(Long Island, N.Y.) To say that the Yankees just merely proved it once again may be an understatement. You have to go back a long way when this was a Mets town and the Bronx Bombers have blown it wide open in their favor for the umpteenth time with a decisive three-game sweep at the Stadium this past weekend.
Even the latest Met hero and only hope, Johan Santana, was schooled in his next start since throwing the first no-hitter in franchise history. So much for momentum. Not only did the Yanks beat up on the Mets, they also broke their hearts with a walk-off win in the finale. Talk about your carrot dangling; these Mets left licking their wounds and now have dropped six of their last seven games overall. Following a surprisingly hot start, they are now just three games over .500 and in a third place tie with the Miami Marlins in the National League East.
But let’s get back on track here, if you will. The fact is that the Mets were playing over their heads and winning in spite of their thrown-together line-up, which resembled a AAA scorecard more than a big league one. Is anyone shocked that they have come back down to earth in this fashion? They now head to Tampa Bay to take on the Rays, who just happen to lead the Yankees by one half game for first place in the American League East.
As of the Bombers, they have shown the ability to hit, pitch and field well and are nine games over the .500 mark, pretty much where everyone expected them to be. They have even survived the season-ending loss of closer Mariano Rivera, and are cruising towards another postseason berth. Business as usual in the Bronx.
That’s what is probably so frustrating for the Met faithful – the Yankees always seem to be in the thick of things while their team is in a never-ending retooling phase. Ownership claims to be in good shape financially, yet the payroll has been pared down to a medium-to-small market franchise’s. When the team was winning games, it seemed as if the Mets might have a shot at fighting for one of the two Wild Card berths to get into the dance. But the way this are headed, it appears as if general manager Sandy Alderson will be on the telephone as a seller and not a buyer come the trading deadline.
While he may be fielding calls for the likes of Santana, David Wright and Jon Rauch, his counterpart across town will be looking to add a bench player or relief pitcher to solidify their October run. Brian Cashman always pulls something off at the last minute to grab a veteran arm or bat and this is another indication of the direction that the two teams are going in. One fan base is looking towards the immediate future while the other is looking at next year and even further down the road.