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Inter-Mission

So we've played our two biggest interleague rivals now. Those are the two rivalries that I consider solid and well-established (maybe it's because I live halfway between New York and Boston). Among the other AL teams, we don't have any other true rivals, and that's too bad.

I like interleague play, but to really get worked up about facing any of these other teams is a little tough. I thought that maybe something would start to stir if I did a little research on our history with some of these squads. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a closer look at our rivalries with our AL opponents not named the Red Sox or Yankees.

Angels
All-time Mets Record: 5-4

Noteworthies: Jose Reyes, a career .371 hitter against the Angels, hit his first career home run against them, a grand slam.

How do I feel about em? I'm still peeved about the Ryan-Fregosi trade.

Best Game I Know: This is actually a pretty easy one...June 11, 2005. Mets trail the Angels in the 9th inning when Marlon Anderson ties the game with an inside-the-park home run against Francisco Rodriguez. After the Angels score to take the lead in extra innings, Cliff Floyd caps an amazing at-bat with a walk-off three-run home run.

Athletics
All-time Mets Record: 4-2 regular season, 3-4 postseason

Noteworthies: Athletics GM Billy Beane was important to the 1986 Mets. He was traded to the Twins in January of 1986 in a deal that netted the Mets Tim Teufel.

How do I feel about em? I'm still mad about that whole 1973 World Series thing, even though it took place two years before I was born.

Best Game I Know: June 23, 2007. A speedy pitchers duel between Joe Blanton and Orlando Hernandez ends when the Mets score the game's only run on David Wright's double in the bottom of the 9th.

Blue Jays
All-time Mets Record: 14-4

Noteworthies: The Mets are 9-0 all-time at home against the Blue Jays.

How do I feel about em? I went on vacation in Toronto once about 20 years ago and thought that other than the ballpark, the city was overrated.

Best Game I Know: June 9, 1999. After being shut out for 8 2/3 innings by David Wells, the Mets rally to tie with three runs in the ninth. Robin Ventura's single plates a pair and then Brian McRae, in his best moment as a Met, ties it with a double. It took until the 13th inning for the Mets to win it on a pair of walks and a single by Rey Ordonez.

Indians
All-time Mets Record: 4-2

Noteworthies: The only pitcher to win 20 games in both his Mets and Indians careers is Mark Clark (22 for the Mets, 27 for the Indians).

How do I feel about em? I want to know what voodoo they applied to Roberto Alomar before they traded him to us.

Best Game I Know: June 8, 2002. The Mets trail Chuck Finley 3-1 into the 7th inning before a seven-run splurge, capped by a three-run home run by Mike Piazza. If only Alomar could have played everyday like he did in this series, going 6-for-13 with a pair of RBI.

Mariners
All-time Mets Record: 2-7

Noteworthies: It's ugly. The Mariners have outscored the Mets, 60-20.

How do I feel about em? I'm still mad at them for signing John Olerud away.

Best Game I Know: Slim pickins...The Mets wins are their first meeting and the most recent one. We'll go with the inaugural clash- June 6, 2003, a 3-2 win behind home runs from Jason Phillips and Cliff Floyd, and the pitching of Jae Seo. The Mariners stranded 11 and went a Metsian 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Speaking of Mr. Olerud, he whiffed against Armando Benitez to end the game.

Orioles
All-time Mets Record: 12-7 regular season, 4-1 postseason

Noteworthies: Timo Perez was 7-for-10 in 2 games against the Orioles.

How do I feel about em? I'm glad we can hold the 1969 thing over them forever.

Best (Regular Season) Game I Know: The thriller of June 13, 2001, a game in which the Mets left 10 men on base through six innings and trailed the hosts, 6-0 to that point. A single run in the 7th doesn't do much damage, but two more runs in the eighth, and a three-spot in the ninth (pinch-hitters Mark Johnson and Lenny Harris combine efforts to tie the game) knot things up. The Mets won it in the 10th on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's RBI single.

Rangers
All-time Mets Record: 4-2

Noteworthies: The last time the Mets won a 9-inning game by shutout, in which they allowed double-digits in hits was June 12, 2003, when they 11-hit the Rangers, 11-0.

How do I feel about em? I didn't particularly care for the water-slide thing they did during last year's rain delay.

Best Game I Know: June 15, 2008. Willie Randoph's last game before the fateful flight to Anaheim was a 4-2 win over the Rangers in Game 2 of a doubleheader. Pedro Martinez got the win, and Robinson Cancel drove in a pair in the sixth inning to snap a 2-2 tie.

Rays
All-time Mets Record: 7-5

Noteworthies: The Mets have three shutouts among their seven wins against the Rays, and they were three very well-pitched games against three very mediocre teams. I also feel its noteworthy that I saw pitcher Esteban Yan homer in his first MLB at-bat against Bobby Jones on June 4, 2000, which is probably my favorite "negative" interleague Mets moment.

How do I feel about em?: I like em...I'd never had a #2 team until mid-June 2008 when I adopted them as a means of stress relief. I'm not holding Zambrano for Kazmir against them until Kazmir gets to 100 wins.

Best Game I Know: June 8, 1998. Rick Reed took a perfect game into the 7th inning before Wade Boggs broke it up with a two-out double. Reed finished up with a 10-strikeout, 3-hit shutout, and the Mets won 3-0, with help from Mike Piazza's 11th home run.

Royals
All-time Mets Record: 3-3

Noteworthies: Current Met Carlos Beltran ranks eighth on the Royals all-time lists for most home runs (123) and RBI (516).

How do I feel about em? Pretty neutral, since we were able to steal one of their best young'uns (David Cone) a while after they swiped one of ours (Amos Otis)

Best Game I Know: June 21, 2002. In the inaugural meeting between these teams, the Mets would rally to tie on Edgardo Alfonzo's eighth-inning single, than win on a combo infield hit/error by Mo Vaughn (thank you, Joe Randa) in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Guthrie, in one of his best Mets moments, escaped bases-loaded trouble in the top of the ninth to put the Mets in position to win.

Tigers
All-time Mets Record: 4-5

Noteworthies: David Wright is 4-for-10 with 3 career home runs against the Tigers.

How do I feel about em? Bothered that they threw away the 2006 World Series against the Cardinals...literally.

Best Game I Know: June 8, 2007. We'll pick this one over the back-to-back walk-off wins in 2004, as it was the best moment in the brief Mets career of Jorge Sosa, who improved to 6-1 with eight shutout innings in a 3-0 win in Detroit. Sosa struck out five, walked two, and stayed out of harm's way, winning on the strength of home runs by Carlos Delgado and David Wright.

Twins
All-time Mets Record: 3-6

Noteworthies: Name the Cy Young Award winners to pitch for both the Mets and Twins: A toughie...Johan Santana and Frank Viola are the easy ones. But don't forget about Dean Chance and Dr. Mike Marshall.

How do I feel about em? I'm jealous that they had Johan before we did.

Best Game I Know: June 20, 2002. A nailbiter that pushed the Mets over the .500 mark. Twas a 1-0 Mets lead in the home eighth, when they pushed across two very valuable runs. Steve Trachsel and Armando Benitez would give both back, but Benitez came back to strike out Torii Hunter with the tying run on base to end the game.

White Sox
All-time Mets Record: 1-2

Noteworthies: Current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was the shortstop who couldn't handle John Olerud's game-winning two-run single in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the 1999 NLCS.

How do I feel about em?: I'm perplexed about them, because in 13 years, we've only played them once.

Best Game I Know: Not much to choose from here. The lone Mets win came June 10, 2002 back in the day when Pedro Astacio (7-2) was thought to be a good pitcher. He was sharp on this occasion, with seven innings of one run ball. No. 3 hitter Roberto Alomar homered, as did Timo Perez. Wonder if that's why both ended up as White Sox in their post-Mets careers.

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