The Phillies are better than the Mets because they are arrogant and condescending

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Not my words! Those are the words of the Daily News’ Andy Martino, who believes that the biggest thing separating the Phillies and Mets is that the Mets lack “swagger” and lack “arrogance and condescension toward opponents” like the Phillies have:

While the roster is not the deepest, the Mets have never wanted for championship-level talent. The team has, however, lacked the swagger that, to hear those who were there tell it, defined the 1986 Mets, and has defined the 2007-2010 Phillies. Utley will slide spikes-up into any second baseman, and Rollins will publicly bash his opponents. When Colorado manager Jim Tracy this spring complained that the Phillies kept binoculars in their bullpen in an apparent attempt to steal signs, Charlie Manuel told him to “quit crying.” The Phillies manager then, without provocation, accused the Mets of stealing signs.

It all adds up to a “(expletive) you” edge that the Mets lack. From the general manager to the coaching staff to the star players to Chris Carter and Jesus Feliciano, they are almost all nice people. Maybe too nice.

Must be getting close to college football season, because that’s about the only other time you hear people talking b.s. about “swagger” being a cause of on-the-field success as opposed to an effect of it.

At the heart of this article — like so many other article analyzing the Mets’ recent failures — is a fallacy: that the Mets are as talented as the Phillies have been over the past few years.  They’re simply not.

The Phillies have not gone into any season over the past three years with the kinds of black holes in the lineup like the Mets have had in right field and second base or the kinds of nearly season-long injuries like those to Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes last year (and into this year). At the same time, the Mets don’t have a single pitcher close to Roy Halladay’s quality (sorry Johan) or a position player as good as Chase Utley (sorry David Wright).  Add in the fact that their manager can’t hold a candle to Charlie Manuel and the notion that all that separates these two teams is likability or swagger is laughable in the extreme.

It’s a comforting idea I suppose — we’d win if only we weren’t so nice! — but it’s hogwash.  Baseball rewards intensity and emotional demeanor less so than any other sport. The games are too long. The season is too long. Calm calculation is just too important.  Attitude can only take you so far.

Ultimately, winning baseball is about talent and execution.  The Mets could fill a wagon with swagger and it wouldn’t do them a damn bit of good. Because the Phillies are just better.

White Sox rookie Nicky Delmonico overcame an Adderall addiction

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There have been a couple of notable instances of players who have dealt with Addrerall addiction in recent years. A few months back we learned that Aubrey Huff suffered from it. Orioles slugger Chris Davis, who has ADD, once had a therapeutic use exemption for Adderall, let it lapse to go off of the drug, but then “in a moment of weakness” returned to it, resulting in a suspension back in 2014.

The latest: White Sox rookie slugger Nicky Delmonico, who has made a splash since his callup, hitting six homers and posting a line of .329/.434/.614 in 20 games. His road here, however, was a difficult one. When he was with the Brewers organization he was suspended for “amphetamine” use. Turns out it was Adderall. And, according to today’s story in the Tribune, it turns out that the circumstances were similar to Davis’:

Delmonico feared the label of drug cheat would impede his path to the majors, his goal since he was a bat boy for the University of Tennessee, where his dad, Rod, coached from 1990-2007. He figured nobody would care to learn the real story; that he became conditioned to taking Adderall, which MLB had approved for medical purposes, but decided to come off the drug before the 2014 season so not to become overly dependent.

“But then I couldn’t not take it,” Delmonico said.

Withdrawal symptoms changed the young man with the infectious personality. His moods swung. Suddenly, Delmonico craved the way he used to feel.

Delmonico was released by the Brewers when he came off suspension and signed by the Sox. They told him to take his time coming back, and as he did, he went to rehab. The rest is history. And just the beginning of history, if his fast start is any indication of how he’ll do in the bigs going forward.

Well done, Delmonico. It’s rare to come back from such adversity, but here’s hoping for your continued success as you enter the prime of your career.

David Wright went 0-for-4 in his rehab debut

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David Wright started at DH and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his rehab debut with High-A St. Lucie last night.

The results are not all that important compared to the fact that Wright actually played in a game. Wright acknowledged as much afterward, saying “There’s still quite a bit to go to where I want to be, but it was a good first step.” Wright said he “felt pretty good,” and that while he’d like to see better results as soon as possible, he’s happy just being out there right now.

Wright is shooting to join the Mets for the final few weeks of the 2017 regular season after being out of action since May of 2016 with back and neck ailments. It’s hard not to root for the guy.