The war of words between the Phillies and Mets hasn't slowed down by any means. Whether it's David Wright, Cole Hamels, or Jimmy Rollins, things aren't often quiet between the divisional foes. Francisco Rodriguezsigned with the Mets this past week, and he's already joining the fray.
"Of course, we're going to be the front-runner. Of course, we're going to be the team to beat," he said Saturday.
"I don't want there to be a controversy or the other ballclubs in that division to take it personally or take it in a bad way," he said. "If they ask me, 'Oh, which ballclub is going to win the National League East?' It's going to be the Mets. Easy question."
I'm not sure I understand the need for his disclaimer. The Phillies just won the World Series, and you are telling them you are the front-runner in the division -- how could they not take that personally? Of course that's gonna be taken personal from the Phillies' point of view.
As a bystander, I enjoy the rivalry, especially the verbal sparring through the media. I just wish KRod would have been less political in his proclamation. Cole Hamels recently called the Mets "choke artists," and the best KRod can do is by tiptoeing around a prediction? C'mon, man, mix it up in no-holds-barred fashion. Where's the name-calling or the individual call-outs?
As for his prediction, it's shaping up to be quite a doozy atop the NL East. Having J.J. Putz and KRod at the back end of the Mets bullpen would have easily aided the Mets in avoiding the "choke" last September. They blew 29 saves last year, after all. The Phillies are going to be without Chase Utley for around two months, in all likelihood. With everything in front of us, I don't think it's a clear-cut choice as to who the champion would be as of today. We'll see how the rest of the offseason shapes up, because the Mets still have some holes to fill.
Francisco Rodriguez Already Talking a Big Game in the Big Apple originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Sun, 14 Dec 2008 14:16:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.