Sometime tonight, probably around 8:07 PM, I will be sitting in front of my TV mercifully listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver call Game 1 of the World Series. Buck and McCarver are a painful announcing team to listen too and have made me a big fan of the mute button, but that's not why I'm in pain tonight.
Sometime tonight, probably around 8:21, after Cole Hamels pitches a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, I will be sitting in front of my TV cursing out the Phis. I still cannot believe that the Phillies are in the World Series, while my Mets, who I STILL think were the better team, are home sitting on the couch probably watching FrankTV (thanks TBS). It's not that the Phillies haven't played better than the Mets, but as a fan, I still cannot fathom that the Phillies have made it this far. I feel like a Yankee fan, circa 2004. And to be quite honest, this sucks. But even so, that's not why I'm in pain tonight.
Yes I will be in pain tonight because back in 2004, then Mets GM Jim Duquette decided to trade away future stud SP Scott Kazmir for the carcase known as Victor Zambrano. Duquette apparently thought that young left handed pitchers who throw in the mid nineties with pinpoint control were not worth holding onto because of character concerns and his lack of height. This trade reeked of terrible from the start and left me bordering on insanity. Fast forward to tonight, when Rays ace Scott Kazmir will take the hill against a Phillies lineup that is loaded with left handed bats. Even though Kazmir has been an all-star and the best pitcher on the Rays for the past three seasons, this game, this series will serve to be his coming out party.
Kazmir will dominate tonight. The electric stuff that has been missing over the past few weeks will magically come back. I just know it, the baseball Gods will continue to mock Mets fans by teasing us with what could have been. Kazmir will make Chase Utley and Ryan Howard look foolish while striking out somewhere between 5-8 over 6 innings. The nation will be introduced to a little guy who could very well determine how far the Rays go in the playoffs. The world will be introduced to a budding star in a crappy market, who is littered with talent and has all the potential in the world to become a great pitcher.
Every time I watch a Phillie swing through a Kazmir fastball, every time I watch a Phillie hitter look foolish because of the devastating Kazmir offspeed stuff, the pit in the bottom of my stomach will grow a little bit deeper. For a team that missed the playoffs on game 162 two years in a row, this guy could have been the Mets difference maker. Hell, he would have been our difference maker. Instead of an aging Pedro Martinez, there could have been Kazmir. Instead of an inexperienced Jonathan Niese or Philip Humber, there could have been Kazmir. Could you imagine a rotation of Kazmir, Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, and Perez? Dominant!
I am indeed very bitter.