Mets/Yanks II: A Fan's Take
Here's the deal. The Yanks swept the Mets at that weird New Yankee Stadium joint two weeks back. At the time I thought the series was a hell of a lot more important to the Bombers than it was to the Mets, who were still on cloud nine from Santana's no-hitter. Speaking of Santana, the Yanks shelled him in the series opener. They won the next two games too but, honestly, those could have gone either way. That sweep sent the Yankees on a pretty good tear, which only ended when they dropped their last two to the Braves this week. But it really put the Yankees back on top of the heap, where their fans always expect them to be. The Mets, on the other hand, went all Jekyll and Hyde, sweeping the Rays, getting swept by the Reds, then sweeping the Orioles. In short, they need to get off this crazy ride, it's making them and their fans nauseous. So, where does this leave the two teams entering tonight?
Let's get the easy one out of the way first. Yankees fans would like another sweep just so they can stick it to Mets fans. They don't need it, they'd just like it. Any other combination of wins or losses won't bother them one bit, even if the Mets sweep. Now, everyone thinks that the Mets need to sweep the Yankees at home to exact some revenge, but nothing could be further from the truth. A sweep would be great, but it would just continue their all-or-nothing pattern. Two out of three would be more like it. But, what it really comes down to is this: Mets fans really, reallly, really, want R.A. Dickey to win on Sunday night against C.C. Sabathia. The season has already had more highlights than the Mets or their fans thought possible. They're basically playing with the house money. But R.A. Dickey has changed the game. Mets fans want to let all of that house money ride on this guy. If he can do to the Yanks anything close to what he's been doing to everyone else, it's going to be one hell of a Sunday night in Flushing and everything else will fade into the background.
So, there you have it. Yanks sweep and their fans will be happy. R.A. Dickey wins Sunday night, Mets fans will be ecstatic. And mark my words, if the latter happens, this guy is going to start drawing fans out to Queens the way a guy named Gooden did in the '80s.