New Yorkers write: "&$#! you!"

Long-suffering Mets fans don't like being lumped in with Yankees fans.

Published September 30, 2008 7:05PM (EDT)

Not surprisingly, a lot of people wrote in to discuss the theme of Monday's "Mets Collapse 2.0 Complete," which was: "What red-blooded American non-New Yorker doesn't love to see a New York team take it in the shorts from time to time?"

JDD, presumably a non-non-New Yorker, spoke up on behalf of our greatest city, writing, "Hey King. F**K You!"

Ah, yeah. I feel like I'm walking down f**kin' Broadway on a beautiful day!

Here are some other letter writers waxing less eloquently as they try to explain the difference between rooting for the Mets and rooting for that other New York baseball team.

nkennedy: All the Mets have in common with the Yankees is that they are in the same city ... Try asking any Yankees fan what they think of the Mets or vice versa. So don't take out your Yankees schadenfreude on the Mets. It just makes you look dumb.

Advocatus: After your mean-spirited, ignorant column today, you're benched, put back on the bus and reassigned to single-A (the Nome, Alaska WhaleHunters need a groundskeeper). I mean, if you can't tell the difference between the Mets organization and the Yankees, how can we rely on you for insight into other issues?

MarkL: I guess people outside our area enjoy hating any team with an "NY" on their uniforms. But to lump the Mets, perennial second-class citizens in their own market with the Yanks, suggests someone who doesn't real pay that much attention to them. The Mets with the exception of '86, the Mets have spent the last four decades teasing their fans with near-misses, and disappointments.

Listen, Mets fans: Get over it. Your team plays in New York. Poor babies, the second team in what should be a five-team market. That's not exactly second-class citizenry. That's having a little less money than the Vanderbilts, but still moving in their circles.

From outside of New York, New York is New York. We in the hinterlands get that the Mets are different animals than the Yankees. We really do. We just don't care that much.

Or, as btdenver put it: Like it or not Mets fans, you have more in common with the Yanks than with most clubs. From those way, way down the list, you look pretty similar.

I could do 5,000 words on how the Excelsior District of San Francisco, where I live, has almost nothing in common with, say, St. Francis Wood, which is maybe two miles away. There are probably cities outside the United States with which the Excelsior has more in common than it has with St. Francis Wood, and vice versa.

But if you said something about "San Franciscans," and I tried to argue that we in the Excelsior shouldn't be lumped in with those St. Francis Woodsians down the street nor they with us, you'd give me a big whatever. You don't care about our little internecine differences from where you are, just as we don't care about yours.

mssrao I have to take issue with your insistence on going along with the tired and completely invalid "big market, big money" team nonsense. The Yankees, for instance, are indeed a big-market team. But the fact is every team is on national television now, and any one could gain a following if the product merited it. And here is the "big" fact: teams like the Yankees, or the Mets, or the Red Sox, don't spend money they have that other teams don't have; they spend money because they want to win -- by putting the best possible product on the field.

I don't completely disagree, but I think you take it way too far.

It's just not true that the Yankees and the other richest teams "don't spend money they have that other teams don't have." Of course they do. Because of revenue sharing and especially the shared cash cow of MLB Advanced Media, the Pirates, Marlins, Royals and other paupers have more money than they'd like you to believe they have, but they don't have as much as the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox have.

The teams at the bottom of the money chain can probably afford to sign a big free agent for big money, but they'd better be right about him or they're going to be hurt badly by the contract for years. The Yankees and their ilk can absorb mistakes. New York lavished millions on Hideki Irabu in 1997 -- and made the playoffs that season and each of the next 10.

That's a huge difference, and it's on top of the fact that big-time free agents want to sign with big-time teams. The Pirates would be at a disadvantage to the Yankees or Red Sox in competing for a free agent even if Pittsburgh could match them dollar for dollar. Irabu was bought from his Japanese team by the San Diego Padres, but would only play for the Yankees. He wasn't the last big-time Japanese free agent to take that approach either.

Here's reader Sylvain playing the same tune: Mets fan are always whining about how they shouldn't get lumped in with the Yankees. Please. They are a big-spending, big market team, and the scrappy underdog pose is laughable and ridiculous.

Which leads us to a nice point by wescovington: I don't understand why Mets fans feel so deeply offended that someone takes a small bit of pleasure from their team missing the playoffs. It's all part of sports. We aren't supposed to like the big guys. We want to see them fall. It's an honor to be hated. People don't hate bad teams.

Right. And by the way I don't hate the Mets. And I love New York. I just like to see New York sports teams lose. Except the Jets. I've always kind of liked the Jets, so it has nothing to do with the new quarterback. It's the uniforms, and the fact that the Jets were the defending champions when I first became aware of pro football.

Finally, a tributary of this subject: Robert Franklin: Pure bliss. The regular season is over and neither the Mets nor the Yankees are in the playoffs. That means that, for maybe as long as a month, ESPN won't talk incessantly about those teams. I guess they'll fill in with Brett Favre.

You can't be serious. The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are both in the playoffs. That trumps everything. Do you remember 2003, when both teams were in the League Championship Series but lost? Do you remember how ran "coverage" of an imagined World Series between them while the real World Series was going on between the Yankees and the Florida Marlins?

That wasn't whimsy. That was because anything involving the Red Sox or the Cubs gets massive hits and ratings. Anything involving both is off the charts. ESPN would duct-tape Brett Favre to Derek Jeter and throw them both into the mouth of a live volcano if it meant they could have the Cubs and Red Sox in the World Series.

I say that without judgment. I'm stocking up on duct tape myself, just in case.

By King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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