The annual series between the New York Mets and the New York Yankees was great in its time, but over the past few years, the series doesn’t bring the excitement it once did. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice to see the little brother (Mets) beat the big brother (Yankees) from across town, but the fact that these two teams play every year has watered down the meaning of these games.
The two teams have played each other since 1997, and they were typically two three-game sets — one at Yankee Stadium and the other at Shea Stadium/Citi Field. At first, there was excitement and a buzz around the city because they didn’t really play against each other before then. It was new, and it was the highlight of interleague play, but as time wore on, the games didn’t seem to bring that excitement.
Are the Mets and Yankees really rivals? Do they have a true disdain for one another? I don’t think so, but the MLB seems to be insistent on making this a rivalry when it’s not. It just feels forced. The Mets will always be a notch below the Yankees because their franchise histories are vastly different, and the Yankees are normally contending for a championship year in and year out. The same cannot be said about the Mets, especially over the last five years where the Mets have struggled mightily.
The Subway Series in 2000 in the World Series set the bar so high for these two teams that it’s not possible to achieve that sort of excitement again unless they meet in October. That was special, and both teams were extremely good.
They shouldn’t get rid of the Subway Series altogether because it is fun for the fans and the players, but it can’t take place every year. If they happen to play each other every three or four years, anticipation will begin to build, especially if the teams are playing well. Cross-town matchups can be a great thing for baseball, but interleague play has seemed to ruin this one.