Friday, June 30, 2006

The Great Subway Race


I can't help but make a point of responding to all the recent articles and commentary about how the Mets are better than the Yankees. It's really amusing to me that the writers in this town can't wait to give NY back to the Mets. They point out the age of the Mets stars as opposed to the Yankees. Apparently Jeter and Arod are on their last legs, while Reyes and Wright are about to explode with youthful vibrancy. They point out that the Mets have a better record and that with an 11 game lead, they are the only NY team guaranteed a playoff spot.

First of all the Mets play in a vastly inferior division to the Yankees. The fourth place team in the AL east has a better record than the 2nd place team in the NL east. The Mets are the only team above .500 in the NL east while the top three teams in the AL east are a combined 42 games over .500. Even with that distinct advantage the Mets lead over the Yankees is 2 games. That's right even though the Yankees have been fighting through injuries to every single starter this year and the Mets have been basically injury free and play in a much weaker division (and league, frankly), they are a whopping 2 games better than the Yankees at this point.

Now I've already pointed out that the Yankees still put over $100 million of talent on the field on most nights, so they should still be able to win. It's only common sense to believe that the Yankees will get better as the season progresses, either through trades or returning players coming back to the lineup. As I've said before, the Mets are a good team, it's just a little premature to anoint them as the new force in baseball in NY when they haven't accomplished anything to this point. They have the largest lead in baseball and the teams chasing them do not seem capable of mounting much of a challenge, but the season hasn't even reached the mid-way point yet. While it's not likely that the Mets would lose such a big lead, anything is possible when there is still over half the season to be played.

The Yankees have made the playoffs for ten consecutive seasons. They have been to the World Series in six of those seasons. The Mets have made the playoffs twice over the same time span. I know NY is a fickle town, but will all Yankee fans abandon their team because the Mets lead the NL east after 80 games? The good thing for Mets fans is that their team is playing well. I never understand why writers seem to think that the success of one team is somehow going to take away fans from the other team. A lot of Mets fans have been in hibernation during the Yankees recent run of success. They now have the opportunity to display those orange and blue colors with pride. Good for them, but the Yankee fans aren't going away.

A generation of kids in NY have grown up with nothing but winning Yankee teams. And as the saying goes nothing succeeds like success. There are going to lots of Yankee fans around going forward as there will be Mets fans. The town is big enough for both. Now if we could just get the writers to agree...

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