Interleague play is amongst the most brain-dead ideas Major League Baseball has ever had. For a league that determines World Series home field advantage based off the result of a scrimmage, mishandled performance enhancing drugs, and refuses to move into the 21st century on social media, that is saying something.
Think about it. Interleague baseball completely changes the rules of the game for the teams involved. When played in a National League stadium, the pitcher has to hit and vice versa. In AL ballparks, there’s a DH. Imagine if other sports were like this. It would be absurd to think that the three point line was only drawn on Western Conference courts.
All that being said, I love the Subway Series. This weekend, the Mets and Yankees hooked up for a doozy of a three game series. This is the latest in the season the two teams have ever met and is the first time since 2006 that both teams are firmly in the playoff hunt.
For the Mets, whenever the Yankees get involved it becomes a family issue. The Mets will forever be the little brother in the Big Apple. That’s what happens when the big brother has been around since the 1800s and has won the World Series 27 times. However, like all little brothers, they will always have the upper hand when it comes to support. The underdog is always the crowd favorite. This weekend at Citi Field was no different.
Citi Field opened in 2009. It has been a dark, low point for the franchise since that day. Five straight seasons under .500. A host of horrifying memories. Broken promises and hope squandered. That’s all changing right now. The quartet of power arms, Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, have injected an optimism for the future.
The acquisition of “La Potencia” Yoenis Cespedes has given the team a badly needed superstar. The erstwhile captain David Wright fought through a debilitating back injury to return for the pennant race. The Mets entered the weekend with a seemingly insurmountable eight game division lead. Orange and blue faithful can see a banner in the horizon, but they’re still anticipating the left hook.
Meanwhile in the Bronx, the Yankees look a little lost. Since standing pat at the All Star break, the Yanks have seen the Toronto Blue Jays shoot up the standings like a fighter jet. Losing Mark Teixeira and Nate Eovaldi for the season has cost them depth. Yet, they hold a firm grasp on the first wild card spot. All the Yankee fans I know remain fully confident in their ability to win that single elimination game 163. The Yankees are in good shape. But not quite the position we’re all used to.
Is New York becoming a Mets town?
This weekend saw the Mets draw some of their biggest crowds in Citi Field history. Some will draw the conclusion that Met fans are fair weather and only come out when the team is winning. To that I ask, would you be willing to pay New York prices for a AAA lineup? That’s beside the point.
This team has injected the city with a new energy, something the Yankees elitism doesn’t tap into. The Mets are scrappy and blue collar. The Yankees are Wall Street.
I hope everyone watched this weekend. If they did, they got to see some of the best, most lively crowds baseball has to offer. New York’s faithful fans packed the ballpark. Yankee fans may have been outnumbered 10 to 1 but they made their presence known. Like I said, the Subway Series is a family affair. You saw brothers in the crowd, one wearing an A-Rod shirt, the other a Wright.
That’s a question that’s been posed across all media this weekend. The answer is unequivocally no. New York isn’t a Mets town. It’s not a Yankee town either.
It’s a baseball town. And when both teams are primed for a deep playoff run, there’s no better town in America.