Kings of New York


When it comes to rooting interests, New Yorkers can be a fickle bunch. “Which team is doing better?” many will ask before picking a favorite. While the Yankees currently rule the New York roost, it wasn’t always this way.

In the mid-to-late 1980s, this town was a Mets town. While the Yankees were unlovable also-rans, the Mets were lovable winners. The 1986 captured the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, and even Yankee fans could cheer over a Bill Buckner error and a Met victory over the Red Sox. Howard Johnson, Mookie Wilson, Darryl and Dwight, Lenny and Keith all ruled the city.

By the time the early 1990s rolled around, both teams were rather directionless. The 1991 Yankees finished in 7th, 71-91, 20 games out of first place. The 1993 Mets were even worse. They finished 59-103, their worst finish since 1965.

As the mid-1990s rolled on, the Yankees turned in one of baseball’s truly historic runs. They captured four World Series in five years, and the last came at the expense of the Mets in the first Queens-Bronx Subway Series. In 1997, the Yankees and Mets started to face each other during the regular season too, and those games have also served as something of a barometer of New York success.

For the first few years of Interleague Play, the Yankees dominated. They took two out of three from the Mets in both 1997 and 1998 before splitting the first six-game set in 1999. The Bombers took four out of six in both 2000 and 2001 before another split in 2002. In 2003, the Yankees swept all six games. In 2004, the Mets finally won the season series. Three straight splits followed that, and then last year, the Mets again won four of the six contests.

This year, though, saw the Yankees totally dominate the Mets. It was the first year that either team won five games, and outside of the 2003 sweep, this season marks the Yanks’ best Subway Series showing. While the Mets and Fernando Nieve managed one victory, the series wasn’t that close.

Offensively, the Yankees crushed a depleted Mets team. The Bombers hit .271/.378/.514 with 44 runs scored an 11 HR. In 249 plate appearances, they drew 34 walks and struck out just 29 times. Teams that walk more often than they strike out don’t lose. The Mets, meanwhile, hit .196/.291/.299 with just 17 runs scored — eight of those in the first game of the series — and just four home runs. They struck out 53 times in 222 plate appearances and walked just 23 times.

The pitching numbers stack up similarly. Yankee pitchers threw to the tune of a 2.83 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP; Mets hurlers allowed 6.84 earned runs a game and sported an ugly 1.74 WHIP. Ironically, Johan Santana’s effort in a game two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium was the worst of the series. His nine earned runs in three innings pretty much set the tone for the series.

I don’t like to gloat too much about baseball games in season. It’s bad karma, and it’s unsportsmanlike. After this weekend, though, Yankee fans are feeling pretty good about their team. In a city with two new stadiums, in a city with baseball fever as one team struggles with injuries and a poorly-constructed roster and the other battles a tough division, in a city in which both teams are within spitting distant of first place, it’s good to be king, even if just for a few months.


  1. radnom says:


  2. radnom says:

    I actually like when the Mets are at least somewhat competitive. It would be like if the Red Sox sucked, where is the fun in that?

    • Link says:

      as long as we always still win lol…for example 2003 alcs, lots of fun, 2004 alcs, not so much….2000 ws was awesome, last year’s Subway Series…not quite.

      • radnom says:

        I just want worthy opponents to crush.

        • Link says:

          But I also don’t mind if they suck. When I use to play MLB 02 on PS2 years back I also sent the worst players to the Sux and Mutts…they would have like 50-112 records it was fun…

          • radnom says:

            No way. The 2003 ALCS would not have been as epic against the Texas Rangers. I mean I certainly don’t mind that either, but there is always going to be good competition, and I would prefer some nice rivalries in there.

            • Link says:

              I understand. Like I said, on the video game I relished them sucking. In real life they can be good as long as we always win. I have not enjoyed the Red Sox-Yankees games this year one bit. I don’t want to tip my cap or anything, I’d rather shove something somewhere but this is a family show.

  3. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Yeah it’s hard to gloat when facing a AAA team + David Wright.

  4. Bo says:

    How was this a Met town in the 80′s? They won 1 WS. They had maybe the worst team in the game for the first 3 yrs of the decade. All the Yanks did was have the best record of the decade.

    • Link says:

      They also went to the NLCS in 88 and had a slew of popular players as mentioned. They loved HoJo like we used to love O’Neill it used to make me sick lol. While the Yanks had the best record overall for the decade, they only made the playoffs once and the Steinbrenner schtick of rotating managers and dogging players got old.

      • the Steinbrenner schtick of rotating managers and dogging players got old.

        You know, as painful as it is, I’ve had to let a few people go over the years… Yogi Berra… Lou Pinella… Bucky Dent… Billy Martin… Dallas Green… Dick Howser… Bill Virdon… Billy Martin… Stump Merrill… Billy Martin… Bob Lemon… Billy Martin… Gene Michael… Buck Showalter…

        • Link says:

          Billy Martin…and may he RIP if he didn’t die in ’90 he was going to manage them again for the ’91 season supposedly…

    • radnom says:

      I was only alive for 3 years during that decade, but I imagine that Gooden, Straw and that exciting 86 team took the city by storm.

      • Link says:

        Gooden had one of those 100 foot billboards. It was sick lol. My mother bought me a Mets hat and literally made me wear it. We went to Adventureland and I let it fall off my head when I was on a ride and was so happy then some schmuck came up to me after and gave it back. lol. I finally was able to get it chewed up by a dog.

  5. the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

    It’s fun beating the Mets, but they’re just a cute little joke of a team that happens to share the same city as us. It’s nothing like beating the Red Sox. Totally different.

    • JP says:

      What’s it like to beat the Red Sox?…I can’t remember.

      “Cute little joke of a team” is kinda harsh…ok, so they’re in the AAAA league, but they are a New York team. And they have had some good teams. Can’t we all just get along?


      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        Not as long as I have to hear Met fans tell me, for example, before this season started that the Yanks were a .500 team without a player in the starting lineup that is top 10 in his position, and that Jeter’s final stats for the year would be .275 BA, 8 HRs, 8 steals. Also, that Tex is a good defender, but an overrated hitter who is always lousy for half the year. Oh, also, A Rod is the worst defensive third baseman in the league, and that the Jeter-A Rod combo is the worst defensive left side of the infield of all time.

        (All actual claims made to me by a Met fan. The same guy said after the Santana trade that Gomez was going to ban all-star.)

  6. Frank Sobotka says:

    In what way was Johan Santana’s effort “ironic,” Michael Kay?

  7. JP says:

    Does anyone here root for both the Yankees and the Mets? Yes or no?

    • I don’t necessarily root against the Mets but I don’t root for them either, unless it can benefit the Yankees (i.e. beating an AL East and/or Wildcard opponent). I do, however, enjoy the misery of the Mets every so often.

    • radnom says:

      Root is too strong a word. I guess I prefer them to do well. Most of my family are Mets fans. I do get extra pleasure when the Yankees beat them though.

    • Yup. My dad is a Mets fan, so I can’t really hate on them too much.

      I try, though.

    • JP says:

      I root for the Mets. Sort of weakly, and not always, but I want them to do well.

      Judging from my office, Met fans are more likely to be Yankee haters than Yankee fans are to be Mets haters. Don’t know if that’s true in general or not.

    • I don’t necessarily root for the Mets, but there are definitely times when I’d rather see a NY team beat a team from some other city. During my years living outside the NY area it really got under my skin how people in each city would hate on NY, and I didn’t see too much of a distinction between pure Yankee-hatred and just general NY-hatred. So if the Mets came to town I would kinda pull for them to beat the hometown NL team just to shut up the NY haters.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        Your point makes sense.

        There is another point of view, though. I feel like the Mets (and their fans) make New York look bad. When I’m outside of New York, and I hear Mets-bashing, I want to scream, “No, that’s not all of us! Yankee fans are different!”

        To me, though, the bottom line is that I can’t bear the thought of Met fans being happy. As such, the Mets are my most hated team in MLB. When the Mets play the AL East, I put my fingers in my ears and say “La la la, I can’t hear you” at any mention of it. I know we need the Mets to win those games, but I can’t bring myself to think that way.

  8. Marc says:

    I don’t live in NY so I really don’t care about the Mets. They’re just another team that the Yankees play 6 times a year in my opinion.

    But people are really gloating about beating up a injuried depleated Mets squad. Missing 3 outta their top 4 hitters. 2 of their starting pitchers and mostly cause of the NL East they’re still in it.

    I don’t get the point of kicking a team while they’re down…I thought we were better then that?

  9. Double-J says:

    I don’t really dislike the Mets, especially since their farm team is now my local AAA affiliate. Of course, I still root for the Yanks, as always. But I never understand the Mets fans around here who hurl insults at me when I wear my Yankee hat(s) around, it’s like a massive inferiority complex greater than what Socks fans had before 2004.

    • You understand it perfectly. You said it yourself.

      “it’s like a massive inferiority complex”

      • JP says:

        I know a guy who is one of the most knowledgable people on baseball in the world. He has been the editor on numerous baseball books, is a fantastic writer and a lifetime New Yorker. He is also a mensch; a real standup guy who knows his stuff and loves baseball.

        It goes downhill from there, though, because he’s a Yankee hater, a Red Sox fan, and a Mets fan.

        His answer to your quote would be that the Yankee fans have a massive superiority complex.

        I mention this not to chastise anyone, but because I think it’s good to know what the enemy is thinking.

  10. pat says:

    Beating the mets, much like hookers and orphans, never gets old.

  11. MattG says:

    I wonder what the Mets confidence level ticker reads. I bet it ain’t good.

    This is a no contest right now. This team habitually ignores the type of bargains, like Orlando Hudson and Adam Dunn, that they need to support the marquee players they do obtain. If you looked at it critically, you could say their motivation for player moves is more align with public perception than wins and losses.

    Then couple that with the miserable attempt every June in the rule 4, and it has got to have a confidence level of any kind with this team, its management, and its ownership.

    • It’s ironic that without the efforts of the Steve Phillips regime signing Beltran and unearthing Wright and Reyes, this team would be uber-fucked.

      • Link says:

        Now THAT is ironic lol…

      • MattG says:

        You put three players of that caliber, along with Johan Santana and one of Frank Rodriguez, Billy Wagner and JJ Putz, and that team has to win 98 games and compete for a championship.

        The Mets are not alone. It’s not hard to recognize and keep the marquee players. It’s also not hard to recognize the bargains and supporting players. What apparently is hard is to do both.

        • jsbrendog says:

          i disagree unequivocably.

          that is 1 sp. even if he is the most amazing ever and wins every start of his own, you have what other pitching? a team based around those guys and replacement players goes nowhere as you cans ee because that is what the mets are now.

          • jsbrendog says:

            ps apparently my english degree is worthless as that is unequivocally. heh…heh….nothing to see here

          • MattG says:

            You are missing the talent in that paragraph. That is 5 possible HOF talents in their prime, on one team. You put that talent on your roster, and you need to only compliment it with league average players everywhere else. Find four guys with a 4.35 ERA to go with Santana, and two corner OFs that can OPS over .800, and you’re going to win a ridiculous amount of game.

            Instead, surround those players with Nieve, Redding, Tatis, Murphy and Castillo, and you’re going to fight for 88 wins.

            I’ll give them Delgado, Church, Pelfrey, Schneider and Maine. Those are good complimentary parts. But they needed to go after Dunn, Lowe and Hudson.

            • A friend of mine still contends that Perez over Lowe was the right move because of Perez’s age and potential.

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

              What? Why Hudson, when Castillo is awesome! And they don’t need Dunn, since Murphy is going to be an MVP someday! And Parnell is the next Pedro, so they don’t need Lowe!

              /Every Met Fan I Know-ed

              • Another friend of mine thought that Murphy was gonna put up the same numbers all year in ’09 that he put up in ’08.

                • MattG says:

                  Hey, you’re buddies with Omar? Your kids go to the same school or something?

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

                  I believe the Murphy comment. A Met fan tried to convince me that Nieve was as good as his first three starts.

                  Of course, he said that before last night’s game.

                • Sweet Dick Willie says:

                  Another friend of mine thought that Murphy was gonna put up the same numbers all year in ‘09 that he put up in ‘08.

                  Kinda like Sux fans (and ESPN pundits)who thought Ellsbury’s career would mirror his 2007 numbers.

            • JP says:

              You put that talent on your roster, and you need to only compliment it with league average players everywhere else.

              As Bill James said, many, many teams have failed to win a pennant because they could’t find “average” players to play second base, or catch, etc.

              You are correct, of course, but today’s uber-competitive baseball market is efficiently priced, and I think it’s harder than ever to find average players to round out your roster.

    • According to MetsBlog, the fan confidence level at 43 percent. By comparison, our lowest total in the FCP was just over 60 percent.

      • ARX says:

        I find it fascinating that a Mets fan confidence of around 70% is the SEASON HIGH, and has been steadily falling off a cliff since then. Guess they missed the “youre still only 3 out and alot of your injured players will be back at/near the Break” memo.

    • jsbrendog says:

      ive said it before and ill say it again.

      omar minaya = terrible gm

    • BklynJT says:

      Fan Confidence Rating is at a 43%. Not sure what that means (maybe confidence in making the playoffs) but it wasn’t as bad as the confidence rating this time last year. Speaks volumes to how much the Met fans disliked W.Randolph.

      I’m not that big of a J.Manuel fan myself. I think he has done a terrible job of supporting the confidence level of his team in this tough stretch of injuries. He increases the pressure on the team to play perfect ball in order to have any chance to win. That has to play negatively on the players minds when they take the field.

      • MattG says:

        Oh, you are totally right. Jerry Manuel is a broken man. No manager can allow so much defeat seep into his voice. He is doing a terrible, terrible job.

        By which I mean that his Mets should maybe be in exactly the same place, due to all the injuries and so forth, but you get the feeling, listening to Manuel, that the next three months are irrelevant.

      • JP says:

        I have trouble “reading” Jerry Manuel. Sometimes he seems like a wise old baseball guy, and sometimes he seems really, really dumb. Maybe he’s both? I hated the way they treated Willie, and while it’s not fair to Jerry, I’ve never liked him for that irrational reason.

    • “I wonder what the Mets confidence level ticker reads. I bet it ain’t good.”

      This is hysterical… I just checked out a couple of Mets blogs after checking the fan confidence numbers at metsblog, and I came upon this quote from Metstradamus after AJ’s one-hitter:

      “Consider: Not only are Yankee fans able to get the best seats, but they’re knocking pop-ups out of David Wright’s glove in the stands. Not that it helped them (Robinson Cano struck out), but their baseball IQ rates higher than that of the Mets on the field. Now seriously, what the hell is that?”

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        I love that.

        My favorite part of the weekend might have been the Yankee fan batting the ball away from Wright. He looked Dikembe circa 1995. I was waiting for the finger wag.

        No, seriously, that’s a good fan. In most cities, the home town fans fight their own players to get a souvenir.

  12. JGS says:

    I have no issues with the Mets, but a lot of Mets fans bother me. Especially those that would rather see the Mets lose than the Yankees win. To that end, I have enjoyed the previous two Septembers (as much as I could enjoy any September once it became clear that the Yankees were done). Still, I was as happy as any Mets fan when Santos hit that home run off Papelbon. There are many Mets fans I know who did not feel the same way when A-rod took Lidge deep

    • It does seem, at times, that some Mets fans are more anti-Yankee than they are pro-Met. This, in my opinion, stems from the fact that the Mets have, for the last 40 years, generally been unable to form their own identity, independent of the Yankees. That is, the self-image of the Mets is generally based on the Yankees.

      My thoughts on the issue: http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....ent-310882

      • JGS says:

        I agree, and that new stadium completely hijacking the Dodgers’ legacy without ever mentioning the Giants isn’t helping them either

  13. AsianShuutoHeat says:

    My Mets loving friends always say the same thing to me…
    “stop buying your players” and “money won’t buy you wins”.

    Hey, it got us a 5-1 in the subway series against you guys!

  14. ARX says:

    Well, call me unsportsmanlike, but I’ll gladly kick them while theyre down, with steel tipped boots all day and all night. I’m so glad I didnt start caring about sports til 1992 (when alot of local teams were mediocre/sucktastic and I chose the Yankees almost at random before I knew they had 22 titles) or I might have jumped on the Mutts bandwagon as a kid in ’86 :shudders:

    • RAB poster says:

      “Well, call me unsportsmanlike, but I’ll gladly kick them while theyre down, with steel tipped boots all day and all night.”

      Amen to that.

    • ArodMVP217 Retire 51 says:

      more graphic than a kick while down.. curb stompage, fohget abahht it

  15. Ivan says:

    New York Yakees=Frank White.

  16. Russell NY says:

    Is Billy Wagner going to argue that he is having a problem getting his Wagner up in the 8th inning like Putz?

    • jsbrendog says:

      b-jobbers will get to see their ideas in motion at the end of th year if wagner comes back with wagner, putz, and k rod “shortening the game” the mets will win if they can be winning after the 6th inning.

      the only problem is that will only happen twice a week. once when johan pitches and then alternating weeks of good/bad between maine/livan.

      so they will see first hand how worthless a shutdown bullpen is without starters who can pitch. but hey, at least tim redding is under contract for next year too right omar? and ollie for 2 more! woo!

  17. JP says:

    Formatting questions, from someone older than most of you:

    1. What is the html tag for strikethrough?
    2. How do you make an “en-yay”, or n-with-tilde, to spell Ramiro Pena’s name?
    3. How do you guys put a link that directs you to a specific point in the thread?

    Sorry for off-topic…if it must be deleted, mea maxima culpa.

    • jsbrendog says:


      How do you guys put a link that directs you to a specific point in the thread?

      you click on the date and time odf the comment you want to reference and it puts a link in your address bar. then copy and paste and it will direct you to that link.

    • radnom says:

      1. Check just below the comment box, it tells you all the html tags each time.

      2. I can’t be arsed to look this up, google it.

      3. The date under a commenter’s name is a direct link to that comment.

    • 1. Bold is [b] [/b], Italics is [i] [/i], strikethrough is [strike] [/strike], and quote is [blockquote] [/blockquote] with all those tags being HTML < symbols instead of [ symbols.

      2. I’m on a Mac, so the tilde ñ is just option-n, accent marks are all under option-e (áéíóú), all those diacriticals (like ü and ç and å) are under the option keys. On a PC, I’m not sure. Maybe use the symbol palette from Microsoft Word and cut-and-paste?

      3. See the little time/date stamp under “tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside says:”? It’s a clickable hyperlink to fix the page at the anchorpoint of my comment. Copy and paste that URL.

  18. Stryker says:

    back to the mets for a sec, how fucked is that organization? they parted with what, 10 players in one season (4 for santana, 6 for putz)? that’s bound to take a hit to any franchise’s depth. but now with delgado out and beltran staring the end of his career in the face and 2nd and 3rd string guys are either injured or not stepping it up — they are just in bad, BAD shape going forward. too many needs and not enough parts to either a) fill from within or b) package them for players that CAN help. they have some decent minor leaguers but they’re too far away to make any kind of contribution to save the ship from sinking. they haven’t drafted well and rely too much on the IFA market which hasn’t produced anyone other than reyes.

  19. [...] On the composition of the bench / A tale of two pitchers / Kings of NY [...]

  20. the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

    But what if I have 43 email addresses…That’s [calculates in his head] A LOT OF VOTING!


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