- One of my justifications for not writing up the Yankees' postseason wrapup right away is that the other New York team's fortunes will figure in how this off-season breaks down. For all the talk of the Mets owning the town, now, I think that the Mets will have to win at least one more round of playoffs to have a real impact. Not trash talk, here, but just harsh reality--how many people really notice the team that lost the LCS?
- By the way, why is it that I only hear this "own the town" stuff from Mets fans? Back in the '80s and '90s, you couldn't shake a tree without having a Mets fan sneer at you that New York is a National League town. As if there was a citywide referendum going on about the designated hitter or something. Then, the Yankees got hot, and for eleven years, that talk was shut down cold. You heard murmurs in 1999 and 2000, which were pretty much squashed dead by the Subway World Series.
- Still, when the Yankees drew 4 million fans to the Bronx this season, I didn't hear anyone talking about the increase as a matter of the Yanks "owning the town." I'll go a step further and say that, as a Yankee fan, I really don't want any Mets fans jumping the bandwagon for my team. Stay in Shea, please.
- Speak up, Yankee fans, does anyone really care about whether this is an AL town or an NL town?
- Still, this Mets team is pretty well set up whichever way you paint it. They have gotten one series farther than the Yanks so far, and the injuries to Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez mean that the pressure to win it all is off them, somewhat. For the same reason, if they go all the way, and beat the Tigers in the World Series, it will be huge. The kind of thing that puts even more pressure on the Yanks to make some noise this winter, sign Barry Zito (boo!) or Daisuke Matsuzaka (yeah!).
- You can see that I'm slightly unmoored from reality in a world where Kenny Rogers suddenly can't lose in the postseason.
- Suddenly, Kenny Rogers is a team leader. The wise old hand that helped those wild kids in Detroit learn how to win. Last year, he was pond scum who beat down on cameramen, and who'd been labeled an undesirable in every major league clubhouse where he'd ever set up residence.
- This is why I take talk of "chemistry" with a grain of salt. It could be that Kenny Rogers suddenly transformed himself into a team leader. Could be that he's been a leader all along and we simply didn't know it. You just can't tell, and that's the point. I doubt we'd be talking about Rogers's leadership skills if the Yankees had lit him up in the first round, though.