My fellow Mets fans,
Tonight we gather neither in triumph nor in joy. Rather, we have assembled out of necessity, driven by the need to oppose a deep-seated evil. Tonight we must make choices that will not sit well with any of us. Tonight we must make choices between unpalatable courses of action. Tonight we must do what many of us, in all honor, once swore we would not.
These are not easy times. We have been bested on the field of battle and outmaneuvered in the arena of ideas. Our fires have been banked, damped by misfortune and miscalculation. For now, our yesterdays are brighter than our tomorrows. We may mourn that we have come to this pass, yet we stand here nonetheless.
And here, stand we must. We have proven unfit to play a role in the combat about to unfold before us. Yet this grim judgment, however impartial its verdict, must not lead us to reject our larger calling, or to turn aside from our unhappy duty. We are bystanders, yet our voices must be heard. We are reluctant, yet we must commit.
We have profound differences with our league-mates to the south. It would be the stuff of childish fantasy not to acknowledge this. We abhor their Hawaiian braggadocio. We reject their penchant for domestic violence. We disdain the partisan yowling of their maroon rabble. To offer them fellowship runs counter to all we profess and everything we hold dear. We are neither friends nor allies. It is only wisdom to state this clearly, calmly and without apology.
Yet wisdom is nothing without a sense of proportion. We must not profess blindness citing the mote in our eye, while ignoring the beam that would blot out the light for all. Our neighborly disagreements are profound and the canyon between us is deep. Yet deeper still lies the chasm into which we now both stare.
My friends, there is another evil loose in our nation, one that makes the misdeeds of our league-mates in maroon look small. We have a greater enemy, and a higher calling. This greater enemy gilds all that it touches in gold, then scorns those who can afford only brass. This greater enemy gathers mercenaries and reprobates and evildoers to its banner, and declares them paragons. This greater enemy declares that pitchers shall not hit. This greater enemy conflates arrogance with tradition, and bequeathed wealth with hard-earned success. This greater enemy is attended by a howling mob that knows neither reason nor humility nor decency.
This greater enemy cares not for our disagreements and disputes, real though they are. Twenty-six times has this foe bred a vile plague, one that reduced our nation to lifelessness and blighted all that we hold dear. Though we are not allowed to fight, neither are we required to adjourn in silence. We must lift our voices against tyranny, though we would have chosen most any other champion. We must shout down injustice, though our voices cannot conjure fairness. We must oppose a great evil even if it means supporting a paltry good. We have been called, and however reluctantly, we must answer. It has fallen to us to do what must be done, and to heed a summons we would pretend not to hear.
My friends, this too will pass, and the banner of the blue and orange will fly once again in triumph. I eagerly await that day, and the restoration of all that is just and proper. As do all of you. But for now, we must serve a more difficult cause, and we must do so with all we can wring from our reluctant hearts. This is necessity. This is obligation. This is duty.
My friends, the conflict we wish had never come to pass is upon us now. Join with me. Say the words we would rather bite back. Say them firmly, and clearly, with loud voices, though none of us possesses a glad heart. Say them with me now, and we will face these difficult days together.
ICH BIN EIN PHILLIE.