If there is one thing that Phillies fans know, it’s that the New York Mets are the bane of our existence. From a young age we are tought that the Mets are not our friends but our bitter enemies. It all started back long ago back in 1962, the first year of the Mets.
The Mets had a talented 35-year-old all star outfielder who hit .306 with a .424 on base percentage. Even with those numbers he elected to retire after the Mets went a historically bad 40-120. His fear of riding the pine lead to his decision.
“He said that if he ever had to be a benchwarmer for the New York Mets he’d commit suicide.”, said famous New York City columnist Jimmy Breslin. That player was Phillies Hall of Famer Richie “Whitey” Ashburn. After years of bad blood between the 2 clubs, there is a new bitter rival on the horizon facing the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Now you might be asking, “The Angels??? What have the Angels ever done to the Phillies? They’re in the AL! If there’s any AL team we should be rivals against it’s the Yankees! They beat us in 2 World Series!”.
Now I hear you but give me a chance here.
The Phillies have a winning regular season record against the Yankees, 14-13. Against the Angels? 1-12. That’s good for a .077 winning percentage. The lone Phillies win came in 2003, the first meeting against the Angles. The Phillies won that game 3-0 behind HRs by Jimmy Rollins and Jim Thome. The winning pitcher was Vincente Padilla and Jose Mesa got the save.
The Phillies haven’t won since and are on an 12 game losing streak. In that time they have been outscored 22-60. The 12 game slide is the longest by any team in Interleague history according to Todd Zolecki. But this is not the only reason.
The Angels also happen to have a talented outfielder from Millville, New Jersey who grew up a Phillies fan and is still a vocal Eagles fan. He has accumulated 52.9 Win Above Replacement in just about 6 full seasons in the majors. He’s a former Rookie of the Year, a 6-time All Star, a 2-time AL MVP, and considered the best player in the MLB. His name is Mike Trout.
Trout wasn’t an ordinary Phillies fan either. His roots run deep. According to an CSN interview with Trout’s father Jeff, Mike still cheered on the Phillies as a member of the Angel’s organization.
“Trout’s father recalled a story from a few years back when in the middle of the night, Jeff heard Mike scream from his room.
“Dad, we got Roy Halladay!” Mike yelled. To which his Dad responded: “the Angels got Halladay?”
“No, the Phillies did!” Mike replied. “Son, you’re a member of the Angels. What’s with this we?!””
The sweet dreams of Phillies fans usually include Mike Trout patrolling center field for the Phightin’s. They salivate with the possibility of a World Series powered behind the NL MVP, Mike Trout. While Phillies fans dream, the reality is that Trout is under contract with the Halo’s through 2020…but.
Even the notion of Trout in a Phillies uniform fuels the fire of this budding rivalry. If the Phillies ever do acquire Trout you can guarantee that the Phillies will have a new bona fide rival on the west coast. Hopefully, by that time, the Phillies will have broken their 12 game losing streak against the Angels.
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Alec Kostival graduated from La Salle University with a degree in communication with a focus in mass media and journalism. He covered high school sports for the Chestnut Hill Local. He has interned with the Reading Fightin Phils and the Philadelphia Eagles.