You'd think a team that fell apart in two straight Septembers and watched the team that beat them win the World Series last October would be slightly chagrined as a result. At the very least, you'd think that such a team would steer clear of trash talk that only serves to remind everyone in earshot that you've come out on the short end of every stick. Yet the Mets never miss a chance to sound off about the Phillies.
The latest chapter has Carlos Beltranresponding toCole Hamels' belief that the Mets are "choke artists."
"The only thing that I know is that he will be watched every time he faces us," Beltran said, "and hopefully we kill him. And then he'll have to deal with the situation."
Beltran went on to say that he thinks the Mets are a better team than the Phillies, on paper, and the "team to beat" this season. Actually, he just agreed with Francisco Rodriguez calling them the team to beat, but the whole thing had a stale flavor to it nonetheless. Why would a player from the Mets even think about who is the best team on paper? That's about as important as which team has a better barbershop quartet.
The Phillies aren't much better, since they react to every bit of sniping from New York with a comment of their own. With a championship in hand, they'd be justified in just ignoring everything that comes out of Mets mouths. They don't though, which makes any statement of confidence pretty hollow. Whenever they respond to the Mets, it shows they're worried about the team they branded as chokers.
That said, the Mets need to make Beltran's comments about the Phillies the final ones of the offseason war of words. Talking tough doesn't take the place of playing tough, which they've made all too clear.