Mets Hot Start Adds Juice to Irrelevant Subway Series

Matt Harvey (Getty Images)


We’ve made it, folks. Just a couple of weeks into the MLB season and New York’s hype machine (the media) is salivating over the first Subway Series of the season, perhaps the most irrelevant three games both teams will play all year. Still, you get the sense that even the World Series won’t approach the build up this three-game bout has generated. Neither would a Rangers-Islanders matchup in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Usually the Subway Series comes and goes without a peep—mostly because the Mets have been dreadful recently. And let’s be honest, interleague matchups don’t have the same cache they had when the ridiculous concept was first introduced, making these games feel more like glorified exhibitions than matchups that matter. Instead of expanding interleague play, they should eliminate it entirely, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s cool, I guess, to watch both teams battle for bragging rights. In the grand scheme of things, the six games (the final series is in September) the Mets and Yankees will play against one another won’t matter as much as bitter divisional battles. Even Mets fans would admit that key games against division foes Washington Nationals would be a better indicator of the team’s makeup.

Who cares if the Mets sweep the Yankees or vice versa? In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a Yankees fan. But I’ve never overly celebrated a Yanks win over the Amazins. Nor have I gloated afterward. I never saw the point. A win is a win. The only time I jumped for joy was when Bernie Williams caught the final out of the 2000 World Series.

I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, but just calling it like it is.

I will concede that the fact that the Mets come in winning 11 consecutive games (10 in a row at home) and hold the best record in baseball adds much-needed excitement to a previously ho-hum series that produced very little drama. Also, the Yanks come home winning six of their last seven, including taking a four-game series from the talented Detroit Tigers, considered the class of the American League.

Both teams arrive at Yankee Stadium on considerable hot streaks and having Matt Harvey (the Dark Knight, as Mets fans call him) pitch against the hated Yanks is no doubt a must-see event. Harvey’s presence is indeed huge but there’s more to the Mets than just his all-star persona: They’re a gritty bunch that hasn’t wilted under the pressure of a barrage of injuries. Despite losing David Wright, the Mets have developed a “next man up” mentality that leads you to believe they can sustain their winning ways throughout the long season.

The Yanks, on the other hand, don’t offer much in the way of day-to-do star power, other than their disgraced DH/third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who has slugged his way back into the good graces of plenty of Yankees fans. With the “Core Four” gone and most other “stars” on the team aging, it’s pretty difficult to grow attached to this roster. Mets fans don’t have that problem, given their dearth of homegrown assets.

Maybe that explains the hysteria going into this match up, the up-and-coming Mets taking on a Yankees team that resembles a senior living center, not an invigorating baseball team. Everyone wants to see if the Mets will descend on Yankee Stadium and reclaim the city. If the Yankees end up winning the series, will that diminish anything the Mets have done this early season? Absolutely not.

It’s just another series, albeit a juicy one. But wouldn’t it be juicer if interleague play didn’t exist and these two teams met in the World Series? Now, that’d be a reason to go hysterical.

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