Some cranky old folks are tired of seeing the Mets and Yankees play each other in the regular season. Joe Torre used to hate these games. They made him miserable. If the Mets won, Mr. Steinbrenner was on his case. There are definitely different vantage points. Fans of the Mets are usually hoping that a good series against the Yankees can get their season back on track.
Once again the Mets are hanging by a thread. That is usually where they find themselves when these teams get together during the summer or late spring. Personally, I like when they play each other in July. I’m not really happy when there is a big basketball game going on at the same time. However, Golden State is on the verge of putting away Cleveland. The 3-0 series does not currently have much drama. Plus, the NBA contest starts two hours later. Depending on how Mets-Yankees goes, it could be over before halftime.
Those of us who have been watching regular season games between the Mets and Yankees for more than 20 years have lots of memories. Mets fans remember Matt Franco’s winning hit against Mariano Rivera in 1999. David Wright’s hit against Rivera in 2006 won another game. Dae-Sung Koo doubled against Randy Johnson in his second career at bat during a 2005 meeting. He then scored when Jorge Posada fielded a bunt and nobody covered the plate. Shawn Estes failed to hit Roger Clemens at Shea Stadium in 2002, but Estes homered off Clemens and the Mets won 8-0.
Ty Wigginton’s 2004 home run against Tom Gordon during their July 4th game snapped a tie and helped the Mets complete a sweep. Dave Mlicki’s shutout at Yankee Stadium in 1997 started it all. That was the first ever regular season meeting between the two clubs. As they have been saying for years, you can throw out the records when these two get together. One example of this was 2013. The Mets won just 74 games, but went 4-0 against the Yankees. Although neither team made it into postseason play, the Yankees were significantly better. They finished with 85 wins.
Purists say that playing six times against an opponent from the other league is too much. I counter that by saying some people don’t get pumped up for 18 or 19 games with Tampa Bay. When I was a teenager, the Yankees only played 13 games against divisional rivals like Toronto and Boston. Things change. The opponents that suffer are AL teams not in their division like Kansas City and Detroit. I would like to see less in the division with more games against those teams, but I’m most likely in the minority.
Years ago there was talk about completely rearranging divisions based on location. This would mean the Yankees and Mets would both be division rivals with Boston, and that would result in more than a dozen yearly Mets-Yankees games. Fans who think our 2018 total (six games) is already overkill wouldn’t like that very much.
There will be a sellout crowd tonight and tomorrow. Earlier this week I heard that Sunday’s game was close to a sellout. Most or all of the remaining tickets will probably go by Sunday night. Don’t be a curmudgeon. Enjoy the games.