I suppose this sort of Bravado is to be admired, and it is the kind of attitude you want your new closer to come in the door with, but I kind of wish Francisco Rodriguez saved the "Team to Beat" comments for the regular season. As we've seen, the Mets can boast all they want, but until they win anything, they're going to be known as the team that spit up a Playoff spot on the last day of the season two years in a row.
Much like, on the flipside, Cole Hamels can talk all he wants, but it doesn't change the fact that his 2008 pitching line against the team he called "Chokers" reads something like this: 2 games, 12IP, 17H, 10R, 8ER, 6.00 ERA, 0-2.
For a pair of guys who like to talk an awful lot, they have accomplished fairly little against the teams they're aiming their comments at.
I'm sure that this back and forth is going to continue and will probably turn the 18 games these two teams will play against each other into a 3-ring circus, but it would probably spare these guys a lot of headache if they just kept their mouths shut. Rodriguez will probably take it on the chin if he blows a save against Philly, much like Hamels will have to do plenty of backtracking if the Mets pound him in '09 like they did in '08.
The Media probably would never let this happen, I'm sure. Much like Joe Benigno goaded Hamels last week, reporters will be after Mets players from now until April asking them about the Phillies. Perhaps they could save us all a lot of trouble if they just said, "Good for them," when asked and walked away.