As another hot stove season begins, Met fans such as myself, will once again look across town at the Bronx Bombers with envy. It will be another off season where we Met fans watch our team sit on the sidelines while the Yankees sign the free agents they need to compete for another title. Of course, the Mets are on a self-imposed budget because of the Madoff situation that emptied Fred Wilpon’s wallet. But Met fans have to wonder how long they will play second fiddle to the Yankees. The last time our Mets owned New York was 1988. Since then, it has been almost exclusively the Big Yankee Apple. And unfortunately, Yankee fans remind us Met fans of this every day of every year.
The difference in management styles between the two organizations was evident last year with the Jose Reyes debacle. The Yankees choose to keep their cornerstone players in pinstripes. When Derek Jeter’s contract was nearing an end while in the middle of his career, the Yankees signed him to a long term contract. When Jose Reyes contract expired after least season, the Mets let him walk without even making an offer. Of course, Jose Reyes is no Derek Jeter, but you get the point.
Well….why beat a dead horse? Jose Reyes is long gone. With that said, let’s take a look at other differences between the two clubs over the past twenty years.
The Yankees have had five 100-win seasons…the Mets have had none. The Yankees have been to the playoffs seventeen of the past twenty seasons….the Mets have been to the playoffs three seasons. The Yankees have five World Series titles…the Mets have none. The Yankees have finished in 1st place fourteen times…the Mets just once. The Yankees have been over .500 nineteen seasons…the Mets just nine seasons. And the Yankees have had three managers in the past twenty years….the Mets have had seven. In addition, since Brian Cashman has been the Yankee GM, the Mets have had four General Managers.
When I think of Yankee blunders over the past twenty years, I think of Carl Pavano, Jose Contreras, and perhaps Pedro Feliciano. When I recall Met blunders, I think of Carlos Baerga, Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonilla, Jason Bay, Scott Kazmir/Victor Zambrano, Mo Vaughn, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Fernando Tatis, and Kaz Matsui. Shall I throw out more names?
It shouldn’t have to be, that Yankee fans can wear their Yankee apparel year-round, while we Met fans put our Mets apparel in storage from July-March. Met fans are a proud group. We’ve been hurt….over and over again, yet, we endure the misery. We cherish our beloved Mets. We defend our honor when Yankee fans try to degrade us. Of course, the Mets were more loveable when they were winning, but we remain loyal.
And so, as a Met fan, I say let the Yankees go after guys like Josh Hamilton, and Torii Hunter, and Mike Napoli. Let the Yankees continue to be boring by being in the race every year. Yankee fans…you enjoy your future Hall of Famers making it look easy. We Met fans have something that you Yankee fans will never have. Our ballpark has plenty of available seats.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Bobby Bonilla, Carl Pavano, Carlos Baerga, Derek Jeter, Fernando Tatis, Free Agents, Hot Stove, Jason Bay, Jose Contreras, Jose Reyes, Josh Hamilton, Kaz Matsui, Luis Castillo, Mike Napoli, Mo Vaughn, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oliver Perez, Pedro Feliciano, Roberto Alomar, Scott Kazmir, Torii Hunter, Victor Zambrano