As a Mets fan, I have always viewed the in-season Subway Series as a distraction. I have also never liked interleague play, basically because it interferes with the nature of division rivalries. Of course, the “league” mentality as we know it is going to be history sooner rather than later. The Houston Astros move to the American League next year; there will be fifteen teams in each league, and the “merger” seems to be something that will happen whether I like it or not. Nevertheless, we are faced with yet another Subway Series here in New York, but this time it looks and feels different.
The scrappy Mets are playing much better than they should be. This is more about nascent talent getting a chance thanks to injuries, a tough manager with a positive outlook, and a veteran like David Wright having a great year. It has to do with R.A. Dickey pitching like a young Phil Niekro, and Johan Santana pitching like Johan Santana. Everything that can go right seems to go right lately, and usually for the Mets everything that could go wrong went wrong.
The Yankees are playing well enough too. They are not running away with their division (I think the American League East is the toughest in baseball), but they are up there. The have aging stars but they are playing well enough, and they have been getting great pitching from Hughes, Nova, and a reborn Andy Pettitte.
So the way things are different is obvious: we have the Yankees’ Titanic and we have the Mets’ iceberg. Usually we have the Yankee monster and the Mets mouse, but this year they are both playing well. These teams are on a collision course and one is going down. Now, as a Mets fan, I’d like to think that Captain Girardi will be busy having tea, and A-Rod and Jeter in the Crow’s Nest will be too busy looking at girls in the stands to see the iceberg coming until it’s too late. But that may be just a fantasy, and the captain may navigate those icy waters and avoid sinking.
These games should be fun to watch. People are already walking around town in their team gear, with Yankees fans and Mets fans seemingly almost even judging from the caps and shirts I have seen thus far. In the store and restaurant I overheard the back and forth between fans of both sides. You know the before the Subway Series kind of bluster; it’s like my Daddy is going to whip your Daddy between kids wearing pinstripes and orange and blue.
This Subway Series at Yankee Stadium will be exciting, and we can only wonder if that legendary ship the S.S. Yankees will be still sailing after Sunday’s game or if its crew will be manning the lifeboats. Perhaps the Mets iceberg will sink and the fans will have to swim back to Queens. Either way, hang on, New York; it’s going to be a bumpier ride than sitting in a roller coaster car on the Cyclone at Coney Island.
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