-hitter, striking out 14 in 7.2 innings. An awesome performance. He won 15 games last year, posting a 3.92 ERA, that should go down, as he is getting better. This guy is on the way up. Pitched an impressive 191 innings and struck out 180! The guy has potential to be a third ace!

Oliver Perez - Had a roller coaster season, but overall was very good. Another guy that won 15 games, and had a 3.56 ERA. An impressive 174 K's in 177 innings! A fourth starter that does that is sick! I predict he will only get better as Peterson continues to work with him on his control.

Orlando Hernandez/Mike Pelfrey - I think the Mets want Pelfrey to be the fifth starter. They want to see what they have, because Pedro is a free agent after this year, as is Oliver Perez, I believe. So getting Pelfrey a full season of starts would really help the Mets as they plan for '09 and beyond. That is not a bad thing. Pelfrey has a terrific sinking fastball that he is harnessing and used it to great success late last year. His overall numbers don't look good. He went 3-8 with a 5.57 ERA. But he had some good starts last year and I think he has "it". He needs to reduce the walks, that is what is killing him. But the Mets like him and so do I.

If not Pelfrey, then Hernandez. El Duque at times was unhittable. Out of all the Mets pitchers last year, to me he was the most fun to watch for me. What he would do to hitters was comical at times. You know he will miss time, though. He had 128 K's in 147 innings. He went 9-5 with a 3.72 ERA. He should've had a lot more wins, too, the bullpen routinely did him in last year. As a fifth guy, you can't do better. And if Pelfrey isn't ready, El Duque will be the fifth guy. We'll know more as we get deep into spring ball. So there you have it, the Mets one through five:

 

Johan Santana

Pedro Martinez

John Maine

Oliver Perez

El Duque/Pelfrey

 

That is the best one through five in the NL. The Mets are the only team in baseball to have a starting 5 that has three 15-game winners from '07, a list that obviously doesn't include Pedro. Pedro will win more than 15 this year, and I see the same for the other 4. I've heard one ESPN baseball analyst say that he expects John Maine will be a top 15 pitcher in the NL this year. I think he's right. The Mets almost won the division last year with Maine as the staff ace, and with a lot of injuries from El Duque and no Martinez for most of the year... not to mention no Duaner Sanchez. The Mets are BACK! Not only do they add Johan, but Pedro and Duaner are back, and Maine is up and coming. This staff is the best since the '86 - '88 Mets with Gooden, El Sid, Ron Darling, Jesse Orosco, Roger McDowell, Bob Ojeda, Rick Aguilera, David Cone. Those three seasons the Mets pitchers were unbelievable. The Mets really should've won more than one world series titles in that era. Their pitching was that good.

 

With Wagner, Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, and Pedro Feliciano, this team is set from top to bottom as far as pitching goes. The other teams in the NL just don't have what the Mets do from the starting staff one through five to the bullpen. This will be a great year for NY fans, with the Giants having won the SuperBowl and the Mets destined for the World Series!

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You can call Ben Sheets an "Ace" when he hasn't had a full season since 2004 and call

Carlos Zambrano an overhyped ace, I'm sorry.

Perez will make or break the Mets pitching rotation, not John Maine.

 

Zambrano had about a 4.00 ERA. True aces don't allow that many runs. He's good, though. You are correct about Sheets. I didn't really research him like others. I've always liked his stuff, though, and I'd take him over Zambrano, just my opinion.

 

As for Maine, I didn't say he would "make or break" the rotation. I said he makes the rotation go from good to exceptional, because he is such a great pitcher. I agree with your assessment of Perez, who I also have high hopes for. For a 4th guy, though, and with what he did last year, there is a lot of reasons to be encouraged.

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Wow, good read. I am impressed that you can sit and type your thoughts out like that. I can't.

 

 

 

I agree. And personally I think he is 100 percent right on the Phillies rotation too.

The only guy that scares me is Cole Hamels....Brett Myers only scares his wife. And

their bullpen still doesn't impress me either, they traded for Brad Lidge...I can't wait

until the Mets face him in that bandbox.

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You can call Ben Sheets an "Ace" when he hasn't had a full season since 2004 and call

Carlos Zambrano an overhyped ace, I'm sorry.

Perez will make or break the Mets pitching rotation, not John Maine.

I think Perez is the guy who benefits the most from Johan coming here. When OP came up it was said he had a lot of Johan in him. Being tutored by Pedro helped turn Perez's career around, now he can send it into ace mode with Santana around.

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You can call Ben Sheets an "Ace" when he hasn't had a full season since 2004 and call

Carlos Zambrano an overhyped ace, I'm sorry.

Perez will make or break the Mets pitching rotation, not John Maine.

I think Perez is the guy who benefits the most from Johan coming here. When OP came up it was said he had a lot of Johan in him. Being tutored by Pedro helped turn Perez's career around, now he can send it into ace mode with Santana around.

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I think Perez is the guy who benefits the most from Johan coming here. When OP came up it was said he had a lot of Johan in him. Being tutored by Pedro helped turn Perez's career around, now he can send it into ace mode with Santana around.

Oliver Perez is as much like Johan Santana as El Duque is to Billy Wagner. No comparison. Johan has pinpoit control and great mechanics and Oliver perez although better of late has neither.

 

What will make or break the Mets staff yet again will be how many big games Billy Wagner blows this year. Simple as that. They will score, they will pitch on most days, but the key will be as usual how many times the white benitez blows that big one.

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What little I've seen of Maine, I was impressed. Perez has the stuff and will improve simply because of increased confidence. And Santana is Santana. Could be 60 wins with those three. The rest of the starting staff though, is held together with duct tape, so you better hope the pen is strong.

 

El Duque won't/can't go a whole year. History says so.

 

If Pedro is healthy all year, he'll only peter out and get blown away in the 2nd half. You're better off if he's babied the 1st half so he has has it in the 2nd.

 

So, IMO, Pelfry is the one who makes or breaks the staff at this point. If I were Randolf, I'd install him in the rotation and leave him there for at least the first half of the season. If he doesn't work out by then, you can try to get a #4 starter by the trading deadline to carry you the in 2nd half. Or hopefully, something can develop in the minors.

 

As for the regulars, all of the big three, Wright, Reyes and Beltran have to stay healthy. That's a given.

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The Phillies -

 

Ah, the big bad Phillies. Humbled the Mets in '07. Then got swept in the first round of the playoffs. Typical Philadelphia sports team behavior.

Humbled by the Mets?? Really??

 

<_<

 

Yes, we did get swept in the first round...but I have news for you, the Mets would have been as well.

Instead, they watched from home.

 

Save your "typical" comments for the Eagles, because they don't fit the Phillies.

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Humbled by the Mets?? Really??

 

<_<

 

Yes, we did get swept in the first round...but I have news for you, the Mets would have been as well.

Instead, they watched from home.

 

Save your "typical" comments for the Eagles, because they don't fit the Phillies.

I don't know if it's been edited, but you might want to read that post again. It says "humbled the Mets in 2007"

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just a couple of quick comments cuz i honestly can't decide right now:

 

you forgot maddux, he's the number 3, wolf is 4, and germano will be the 5 until prior comes back in may. honestly im hoping prior bumps wolf and not germano--he was only good for the first half but it was also by far his most extensive major league work, he was essentially a rookie (though not technically i dont think).

 

 

as for chris young, it wasn't just a good first half, he was leading the majors in era by half a run (1.82, peavy was 2nd at 2.4-something) when he got hurt in august. he missed some time, rushed back for the playoff run but just wasn't right--similarly to how peavy pitched all season with shoulder tendinitis two seasons ago when the pads made the playoffs. his era from may 1st to august when he got hurt was 1.12--that's ridiculous. the NL cy young was a 2 man race for 4 out of 6 months of the season, and both guys were on the same team. i dont care about danny haren and brandon webb, as far as im concerned the only 1-2 that comes close is santana and pedro. im not going to throw the 'if' in there with pedro cuz i honestly think he's fine.

 

one more note about young, he gave up 10 hrs--4 of them to tony clark. guess who's the pads backup 1st baseman this season :worshippy:

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Humbled by the Mets?? Really??

 

<_<

 

Yes, we did get swept in the first round...but I have news for you, the Mets would have been as well.

Instead, they watched from home.

 

Save your "typical" comments for the Eagles, because they don't fit the Phillies.

 

No offense to the Phils because by the end of 162 they had the better record, but do you really think the Phillies were better than the Mets? The Mets for 90% of the year were the best team in the NL and pissed it all away with a putrid 20 game stretch. Like I said, props and congrats to the Phillies, but in all honesty as Met fan for me anyway it was not really what the Phillies did as a team, it was more about what the Mets did not do.

 

BTW, the year before when the Mets won the NL East, they did not get swept. Just some food for thought.

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No offense to the Phils because by the end of 162 they had the better record, but do you really think the Phillies were better than the Mets? The Mets for 90% of the year were the best team in the NL and pissed it all away with a putrid 20 game stretch. Like I said, props and congrats to the Phillies, but in all honesty as Met fan for me anyway it was not really what the Phillies did as a team, it was more about what the Mets did not do.

no offense to you, x but i have to disagree. when it counted, the phillies dominated the mets

12-6 in the season series, including the final 8 games in a row.

13-4 down the stretch to make up 7 games in a month.

yes, the mets collapsed but the phils really did a lot to win it.

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No offense to the Phils because by the end of 162 they had the better record, but do you really think the Phillies were better than the Mets? The Mets for 90% of the year were the best team in the NL and pissed it all away with a putrid 20 game stretch. Like I said, props and congrats to the Phillies, but in all honesty as Met fan for me anyway it was not really what the Phillies did as a team, it was more about what the Mets did not do.

 

BTW, the year before when the Mets won the NL East, they did not get swept. Just some food for thought.

It really does not matter whether I thought the Phillies were the better team. Against the Mets? Absolutely. Even you would have to agree.

To put it in perpective for you...

The Patriots had a much better year than the GIANTS, yet the GIANTS came out on top and the Patriots "perfect" season means jack.

:)

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Ggirl, you know I have love for you, despite your Phillie phandom. Seriously, you have to be the best Phillies phan they have. You just don't fit their m.o. I will have to say that while the Phillies did come back, and did win the East, and did it also by dominating the Mets in the process... they had the perfect scenario in which to do so. No El Duque, Pelfrey still very green, took on too much of a role, no Alou for much of the stretch, even Endy was out for a long time that really hurt us. Then there was the inexplicable Reyes slump. We also had Pedro for only 5 starts, and we didn't have Duaner Sanchez at all. In addition, injuries to Lo Duca and Castro had us using minor league worthy Mike DeFelice and Sandy Alomar Jr.! It was a nightmare scenario because the Mets could not survive the mountain of injuries. Now, I know the Phils had their injuries, too, most notably Utley, but they didn't have the quantity that we had. The Phillies also didn't improve their team enough in the offseason. It was more TYPICAL Phillies behavior... watch the Mets get Johan while they get Geoff Jenkins and Pedro Feliz. Seriously. The sweep was typical, too. So much so I saw it coming. The Phillies are losers. Now I'm not saying YOU are. But there is still time and room to jump on the Mets bandwagon, baby! Say it with me... LET'S GO METS! Honestly, the Phillies are not going to win a World Series for at least 10 years, probably more like 50 or more. The Eagles have NEVER won a SuperBowl! And the 76ers? The last time they won it was when the ABA was still around. Get on the Mets train and spare yourself the future misery! We'd love to have ya! Plus, it's just weird having a Giants fan who is also a Phillies fan! That should never happen!

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It really does not matter whether I thought the Phillies were the better team. Against the Mets? Absolutely. Even you would have to agree.

To put it in perpective for you...

The Patriots had a much better year than the GIANTS, yet the GIANTS came out on top and the Patriots "perfect" season means jack.

:)

 

Yes, but ultimately the Mets collapse and the Phils capitalization of it got the Phils 1 more regular season win and 3 more games. The Giants won it all, had the Phils won it all and not been swept that would hold more merit.

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no offense to you, x but i have to disagree. when it counted, the phillies dominated the mets

12-6 in the season series, including the final 8 games in a row.

13-4 down the stretch to make up 7 games in a month.

yes, the mets collapsed but the phils really did a lot to win it.

 

And all that considered if the Mets simply won 2 games at home against the lowly Nats and Marlins all that meant shit, obviously it did, but still at the end of the season series between these teams the Mets still held the advantage, by I believe 4 games, yet still pissed it away.

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No offense to the Phils because by the end of 162 they had the better record, but do you really think the Phillies were better than the Mets? The Mets for 90% of the year were the best team in the NL and pissed it all away with a putrid 20 game stretch. Like I said, props and congrats to the Phillies, but in all honesty as Met fan for me anyway it was not really what the Phillies did as a team, it was more about what the Mets did not do.

 

BTW, the year before when the Mets won the NL East, they did not get swept. Just some food for thought.

 

To be fair, the Phillies beat out the Mets by beating the Mets 8 straight times at the end of the year.

 

The Mets coasted for far too long, and it caught up to them. They SHOULD have been the best team in the NL, and might have been if they tried to be instead of thinking they were.

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Ggirl, you know I have love for you, despite your Phillie phandom. Seriously, you have to be the best Phillies phan they have. You just don't fit their m.o. I will have to say that while the Phillies did come back, and did win the East, and did it also by dominating the Mets in the process... they had the perfect scenario in which to do so. No El Duque, Pelfrey still very green, took on too much of a role, no Alou for much of the stretch, even Endy was out for a long time that really hurt us. Then there was the inexplicable Reyes slump. We also had Pedro for only 5 starts, and we didn't have Duaner Sanchez at all. In addition, injuries to Lo Duca and Castro had us using minor league worthy Mike DeFelice and Sandy Alomar Jr.! It was a nightmare scenario because the Mets could not survive the mountain of injuries. Now, I know the Phils had their injuries, too, most notably Utley, but they didn't have the quantity that we had. The Phillies also didn't improve their team enough in the offseason. It was more TYPICAL Phillies behavior... watch the Mets get Johan while they get Geoff Jenkins and Pedro Feliz. Seriously. The sweep was typical, too. So much so I saw it coming. The Phillies are losers. Now I'm not saying YOU are. But there is still time and room to jump on the Mets bandwagon, baby! Say it with me... LET'S GO METS! Honestly, the Phillies are not going to win a World Series for at least 10 years, probably more like 50 or more. The Eagles have NEVER won a SuperBowl! And the 76ers? The last time they won it was when the ABA was still around. Get on the Mets train and spare yourself the future misery! We'd love to have ya! Plus, it's just weird having a Giants fan who is also a Phillies fan! That should never happen!

Allstarjim,

No matter how deep our love for eachother...I will NEVER be a Mets fan.

 

You can call them "losers" all you want, baby. I expect that of you, as you are a diehard Mets fan.

Besides, I am much more fun as a rival in sports. Keep it up and you shall find out. ;)

 

Good luck my friend, we have one hell of a season coming up. You and I can keep the touchy-feely for the football season. ;)

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