I believe that bear was part of Jeter's gift basket.
If I'm being honest, my feelings on the Subway Series typically fall on the "hate it" side of the fence. A twice annual reminder of why my team isn't as good as their team is usually not my idea of fun, and even those seasons where the Mets have come out victorious against their cross-town rivals, it's usually set against the overaching reality that the Yankees have a shot at playoffs and beyond, and the Mets just don't. Like in 2008, when the Mets won the season series 4-2, including a sweep at Yankee Stadium...and the Mets were eliminated from wild card contention on the last day of the season by the Marlins. Again. Or 2004, when they swept at Shea and won the series, only to go 71-91 that year.
Living in New York, the Mets are the team you root for if you don't really mind a dark cloud over your head. They're who you root for if sports don't have to be easy for you, if you want to feel a sense of fulfillment by earning success through years of despair. That is, if you think your being a fan has anything to do with anything, which - as it happens - I narcissistically do. Being a Met fan means that, even when you win, you gotta be ready to hear it from the Yankee fans in the room when they remind you of their many titles and how Jeter is God and how they don't even like A-Rod, as if that lends them more credibility (it does).
This season smells a little different, though. The teams step up the Subway Series in remarkably similar circumstances - the Yankees in third place in the AL East, a half game back of the surprising Orioles; the Mets in third, back a game and a half from the surprising Nationals. They each also sit in divisions with powerhouse teams in last place, further complicating their own prospects at an eventual postseason berth with the chance that the Red Sox and Phillies could suddenly remember how to play baseball again.
And, lest I forget, they each have teams owned by rich men who made money by swindling middle-class investors.
What's that? Only the Mets are owned by dirty crooks? Oh. Bummer.
/cries in corner over Wilpon crimes
/considers argument that all sports team owners are crooks who swindle the middle-class
Despite the similarities of circumstances, the Yankees and Mets of 2012 are still very different teams. The Yankees are squeaking by despite fielding a team of proven winners and more than their fair share of perennial All Stars, while the Mets are exceeding expectations with a team of nobodies and top guys on the DL, leaving a roster seemingly held together with duct tape, naive ambition and the magical, high-pitched tone of Terry Collins' voice. Add in a guy coming off the franchise's first no-hitter, and suddenly this series doesn't just seem like an opportunity to show up the big brother club from the Bronx, but a chance for the Mets to establish themselves - in the context of a very strong season - as the NYC team to watch this summer.
No matter what happens this weekend, I'm optimistic about the Mets this season, insofar as I had previously expected to give up on them in May and now actually think there will be meaningful games come August and September. But, if I have to walk into work on Monday to find a gaggle of cocky Yankee fans gloating about beating up on the Mets this weekend, things may get violent. You may disagree, but I don't think I'd do well in Manhattan Central Booking or Rikers Island ... so, if only for that, Let's Go Mets!
I'm the cute one on the left.
Maybe in the end, it won't matter much - as most Inter-League play most certainly does not - since the Yankee fans will still have those rings to point to with a disgusting level of arrogance and hair grease, and since the Yankees themselves will likely remain the darling of the NYC sports world until the Mets make an actual run at World Series again (and that, despite my optimism, is a long way off). But, for these few days, just maybe the Amazins can put together some solid wins and shut the knuckle-dragging front-runners up for a little while. In a City that seems to live and breathe baseball for the summer months, and is overflowing with Yankee fans falling over each other to pat themselves on the back for the good sense at following one the most successful teams in all of sports, that's certainly a nice thought.
The BarristerThis garbage is just WAY too predictable at this point. Feeling feisty after game 1 of the Subway Series, I posted this.
I talked a little shit about Jeter. I talked a lot of shit about Yankee fans. And, while I added the requisite amount of caveats, I got cocky and self-righteous about my Mets and their prospects for the rest of the weekend.
Oh Goddammit. The Mets: Still Experts at Pooping the Bed
Jeter: Still Expert at Making Us His Bitch
For any Mets fans out there - and if you read this sorry excuse for a blog and our whining drivel about our shitty sports teams, I assume there's a decent chance you are - my apologies. The fact is that the Mets had an opportunity to shut the door on the series today by building on their 3-1 lead, but the 8 run 7th inning by the Bombers changed that right quick and in the end the Mets simply got worked. I really should have known better, and clearly my overzealous support and optimism had a big part in the Mets' losses last night and this afternoon. This is by no means the first time my attitude has caused a team of mine to lose, so I really feel quite ridiculous at my inability to temper my emotions. My bad folks. My bad.
Sadly, I can't promise that it won't happen again.
That said, to any Yankee fans out there - congrats you giant DBs
. There's a billion reasons why it's stupid for you smug sons of bitches to gloat about this win (and boy did you on Twitter today), but I'll give you some slack since I have no choice but to assume that you're all still drunk from the game and your celebrations at beating a team full of reserves. If I were in your position, I'd be drunk too. And then I'd stab myself in the leg out of principle. And I'd like it.
As for me, this Mets Subway series loss - putting them back to two games below .500 while reviving serious questions about whether they can stay afloat long enough to get at least marginally healthy - has me feeling like my old self: depressed and in need of some shots of Crown and/or Jame-o to get me out of this funk. Toss in losses by Liverpool
- to close their season - and FC Buffalo
- to open theirs , and I'm left finding singular solace in women's soccer and the dominating performance
by Marta and the WNY Flash this evening. And even though I don't have much of a problem defending my decision to watch and cheer for the 2010 FIFA Player of the Year
playing for a WNY team, especially after all my other teams had disappointing outcomes this weekend, given the relatively small scale of the WPS and the apparent meaninglessness of the Flash win compared to a Subway Series loss, I'm all too conscious that this has been a pathetic little weekend for my teams.
Not that I'm the least surprised. Just a typical f*cking day of DGWU.
Luckily for the Rebels, these smug f*ckers seriously
underestimated those little Ewoks from Queens
As part of my process of self-introduction to our beloved DGWU readers, I think its necessary to say that I'm a Yankee hater. Much of the time, I'm forced to cloak my hate for the benefit of my Yankee fan father-in-law and my wife who generously supports any team followed by anyone in our family. It's not difficult to give many life-long Yankee fans a pass, since I can't very well hate on those whose fandom was set early on in their childhood. Yet, as successful as the team is, and as much as they've historically poached the cream of the MLB talent pool, it's hard for me to think anything good about the franchise. I always hated Yankee fans in Buffalo as I grew up, as I had the irking suspicion that my peers were taking the easy way out by choosing a front-runner that could help them soothe the pain of our hometown sports failures. My family (by way of my parents growing up in New England) cheered for the lowly, cursed Red Sox as I grew up - which, predicably enough, was less appealing to me after celebrating the 2004 championship with my parents while I was living at home that fall.
Making a switch to the Mets - which wasn't realy a switch, since I could honestly give a crap about major league ball until I caught a live game at Shea in '05 - seemed like a logial step because those roots of support for the BoSox certainly engrained a certain level of loathing for the Yankees on any number of levels. Living in New York, I've learned a lot of new reasons to hate on the Bombers, not the least of which is my general feelings about certain elements of their fan base. Indeed, now that the Sox are winning on the regular, their fanbase has been displaying some of those same annoying tendencies, which makes me fall all the more comfortable with distancing myself from the boys from Fenway.
I mention all of this backstory because yesterday over lunch at work, I had a pretty long conversation with a coworker who was adamant that the Yankees would sweep the Subway Series, that the Mets are the embarassment of the league, and that shouldn't I just get over the Mets and start following a winner? The guy, who I generally like quite a bit, came off as a complete dumbass and had it been a lunch over a couple beers, I probably would have gotten a lot more heated than I ended up being. He was completely oblivious to problems within their lineup, to the fact that Jeter is on his way down in production and that the pitching isn't as good as everyone keeps saying it is. In my preview post yesterday, I purporsefully chose not to bring up this infuriating conversation, mostly because I had a healthy fear that the Mets might actually get swept, and since this coworker has made a point to check in on this blog every once in a while, I didn't want to embarass myself too badly.
But, it's Saturday now, Ithe "lowly" Mets won 2-1, and I'm happy gloating a little bit. In other words, suck it Yankees and your knuckle-dragging fans. You just got beat by a bunch of AAA players and a bullpen of guys who, at the beginning of the season, were pegged as the worst in the league.
If you didn't watch (and I confess that I took breaks to watch more wife-friendly TV), The game itself was great. Dickey pitched a gem, giving up only 4 hits ,including 1 HR by Texeira, over 6 innings. A solid effort for him - especially given his 5 1/3 inning, 11 hit, 6 run performance against the Astros in his previous outing. Consecutive full innings by O'Connor, Isringhausen and K-Rod kept the Yankees hitless through the 7th, 8th and 9th. Add in a key 5th inning A-Rod grounder up the middle stopped by Jose Reyes, and the Mets defense really came through in a big way.
This defensive effort set the stage for the Mets offense to do just enough to win, and they did - in the form of Daniel Murphy taking advantage of the short porch in right field by hitting the ultimate game-winning homer
to put the score at 2-1. Murphy, who had been a favorite of mine when he was up with the Mets a couple years back, has taken advantage of the recent opportunity to start and, yesterday, to bat 2nd in the order. Mike Vaccaro of the Post had a really great article
about Murph today and it really makes me happy to see the guy coming back around after his recent struggles - much like the team itself.
Putting all this positivity aside - as it is so easy to do given my utlimate confidence that the Mets are actually not all that good of a team - I know those Yankees are going to come out firing tonight. The City press was pretty hard on the Bombers today, and with good reason. Not that it stopped the guy in front of me at Dunkin Donuts this morning from spouting off about how great the Yanks are and how much the Mets suck. To him, and many others, the Yankees' predominance in the world of New York baseball is a matter of black and white, and a struggling and aging team won't convince them otherwise.
So, even though these clowns aren't about to shut up anytime soon, boy is it fun to watch the Mets and its lineup of young guns give it a try.
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And the DGWU Crew generally: @DGWUSports
The Subway Series is always a weird and wonderful time in New York. A buzz fills the air - though, today that might just be the hope that The Rapture could leave us behind and a little better off - and fans express their allegiances with hats, jerseys, t-shirts, cursing arguments in the street. It's great. But, it goes without saying that the level of buzz has been a little muted in the past few years, what with the Yankees being so awesome generally and the Mets being so pathetic generally. As a Mets fan, I'm all too aware of this trend.
But, for this first meeting between the two teams from the Big Apple, the posturing is different. The Mets, while certainly not a good
team, are making a little bit of a run of it lately. Injury-plagued like always
, this team is doing a lot with a little so far this season. When D. Wright went out with a diagnosed stress fracture in his back, some fans may have lost what little hope was left, but the week since has shown some fight in this team that you can't help but be impressed at. Typical Buffalo rationale for following a garbage squad, I know. Don't like it? Kill yourself.
Seriously, though, the Mets started off SUPER rocky this year, winning their first seies against the Marlins, but then losing consecutive series against the Philles (no surprise), Nationals (dammit), Rockies (SWEPT..those were a couple rough days for me), Braves and Astros. Holy shit that's depressing to go through. The Mets were 6-13 heading into a late April series against the D-Bags, I mean, Backs, which resulted in a 3-0 series win. In hidsight, that sweep of Arizona was a big turning point, as the Mets proceeded take series against the Nationals (twice), Dodgers, Astros and Rockies since, with series losses only to the Phillies (2-1) and Giants (2-1), as well as a single game series loss to the Marlins on May 16th. Suddenly, with TWO (two!) pitchers out for the year
, a franchise third baseman out for at least a month
(and probably longer), a future frachise first baseman on the DL
as well, an ace still on the mend from off-season surgery
and an owner who is a complete asshat
, the Mets are 21-22 and a mere 5 games back of Philly, and - by my count - only 3.5 games back of the wildcard, Sure, WAYYYY too early for talk like that, but it's just to prove my point. The Mets may be awful, but they also may NOT be. A lot of baseball left and shit if I know how these apparent scrubs are going to be positioned when the heat and humidity of August starts to kick into full gear in Flushing.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm not alone in feeling that this Subway Series may not be the mismatch
that it probably should be and that I thought it was destined to be as of three weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, though, The Yankees roster is absurdly stacked from the top down, and the Mets don't get the benefit of forcing the Yanks' AL pitchers to bat since this game is in the Bronx. I'm not going to pretend that the Yankees should
lose this series, or even a game of this series, with the squad that they've purchased. But, facts are facts, and the Bombers aren't playing all that great ball lately. They sit only 2.5 games above the Mets in terms of standings, and - despite their three game winning streak coming into tonight's game (two of which were against the Orioles, though, and don't count) - they've had a rough go of it this month with recent series losses to the Sox (SWEEP!! Hooray Sox!), the Tigers and Royals. Sure, they still took out the Rangers in the midst of all that, but those boys from fact Texas are simply in a slow, downward spiral after their hot 6-0 start.
As for the Yankees, the story is that team just isn't hitting well. Their leading player (at least amongst their usual starters) in terms of average is Robinson Cano, and he's sitting at .288. Jeter and A-Rod are at .257 and .261, respectively, Not really what we've come to expect. Curtis Granderson is playing alright - he's second in AL with 14 HRs and 3rd in AL with 32 RBIs - but his .270 average is still below where you want all of these guys on the supposedly deadly Yankees batting order. In fact, with Texeira as the best Yank in terms of OBP, and with him sitting at 15th in the AL, and A-Rod coming in at 33rd, there should be more than a little concern amongst Bomber fans.
A-Rod: Resident Douche and Underperformer
Given the state of things, and despite the instincts of the reasonable parts of my brain, Mets fans have to be excited for this series. With all the injuries (seriously, though, they've needed new conditioning coaches for YEARS now) and typical ineptitude with Los Mets, nothing would make me happier than to stick it to the Yankees this weekend and prove that they're not even fit to beat a team of AAA call-ups from Buffalo (woot!).
Starters, according to MLB.com, are projected to be RA Dickey (1-5, ERA of 5.08) and Freddy Garcia (2-3, ERA of 3.22). With the recent troubles at the plate for the Yankees, I expect Dickey's knuckler to create some problems, and am hopeful for a series-opening win.
Game Prediction: Mets 6, Yankees 2.
Series Prediction: Mets take two - one tonight plus a big win for Big Pelf in Sunday's rubber match.
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