(Long Island, NY) What would be better in this thrilling New York baseball summer than topping it off with a Subway Series? The way things are shaping up, it is definitely a possibility. And this time around, both teams look to be poised for an October rematch.
The last time the city had the pleasure of experiencing it was in 2000. The Yankees were a dynasty and had won consecutive titles and three of the last four. The Mets were a Wild Card entry and did not have to go through their nemesis, the Atlanta Braves, courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The World Series lasted only five games, but it was hard fought and close. The turning point came during Game One at Yankee Stadium when Met firstbaseman Todd Ziele hit what appeared to be a home run to left field. The ball landed on top of the fence and rolled back on the field. Met rookie outfielder Timo Perez made the mistake of assuming it was gone and didn’t realize that Yankee leftfielder David Justice threw the ball to the cut-off man, Derek Jeter, who relayed the ball to Jorge Posada to cut Perez down at the plate.
The Mets blew a one-run ninth inning lead and lost the game in extra innings. Game Two had Roger Clemens throwing part of a broken bat at Mike Piazza. The Yankees eventually won the series at Shea Stadium when Luis Sojo hit a grounder up the middle to drive in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning. Piazza gave the ball a ride in the bottom of the frame, but Bernie Williams put it away for the three-peat.
Currently, both teams are leading in their respective divisions. The Mets have a double-digit lead and can coast the rest of the way. The Yankees have overtaken the Boston Red Sox and it should be a dogfight until the end.
The National League is considered weak, which should play into the Mets’ favor. They should be able to defeat whoever comes out of the West. The St. Louis Cardinals are ahead in the Central and should be a tough out. The Mets do have the best team and barring an upset, should reach the Fall Classic.
The route through the stronger American League will be harder. The Detroit Tigers have led the Central all year and can punch their playoff ticket. The West has been bunched up, but the Oakland A’s look to be a good choice. The Wild Card will be either the Red Sox, Minnesota Twins or Chicago White Sox, the defending World Champions.
For the Yankees to get through those teams, it is doable but a tough task. The Mets may be awaiting their opponent once they capture the pennant, and that very well be the Bronx Bombers.