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Morning Digest: Classic Subway Series Ending Edition



By Mike Silva ~ July 4th, 2011. Filed under: Morning Digest.

Just when you want to see the Subway Series go into the history books for good, you get a weekend like this. Yankees fans invaded Citi Field and gave the Stadium some buzz, and Mets ownership much needed cash. You heard complaints about the Great Wall of Flushing, umpires, and start times.

I complain about the Subway Series, but it sometimes has a way of bringing some juice to the middle of the baseball season. Who can forget the firing of Bobby Valentine‘s coaches in 1999? Roger Clemens beaning Mike Piazza in 2000; Luis Castillo‘s dropped popup that led to Brian Bruney taking swipes at K-Rod during a rehab stint in Trenton. Yesterday, these two teams played a classic game that brought up memories of Matt Franco‘s pinch hit single that beat Mariano Rivera in July of 1999. As a matter of fact, that day was the last time Rivera blew a save against the Mets. There have been some memorable moments that come away from this series. There has been controversy as well. More so on the Mets side than Yankees.

***

Bad job by Mets fans letting Yankees fans take over their stadium. The only time Mets fans take over Yankee Stadium is when the team is ahead in a blowout. Normally Yankee Stadium is a 70/30 split in favor of the home team. Mets fans, at best, from what I have heard were 55% of the crowd this weekend. Some believe Yankees fans outnumbered the Mets fans on Sunday. Total disgrace. The Mets fans continue to do a bad job showing up to the ballpark. This has been going on since 2007. They deserve the little brother moniker for this type of behavior.

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The real story yesterday was Jason Bay, who is fast becoming an individual you want to root for.

Bay is overpaid, but unlike other Met free agent busts from the past, he appears to be working his tail off to make things better. Despite the weak offense, he has played a stellar left field. He’s never made excuses for his performance and always been available to the media. On Sunday, he worked a two out walk against a pitcher that doesn’t give up a free pass to anyone. He then sent half the stadium (or slightly less) home happy with his two out bases loaded single.

Bay may yet go down as the worst free agency signing. He may turn out to be worse than Vince Coleman, Luis Castillo, or Oliver Perez. He may never have an offensive season like the one Mo Vaughn had in 2002 (26/72/.259). Yet, if he continues to hit at these career lows, but hustles and works to improve every day, somehow I won’t walk away feeling cheated. I suspect Mets fans will agree with me.

***

If the calendar said July 3rd, 1985 instead of 2011, Ramiro Pena might be on the receiving end of a historic George Steinbrenner tantrum:

The Yankees were playing the Rangers in Texas in the first week of 1984 when Yogi Berra was introduced to life as the manager under George Steinbrenner.

Shortstop Bobby Meacham made an error in the eighth inning that cost the Yankees the game. The next day, Meacham was on his way back to Columbus and Triple-A life. Steinbrenner sent him down without ever asking Berra about it.

Actually, Pena’s gaffe reminded me of Oakland’s Mike Andrews in the 1973 World Series:

MLB has seen its share of scandals from its owners, but former A’s owner Charlie Finley’s firing of Mike Andrews, after back-to-back errors in the extra innings of Game 2 of the 1973 World Series, tops the charts. Not only did Finley’s action cause the abrupt end of a player’s career, but it also resulted in the loss of his valuable manager, a near team mutiny and the respect of his peers.

I asked Brian Cashman in a postgame press conference in Trenton if Pena would be sent down to make room for Derek Jeter. He would not answer out of respect to the parties involved. It’s a move that makes sense, unless of course, Eduardo Nunez’s hamstring will keep him out any length of time.

***

Does Pena’s error now allow the Castillo blunder to rest in peace?

***

Yankees fans are not ready for post-Mariano. The look on their face after Ronny Paulino‘s two out single was a combination of horror, sickness, and shock. Michael Kay sounded like he was about to cry. Clearly, Kay was annoyed in extra innings after Jason Bay’s single. The postgame sounded like it was taking place in a funeral home.

This is the kind of loss that burns a team. It’s the kind of loss that 29 of 30 teams have to experience every season; sometimes more than once; sometimes in the postseason. It makes you sick, annoyed, and wonder “what if.” It could result in a losing streak. When Rivera finally retires – or ascends into heaven- whichever comes first, Yankees fans will come to realize this feeling more often. After all, whoever replaces him will be mortal.

Welcome to the club, even if it’s just for one day.

***

Hearing Kay miserable made the ballpark food in Trenton go down that much better. Not only did you have Yankees fans upset, but Phillies fans at the ballpark weren’t thrilled with the ending- which was played on the scoreboard during a rain delay- either. I don’t think there was one Mets fan in attendance.

***

The Yankees complaints this weekend were obnoxious. First, they complain about the dimensions. They play here for one weekend; the Mets have to deal with the place 81 times a year. It’s about time they play some games in a stadium that is bigger than half a bathroom. They also complained about the start time on Sunday. Apparently, the game was originally going to start at 4pm. It changed to 2:30 and the Yankees didn’t know until 2pm. Was that why Freddy Garcia strolled out of the bullpen gate while R.A. Dickey was about to throw his first pitch?

I respect the Yankees and enjoy covering the team. Some might say I am writing this because of my Mets fan roots. I am not. Bottom line: their complaints were obnoxious and out of line. Notice that no one cared outside of the gulag?

Yankees arrogance has hit a comical point. They are better than this type of behavior.

***

Derek Jeter played in Trenton last night and I was in attendance for the event. It was an interesting experience, which I will write about later today, but the best line of the night came from Brian Cashman.

Trenton was wearing special uniforms for the fourth of July. Check out Jeter in his MILB duds courtesy of Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat:

Cashman went on to say that he used the photo of Jeter in the American flag uniform as a way to loosen the team up after a tough loss. He told them not to get hurt, or else they will have to wear something similar. One player told Cashman that Jeter looked like Captain America.

***

Ashmore took video of each of Jeter’s at-bats and postgame press conference. Check it out at his site, but here is a taste as below is DJ beating out a bunt for a hit.

***
Happy 4th of July everyone.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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10 Responses to Morning Digest: Classic Subway Series Ending Edition

  1. Stu B

    “Does Pena’s error now allow the Castillo blunder to rest in peace?”

    That’s comparing apples to oranges. Castillo’s error occurred with the Mets ahead, and it cost them the game. Pena’s error happened with the score tied and didn’t cost the Yankees at all.

  2. Mike Silva

    Well, the second error did. Inning is over and Bay never gets a chance to hit.

    Let’s put it this way: I think the score is even in gift wrapped Subway Series games… for now

  3. Ralph C

    I agree with Stu on the errors being apples and oranges. The Castillo dropped popup was an all time blooper and the game ended. The first Pena error may have been similiar but the Yankees got out of the inning so they cannot be compared. The second Pena error was just a run of the mill error and the Yankees still had a chance to get out of the inning.
    Also, I agree Kay is biased (and annoying) and the Yankees’ announcers are more biased than the Mets’. However, the Mets’ announcers come off with an inferiority complex in regards to the Yankees. Does anybody remember’s Cohn’s “wave goodby” to Yankee fans after a Met win in 2005 (look at Andrew Marchand’s archive)? Hernandez with the “purse” comment the other night was totally obnoxious-when was the last time a baserunner knocked a defender into right field? Darling was completely annoying during the Yankee-Texas series last year especially during that one home run call where he said a Yankee fan intereferd with the ball (he was harping on this for several minutes) when he clearly didn’t. Finally, while I love Howie Rose with the Islanders, I will never forget what he said the day Chien Ming Wang was injured. He said something like “So Chien Ming Wang got hurt playing real baseball. Wa. Wa. Wa.” What a prick.

  4. tnt1528

    rose was right.cant cant run then dont play the game

  5. Ralph C

    Tnt528, you seem to be a Mets/National League fan and that is great. I will admit to being a Yankee fan. I guess my point is that while I enjoy the Mets’ announcers more than the Yankee ones, I don’t think they are as great, unbiased or professional as people make them out to be. Liking the National League game better is fine. Wishing ill will on another player is wrong and if a Yankee announcer was making jokes about a Met injury, I’m sure there would have been heavy backlash.

  6. Tom

    I do think the Mets announcers are clearly better, but I’ll say I don’t enjoy Gary Cohen as much as I used to. He’s demonstrated a growing arrogance over the years; his play-by-play now sprinkled with endless commentary as he throws his strong opinions around as much as he describes the game.

  7. Tom

    Oh, and I agree with tnt1528 on Howie Rose. His comment about Wang was in response to endless whining by Yankee fans over Wang having to hit it the NL park, why doesn’t the NL get the DH, etc. I actually had the same response to a Yankee fan friend of mine: “It’s called playing baseball.”

  8. Trump

    The Mets fans continue to do a bad job showing up to the ballpark

    >>> You really do have some nerve writing that sentance. The team has been an out and out joke for 4+ seasons, we want to see the owners out, the team’s best player is probably not going to be retained, but we should flock to Citi to see a glorified AAA team play?

    What the heck is wrong with you? And yes, you do deserve to be called out strongly for that line. If the product is subpar, we’re doing a bad job if we don’t shut up and fork over our money to the two people who have ruined the franchise??? Yeah, no thanks.

    Oh yes, and comparing Castillo’s error – an all time classic blunder that will be used to taunt Mets fans forever – to a run of the mill error the other guy made?

    Dude….next time don’t write when drunk, m’kay?

  9. Kings

    Hey Trump. Maybe K-Rod can give you a referral to his anger management therapist. Lighten up, Dude. You’re wrapped much too tight.

    P.S. Mike Silva is not offended. He’s probably laughing at you while reading your slop!

  10. tnt1528

    all you ppl complaining about pitchers hittin gin n.l. or hitting in general, what about zambrano,hampton,owings,…1 reason i hate the yanks is because of the arrogance and stupidity of yankee fans,thinking they are entitled to everything and everyone and they are never wrong(crying about pedro hitting ppl,but forgetting they had clemens).alot of yankee fans forgot the 1980s and early 90s when you thru horse crap on the mound and the flies still wouldnt show up……2nd reason is the dh rule is a joke.the a.l. has turned into a video game, no strategy,no tough decisions to make with the 9 hole. how do you think joe torre became this genius mgr?(dont get me started on being a h.o.f. er.)…p.s. howie says that when a playoff hockey game goes into o.t. he calls it real hockey. any hockey fans here angry at him for that too?

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