As a Mets fan, I have come to have disdain for the Philadelphia Phillies. Their fans are some of the worst in professional sports (as discussed – or disgust – in an earlier edition of the Tuesday Afternoon Stuff I Dislike), the team runs their mouth and celebrates at every turn, and yet despite their success, they still have an inferiority complex against New York. Yes, we get it, you won your two pennants and a World Series – no need to rub it in our faces (along with the rest of the nation) at every turn. (BTW, it’s important to note that while some Mets fans were wondering whether to root for the Phillies or the Yankees in the World Series, I was hoping for a blackout across the East Coast.) However, while I have disdain for the team as a whole, I have different shares of disdain for the individual members of the starting lineup.
Now, I’m not including the starting rotation in this (although, before I go on, I have to say: Cole Hamels sucks!), nor am I including the bullpen (same to you, Brad Lidge), just 1-8 in the batting order. I’m judging my disdain on a scale of 1-10. So here we go in the leadoff spot with…
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS – Hatred-O-Meter: 9/10
We start off at the top of the order with my second-most-hated player on the Phils, ol’ Jelly Roll Morton himself. The man who claimed the Phillies were the “team to beat” in 2006 and 2007 (I guess the second time was the charm). The man who actually claimed that the Mets should not have sent the runners when Eric Bruntlett turned his unassisted-triple-play to end the game, because it would run the risk of that (if he ever gets into coaching, I’d love to hear him explain that reasoning when he doesn’t send the runners). He continues to run his mouth when in reality he’s probably the third-best shortstop in the division (behind Hanley Ramirez, who I’ll admit, is sick, and Jose Reyes, ’cause I’m a homer and I love him).
2. Shane Victorino, CF – Hatred-O-Meter: 10/10
Yes, 10/10. Every time he does anything, he celebrates, or as I like to call it, ‘dances around the maypole.’ Homers – dances around the maypole. Single – dances around the maypole. Catcher’s interference – probably dances around the maypole then too. Furthermore, he has the hypocrisy to challenge the Mets’ on-field celebrations, which often compared to “Pineapple Express” are subdued. However, his arrogance has gotten the best of him in the past – take the Angel Pagan inside-the-park home run, gifted to him by Victorino refusing to bend down and get the ball from the padding.
3. Chase Utley, 2B – Hatred-O-Meter: 3/10
All that hatred for Jelly Roll and Pineapple Express and nothing for Utley? Well, simply put, the guy goes out, day in/day out, and hits. His defense is pretty damn good too. And he does all of this without fanfare, and as a result, I have great respect for him. I wish he were a Met – there’s a reason Gary Cohen has named the right field corner of Citi Field “Utley’s Corner” – it’s perfect for his compact swing.
4. Ryan Howard, 1B – Hatred-O-Meter: 5/10
Talks a bit more than Utley, but not as much as Jelly Roll. Similarly, hits – a lot. But as much as people say his defense is ‘underrated,’ I saw him make three errors in one game when he was with Batavia in 2001 – it hasn’t gotten much better. I guess underrated compared to Prince Fielder.
5. Raul Ibañez, LF- Hatred-O-Meter: 0/10
Meh. Kind of wish the Mets made the bold move of signing him – although then we wouldn’t have our favorite Canadian, Jason Bay.
6. Jayson Werth, RF- Hatred-O-Meter: 1/10
See Ibañez, although I can’t grow his beard, so I’m a bit jealous (http://www.phillyburbs.com/opinions/blogs/burbsblogs/phils_ville/phils_ville_details/article/180/2010/february/22/if-jayson-werths-beard-could-talk-what-would-it-say.html).
7. Placido Polanco, 3B – Hatred-O-Meter: -1/10
Much like his eventual successor Utley, the guy flat out hits – he can’t do much else, and his range isn’t much, but I supported him in Detroit, and I’ll hate to root against him in Philly (although I will).
8. Carlos Ruiz/Brian Schneider, C – Hatred-O-Meter (combined): 5/10
1 of those points goes to Ruiz, for no real reason, with 4 of those coming from Schneider, for sucking so much with the Mets the last two years.
In sum, I hate the top half of the lineup, not so much for the bottom half.
Join me for next week’s installment of the Tuesday Afternoon Stuff I Dislike, when I discuss the Twilight series.