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No time to panic, Yankees fans

Oct 29, 2009, 8:57 AM EDT

Here’s the situation: your team is unable to do anything against a Cy Young caliber pitcher.  Your ace gave up two home runs to the same guy on the other team.  Your bullpen was less than stellar. You’ve now lost the homefield advantage and you have an often erratic starter going in Game 2.  Time to panic?

Hardly, because that describes the exact scenario the Yankees faced in Game 2 of the 1996 World Series.

Because I’m an Atlanta Braves fan, I remember it well.  I was in law school then, and I remember the gloom and doom of my many, many New York Yankee fan classmates.  I even had a professor — himself a native New Yorker — who got bent out of shape when I wore my Braves cap in to class the day after Andruw Jones hit those two bombs.  Being young and relatively unschooled in the ways of the world, I gloated like crazy.  I was even worse about it following Game 2.

But we all know how that turned out.  The ace lefty acquitted himself quite nicely his next turn out. The Yankees’ deep bullpen asserted itself.  The Braves, after getting one lights out performance from Greg Maddux in Game 2, had no answer for the New York nine.  A dynasty was reborn that year, and that Game 1 has been rendered a mere footnote, notable for Andruw Jones’ coming out party and not much else.  That law school professor took a few minutes at the beginning of the first class following Game 6 to lecture me about premature jubilation.  It’s probably the only thing I remember from that class.

Will history repeat itself?  I have no idea. But I do know that Yankees fans would be well-advised to relax, and Phillies fans would be well advised to hold their “nobody believed in us” and “we told you so” rants until after Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels pitch. 

For my part, I stand by my prediction: Yankees in six. Just like in 1996. 

  1. Pringles - Oct 29, 2009 at 9:32 AM

    Wow – so you think the Phillies are going to lose 4 of the next 5 games after losing 5 total playoff games in the last 2 years? That’s what you’re saying?
    Keep doubting. We like it like that…

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 29, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Maybe yes, maybe no. I just don’t think that the outcome of one game is a good basis for changing a prediction.
    And nothing personal, but Phillies fans crack me up. You’re the reigning world champs. You just dominated Game 1 of the World Series. At what point does the “no one believes in us, no one respects us” card become played out? Three championships? A decade long dynasty?

  3. KimG - Oct 29, 2009 at 9:40 AM

    The Yankees may have better players, but the Phillies have a better team. Phillies in 6.

  4. Berto - Oct 29, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    The “nobody believed in us mentality” comes from being two to one underdogs when WE are the defending WORLD CHAMPIONS. Talent, teamwork and a great farm system wins championships — not money and steroids.

  5. Rob - Oct 29, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    The “nobody believed in us!” card *never* gets played out. If you’re not sure, reconsider the number of movies there are in the “Rocky” franchise. It’s a part of Philadelphia’s psyche, much like the belief (common among New Yorkers) that the world revolves around New York. And both are at least partially right – really, nobody does believe in the Phillies (Vegas had to make the reigning champs 2-1 underdogs to get the money flowing), and in many respects the world does revolve around New York (or at least it did before the financial world ended, and maybe it still does).
    Go phillies!

  6. wolfie 11 - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    I don’t know much about the Phillies, but I sure know money ( or lack of it from the Indians) is how the Phillies got Cliff Lee.
    I don’t think he or Worth was a product of their farm system. I believe the left fielder is also a high priced free agent.
    Am I wrong?

  7. Dan Gladden - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:03 AM

    You are wrong. It is time for panic. Who will be throwing out the first Zim tonight?

  8. Ken - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    I would guess Yankee fans recall 2004. You never celebrate until it is over. I bet the Yankees wish they were playing those Braves!

  9. madasheck - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    It is time to panic, Yankee fans. Your boys didn’t look like God’s gift to baseball last night. Go Phils!

  10. SDfromPHL - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    You ask “At what point does the “no one believes in us, no one respects us” card become played out? Three championships? A decade long dynasty?” The answer is that the card is played when the disrespect stops. The Phillies ARE the defending world champs, but the way the national media (primarily based in NY) and the various broadcast teams have kissed the collective butts of the Dodgers and now the Yankees, you’d never know it. Maybe the 2010 Phillies, as back-to-back world champions, will get the respect they so richly deserve. Phils in 6, Yankees in denial!

  11. melba - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    the ‘no one believes in us’ card is based — quite logically — on the fact that the media and pundits (you included) have almost universally picked the yankees over the phillies in this series. which (duh) makes the phillies the underdogs. don’t slam the fans for pointing out a phenomenon that is factually accurate. we’ll stop playing the card when the media starts making us the favorites.

  12. Jacob - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    What does that even mean?

  13. kristin - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    wow…never realized phillies fans were so lame…what’s with all the whining after a dominant win? i’d hate to hear what you all sound like after a loss…

  14. kirddes - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    Berto – are you still beating the dead steroid horse ? really ?? Raul Ibanez injects what ???

  15. Kevin - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Perhaps the “no one respects us” line is played out and laughable, but then again, so is an article with a reassuring headline meant as nothing more than a “It’s going to be OK” pep talk to Yank fans. This thing reads like someone looking in the mirror trying to convince himself of something that he hopes will turn out true.
    Look, of course it’s foolish to change a prediction after one game; and clearly, no pro team should panic after a loss (that would be suicide.) But it’s obvious now that there’s been a miscalculation about this World Series – it’s not the Yanks’ to take, and the Phils are, at the very least, NY’s equals. The fact that you had to write this article is proof of that.

  16. Last desk on the Right - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    I “love” all the fans (both sides) that already have the roads blocked for their team’s parade. Games still need to be played and WON for that to happen. I am a Yankee fan through and through but I will say this for the Phillies: If they give up the title of WS Champs…it’s not going to go without a fight. I think this is a 7 game series and EVERYONE needs to relax about their teams. We shouldn’t forget how Yanks were up 3-0 to the Sox and then lost the next 4 in post season. So no matter WHO your team is…SHHH until it’s time! Having said that…GO YANKEES!

  17. dumbeaglesfan - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Am I the only who noticed that the author of this article is the one who mentioned the “Nobody believes in us” card and then the Phillies fans ran with it? I expect this sort of behavior out of the sheep who watch Fox News and blindly follow whatever sheppards Hannity and Beck say but on this forum? I am ashamed of the other Phillies fans. I knew from day one that the Phils would be back. And those around me here in southeast North Carolina also believe they are the team to beat. And this is Braves territory.
    And as far as respect is concerned, that is earned more in the TV ratings than in the press. A Yankees World Series will net a larger audience and therefore, win or lose, the Phils will earn more respect this year than last.

  18. Ladyfan - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    I agree Ken. As a devout Red Sox fan, I most definitely remember 2004. It’s never over until it’s over. The Phils pitched and played the better game last night. But that is one game. On any given day or night, either team can be the better team, which we Red Sox found out. Yanks fans, don’t be counting your team out because they lost one game, and Phils fans, don’t be resting on your laurels . . that’s the surest way to get beat the next time. There’s a good reason the World Series is seven games. No matter which team had lost last night, it would certainly not be time for their fans to panic. I look for the Yanks to come back with a win tonight, and then I look forward to some VERY intense games in Philly. Great baseball is what it’s all about . . . and that’s what we are getting.

  19. lateofphilly - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    Yes you are wrong Jason Werth came to the Phillies as a platoon outfielder and shared the right outfielder spot with Geoff Jenkins on an 850k one year deal He played his way into an everyday outfielder. He almost went to arbitration and at the last minute accepted a two year 10 mil contract. 5 mil a year is hardly a high priced free agent

  20. downsouth - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:37 AM

    Lee completely shut us down last night. That is a fact. I wouldn’t write a team like the yanks off just yet, considering how clutch they have been in this years playoffs. Still an incredibly dangerous team, with an incredibly storied history. That’s what the yanks have on their side. Phillies have a great squad, with little holes there is little doubt. Gotta give credit where it is due. But this is; what, their 7th WS appearance ever? The Yanks always find a way.
    CC was solid yet again, just not as sharp as he has been. I consider 7 IP 2 ER a good outing. Sticks just let him down.
    I still think Swisher needs to ride the bench after contributing next to nothing. He’s an out every time he comes up.

  21. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    dumbeaglesfan: Shhh! If the Phillies truthers catch on to the fact that I’m baiting them, they’ll stop taking the bait!
    Seriously, though: I get what people are saying. I guess my response is that there’s a big difference between being called an underdog in a given matchup and “no one believing” in you or disrespecting you or whatever. Vegas odds are based on numbers and money, not respect and baseball analysis. Any one pundit’s picks may or may not evidence disrespect, but simply saying that the Phillies rotation is not as good as the Yankees and therefore I think the Yankees are going to win is not disrespect.
    If I were a Phillies fan I’d root for my team. And I’d probably think objectively that the Yankees, at least on paper, were the stronger team going in. Those positions aren’t inconsistent.

  22. JP - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    They should panic if we win tonight and they have to come to citizens bank park down 2-0. This is not 1996 it is 2009. They are not the same team that they were then. They had Paul Oniel, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, David Cone , Dave Wells etc. All those guys were winners and high character guys. This team the only High Character guys that I see are Jeter, Posada and Rivera. The rest of this team has really not won anything. If this was the 96 team I would agree with you but it is not. I am a phillies fan. I am jazzed that they won game one but it is only one game. I have watched to much baseball to gloat about one game. The yanks could come out and sweep the next 4. We could also take the next 3. No one really knows. It will be a great series and I hope the phillies win it and finish it at home. I just wish the media would give the Phillies some respect. Everyone picked the yanks. I hope we sweep them just to prove to everyone that they are wrong. Kristin, Like it or love it we have a reputation as being the worst fans in all of sports. We had a courthouse at our old stadium so they could arrest people there. We threw snow balls at Santa, Booed Michael Irvin when he was almost paralyzed and his career ended and countless other things. We love our teams and hate the competitors. We are just that way because we have a chip on our shoulders for suffering losses for a long time. No one really believes in us and never have. Go Phils!

  23. Jay - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    I remember that very very well….seems like old times now, doesn’t it? And you shouldn’t have worn that Braves cap in Admin Law. Very offensives and you should continue to be ashamed of yourself.

  24. Pablo - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:45 AM

    “I don’t know much about the Phillies, but I sure know money ( or lack of it from the Indians) is how the Phillies got Cliff Lee.
    I don’t think he or Worth was a product of their farm system. I believe the left fielder is also a high priced free agent.
    Am I wrong?”
    Yes you are, and it’s Werth, not Worth. The Phils developed him from a part time platoon player, to an all star 30 homer stud.
    Lee was not a big dollar free agent signing, he was the smartest trade deadline move made by any team. The Phils passed on Roy H. because of the contract and the prospects. They look pretty smart now huh. The yanks dropped $168MM on CC and he just got smoked by a guy who will earn $10MM NEXT year.
    And the left fielder was not a high priced free agent signing. The high priced free agent he replaced signed with Tampa, and the Phils made another smart financially prudent move in signing Ibanez.

  25. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 29, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    Hey Jay! Yeah, Lupo gave it to me, didn’t he? I totally deserved it. He took it easy on me on the final, though. I actually got a pretty good grade in admin.
    God, 1996 sucked.

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