There are Mets Fans and Yankees fans, and never the twain shall meet. But New York City is most alive when both teams are in the fight.
Fans of baseball, and especially Yankees fans, should welcome fans of the New York Mets back into the fray. It’s been far too long.
Brodie Van Wagenen, the rookie General Manager of the New York Mets, seems to have his pulse on a critical component of New York City baseball as it’s played at the highest level. Bring everything you have to the fight, keep it clean, and never stop trying to get better, even in the midst of failure.
The New York Mets organization lost that energy somewhere along the line during the tenure of Sandy Alderson and company. Always catching up with the rest of the league with a reputation as a do-nothing organization, and Bah-Humbug ownership, their fans remained loyal but hardly satisfied and rewarded.
Across the river, the New York Yankees created a lot of hoopla with the hype of the Baby Bombers, appearing in successive playoffs, without ever realizing that elusive 28th World Championship.
And so we find ourselves in December on the cusp of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas with not one, but two energetic and dynamic general managers eager to take on the task of rebuilding their team and New York City baseball, with a combination of risk and foresight, and set to deliver early Christmas presents for all fans of New York baseball.
Or, maybe not, because both are savvy enough to know when it’s time to take your ball to go home and wait for another day.
The load carried by Brian Cashman, the Yankees GM, is decidedly lower than the burden left by previous management for Brodie Van Wagenen to dispel. Van Wagenen made an early play to display a “go-gettum” approach with what we’ll call “The Cano Trade.” With a reputation now in hand, Van Wagenen has let it be known that he has only just begun.
He’s in on J.T. Realmuto, the All-Star trading chip held at a high price by Derek Jeter‘s Marlins, and he’s reportedly also quietly in on Manny Machado.
Meanwhile, Cashman is either licking his wounds or celebrating (my vote) the Nationals signing of Patrick Corbin to an exorbitant six-year $140 million contract that leaves the Yankees (still) with a hole to fill in their starting rotation.
The intrigue for both the Mets and Yankees seems to lie more in the trade market, at least for now, while the likes of Realmuto, Corey Kluber, and Madison Bumgarner remain on the block. Remarkably, both the Yankees and Mets are reportedly in on Kluber with the Mets holding the edge, even though it would seem the Mets are more set with starting pitching than the Yankees.
But the main thing is this. The New York Yankees and the New York Mets are being spoken about in the same article, and even in the same sentence. We haven’t seen that in a while when New York City baseball is the topic.
By now, you all know I’m a Yankees fan. But wouldn’t it be something to see the Mets (forget about the Red Sox for a moment please) give the Yankees a run for their money in capturing the attention of New York media for something other than the latest escapades of Yoenis Cespedes?
Las Vegas, get ready. New York is on their way. And with good reasons, the buzz is back and so is the talk about the Mets and Yankees as New York City baseball.
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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