They were an afterthought to Mets fans. They had very little fan support in a hideous stadium and their big name players, Scott Rolen and Curt Schilling, loved the city so much that they left town.
From 1994-2000 the Phillies didn’t have a winning season. I remember looking at them on the calendar as any other game, almost comparing them to the Montreal Expos, dare I say. It was the Atlanta Braves that we all worried about.
Even throughout Mets history, the Phillies and Mets never really had a rivalry even though the teams’ ballparks were only 91 miles apart.
Now we finally have a rivalry.
It’s amazing to go to a Mets/Phillies game and hear all the fans heckle each other and think about ten years ago and know there was nothing.
That got me thinking, how did we get to a rivalry? It’s very simple. For the first time both teams actually had winning records in the same seasons. In previous years when the Mets were winning the Phillies were losing and vice versa. Now Mets fans hate Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Rollins talking smack at the championship celebration ticked Mets fans off. And remember when Victorino ran into Jose Reyes on the bases a few years back?
Remember when Pat Burrell used to hit everything in sight at Shea Stadium? It was a nightmare!
Remember Cole Hamels calling the Mets choke artists? How mad were we all?
Remember that 2005 home run Ramon Castro hit to bring the Mets closer to the wild card?
Remember that 2008 game when Jerry Manuel pulled Johan Santana and our relievers couldn’t get an out.
Remember that 16 inning game when Carlos Beltran homered off Ryan Madson? How good did that feel?
Or Carlos Delgado’s double off J.C. Romero to put the Mets a game ahead of the Phillies in 2008.
And how can we all forget the seven straight losses against the Phillies in 2007, which made the collapse happen?
And to think, these games used to have no significance at all.