As improbable as it was a week ago when the New York Mets were mired in the worst baseball funk imaginable, the team has redeemed itself by sweeping away the New York Yankees in four games of the Subway Series. With two games played at Citi Field and two at Yankee Stadium, the Mets locked up bragging rights for 2013, and nothing else matters as much to the Flushing faithful the rest of the way this year.
Judging from walking around town today, you could see the joyous Mets fans everywhere resplendent in their orange and blue. It is always a pleasure to see your favorite team’s colors, but when in evidence in such abundance as was witnessed today, it is simply sublime. The usually obnoxious and arrogant Yankees fans are staying low, especially with the Boston Red Sox on the agenda for a weekend series. Adding insult to injury may just be in the Bronx Bombers’ future, and won’t that put even more joy into the hearts of Mets fans everywhere?
Mets Manager Terry Collins has been patient with his young team, understanding that 2013 has been meant all along to be a “building” year. This year the team’s manifest destiny then, if you will, was to try to keep their heads above water, with even getting to .500 by the end of the season a longshot. However, Collins is more faithful and persuasive than a fire and brimstone preacher who believes in the power of “Ya Gotta Believe” and the essence of the orange and blue as much as any seasoned fan who has lived most of his or her life watching games in Flushing.
Now we have young names like Duda, Harvey, Hefner, Turner, Valdespin, and Davis. Sounding like a fledgling law firm rather than fledgling baseball players to be sure, these young fellows are flashing some skills and turning some heads. Mets pitching in particular is raising a few eyebrows as the starters like Harvey, Marcum, and Gee seem to get stronger and the bullpen, with Bobby Parnell most especially shining brightly, strengthens itself under the direction of pitching coach Dan Warthen.
Successful Mets teams have always been built around quality pitching – think Seaver, Koosman, Gentry, Ryan, Matlack, Gooden, Darling, Ojeda – and then got some unexpected spark from their platoons of key players and strength from veterans. This 2013 team is being built around veteran team captain David Wright, and now we are starting to see the emergence of young players like Duda, Valdespin, and Turner who could be part of that projected manifestation of a winning ball club.
For now Mets fans must thank Major League Baseball for interleague play this year, for in that usually annoying schedule of distracting games the Mets got their greatest gift: the Damn Yankees. Tickets to the games may have been expensive; the traffic to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium insufferable, but a four-game sweep of the hated Bronx Bombers was simply priceless. Whatever happens the rest of the way in 2013, Mets fans will always have these four games to savor. And for Yankees fans who are crying on their pinstripes, for once we Mets fans can shout, “Wait until next year!”
Photo credits: collins-nydailynews.com; wright-nymetsreport.com