Hey Philadelphians. Do me a favor. Do whatever you can to help your Phillies beat the Yankees.
It’s not that I’m a genuine Phillies fan. In fact, if truth be told, I’m still a Montreal Expos fan. That’s right; the same hapless Expos who slunk out of town five years ago to become the hapless Washington Nationals.
In fact, I can’t really say that I owe any one team an allegiance at this point. But there is one thing I do know. Through thick and thin, from my earliest baseball memory to my latest diamond disappointment, there has been one faithful, abiding constant: I hate the New York Yankees.
No matter who wore the Yankee pinstripes over the last fifty years, I disliked them. That encompasses an historical hate on that includes Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter and every pinstripes-wearing player in between.
So when I ask you Philadelphians to do your best to cheer on your team, it’s not because of a soft spot for the Phillies or even a mild preference for National League teams. It’s a request born of something much deeper and stronger: Yankee hatred.
I think most of you understand where I’m coming from. After all, the Yankees are a franchise whose fans are whining because they haven’t won a World Series since 2003. Big deal. You folks know what a real Series-winning drought is and it sure ain’t six years.
Philly fans have experienced disappointment over the years. Despite making it to the World Series seven times, the team has only won two titles and the first one didn’t come until 1980, a Chicago Cubs-sized dry spell if there ever was one.
And when it comes to disappointments, let’s not forget one of the biggest chokes in baseball history, the 1964 6½-game Phold under manager Gene Mauch. That’s the same Gene Mauch who guided the Montreal Expos to their perennial second division finishes for the first seven years of their existence.
Some might say: "Hey, the Phillies won it last year; it’s time for someone else to get a chance." Oh yeah? Someone other than the Yankees maybe. But with the Bronx Bombers, we’re talking about baseball’s richest franchise, a franchise that has won 40 American League pennants and 26 - count ‘em 26 - World Series titles.
The Yankees need another championship like Philadelphia needs another cracked bell. Given your team’s long-suffering history, back-to-back Series victories is not asking for too much. Let those damn Yankees wait for a change. Let them see what it’s like to go decades without a title.
So let me hear you this Saturday when the bad guys show up at Citizens Bank Park. Give them a little taste of brotherly hate and, with any luck, they’ll be run out of town by Sunday night. Not only will Philadelphians celebrate but so will I and millions of other temporary Philly fans.