As Mets fans averted their eyes last night from the dispirited slop on the field at Shea, they could find no comfort in the National League scoreboard. Before the Mets even stepped up to bat, the Phillies led the Braves by four. The St. Louis Cardinals shut out the Mets with little bombast, and fans left Shea so humiliated by simultaneously losing the game and their sole claim to first place in the NL East that they could barely muster a few feeble taunts at a guy wearing a Rick Ankiel jersey. This is what happens to New Yorkers when we realize that Philadelphia is better than us.
Though the Phillies are surely better than the Mets right now (your company softball team might prove a challenge), sharing first place is particularly nettlesome. Philadelphia, for today, and according only to a baseball win-loss record, is just as good as New York. Madness! Why won’t that pesky city to the south just embrace its corruption, murder rate, poverty, and inferiority complex and keep its sports teams aligned in second place where they belong? (Never mind the fact that Philadelphia is, above all, a football town that treats baseball as something to fill the gaps between “E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!” chants.) As one who was raised in the leafy suburban shadows of Philadelphia, let me reassure you, New York. This won’t last. Philly will find a way to mess it up — they wouldn’t have it any other way. —Aileen Gallagher