I head to New York City this week, my second trip that I’ve ever been. What makes this trip special is it will be the first time going to either a Mets or Yankees game. And I’ll be doing both.
The first game will be at Citi Field as the Mets take on their division rivals, the Atlanta Braves. The second will be at Yankee Stadium, as the Mets travel across town to play the home team Yankees.
I’ll be joined by our own Zac P., who’ll be supportive of the Mets during the first game and will be complaining about his Yankees in the second. As for me, I’ll simply be looking for some good ole’ action.
Admittedly, I don’t know what to expect from these two games, especially the interleague crosstown series this weekend. Growing up in Chicago, I’ve become used to the rivalry between the Cubs and White Sox, and I have to say it’s been rather tame.
I’ve received the obvious put downs from Cubs fans since I happen to be a Sox fan. Of course I’ve done my fair share of ridiculing Cubs fans. But I would say that the interleague series, started back in 1997, has been nothing more than a slight detour from the regular schedule, a minor inconvenience. And the last few years, with both teams struggling, it’s been rather boring.
Will Mets-Yankees be similar? The last two seasons we’ve seen a Yankees franchise not make the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in a long time. As for the Mets, they’ve been downright awful.
Yet we have seen early this season that the Mets have a slight spring in their step, and the Yankees have shown that they can keep the games close and A-Rod can still play. Will this translate to some on field drama?
The drama I’m referring to is something like we saw over the weekend between the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics. If you missed the series, it started in the first game as the A’s Bret Lawrie slid hard into second base, taking out the Royals shortstop, Alcides Escobar. A few hit batsmen and a couple of bench clearings later, the series climaxed in the third game with five Royals, including bench coach Don Wakamatsu, being ejected. Wakamatsu had earlier replaced Ned Yost as on field manager as Yost had previously been ejected from the game. Kendrys Morales of the Royals would end up winning the last game with a walk off hit and the Royals took the series 2-1.
Over the weekend, we saw players being injured, pitchers throwing at batters, managers yelling at umpires, benches clearing, and fans enjoying it all. With the season being so young, it was wonderful to see players, managers and umpires shaken up. It was quite refreshing, actually. It was a stirring series and it will be a rivalry that will surely be carried over throughout the season.
What is interesting about this new rivalry is that it isn’t based on the geographical locations of the teams but rather the passionate play of the players and, as Zac would call it, the moxy the managers showed.
Can an interleague Mets-Yankees game be so interesting? I know Cubs-Sox hasn’t been for me. So hopefully New York can show me something.