By Paul Semendinger
February 14, 2023
The moment that Steve Cohen purchased the Mets, I started writing about how the Mets were going to look different, act differently, and that they could (and probably would) challenge the Yankees for the hearts of New York baseball. There was a time, and it wasn't that long ago, when the Mets were New York baseball's number one team. I think they're on their way to recapture that again.
Of course, die-hard Yankees fans will stay with the team. But for the younger fans, the ones who first see a team and fall in love with it and stay with that team forever, the Mets just might be the more attractive team. They definitely seem more fun.
I love the Yankees. Of course. And I love Yankee Stadium. But, truth be told, Citi Field is the nicer ballpark. I think it would be difficult for someone to argue that Yankee Stadium is a better venue to watch a baseball game from.
The Yankees used to, at least, have history on their side. "Babe Ruth played right field in that same spot..." But Ruth and all those legends played across the street. The newer Yankee Stadium doesn't have any of that history. I still love the place, but it's not a great ballpark. I never see any lists where it ranks as even a Top 10 stadium in the Major Leagues. And that's a shame. The Yankees' brand is built on being the best. But the Yankees haven't been the best and aren't the best in so many ways.
The Mets also just seem to have more fun. Their ad during the Super Bowl was great. It was a classic. When was the last time we saw the Yankees doing anything like this? When was the last time the Yankees had fun?
Here are two of the Mets' new ads:
I hope that the new Yankees - Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera, and the other kids bring some added fun (and success) to the Yankees. They Yankees need that. They need energy.
I will always love the Yankees, but if you were nine years old, which team would you first gravitate towards, the Yankees or the Mets?
I'm afraid that the Mets have the momentum here.
The Yankees released their promotional schedule and they'll be giving away a lot of bobbleheads... all sorts of bobbleheads.
Is anyone else tired of bobbleheads?
I'd love for some new and original giveaways.
I'd love for some originality. Even with promotions, the Yankees seem to be in a rut.
Ok, I'll go all-in right now.
If the Yankees don't go big-time to try to acquire Yoshinobu Yamamoto after the 2023 season, assuming, of course, that he becomes available, I won't be happy. The Yankees should always be going aggressive for big time pitching and Yamamoto might be the best pitcher yet to come from Japan. He's already won two MVP awards in Japan, and he'll only be 25-years-old.
I know Shohei Ohtani is great. And, yes, I'd want him on my team. (And no, I don't see him ever signing with the Yankees.) But, in 2024, Ohtani will turn 30-years-old. (Yeah, players get old quickly.)
Yamamoto is five years younger. Five years. That's a huge difference. For immediate dividends and long-term goals, Yamamoto is probably the better bet. This would be especially true if the Yankees are looking to build a dynasty around their super young talent.
And, if the Yankees need a left fielder next year, they might want to look to Jung Hoo Lee from Korea.
I love to hope on players like this! (He owns a .342 lifetime batting average.)
Thanks to Prof. Robert for sharing this great article on a connection between Buck Showalter and Thurman Munson and the Cape Cod League. Take a look, it's worth reading.
The other day I wrote about John Riggins, my absolute favorite non-baseball athlete. My favorite fictional athlete is, of course, Rocky Balboa. I want to meet him one day. (Yeah, I know...)
Creed 3 comes out in a few weeks. I can't wait to see it. Rocky won't be in that film, but it carries on the franchise. As such, I'm eager to see it.
The NFL Hall of Fame did it right this year. They had NFL Hall of Famers show up at the door of the new players who got inducted. I was a big Jets fan in the early 1980s. Seeing Joe Klecko's reaction when Joe Namath showed up at his house was awesome. Take a look (it's at about the 3:30 mark):
Pitchers and catchers have reported. Nestor Cortes is injured with a hamstring problem. He's now out of the WBC already.
Here we go again? The Yankees have a great rotation, but only if all their pitchers are healthy. Frankie Montas is already out. One down. Now Nestor is out. That's two.
Of course, both of these could be temporary setbacks, but when players reaggravate the same injuries they had a season ago, it's a troubling sign.
MLB has reinstituted the fake runner on second base in extra innings. It seems that that rule is now permanent.
Why can't they just leave the game alone?
I dislike this rule immensely. It feels cheap and it changes the game.
Baseball also adopted a rule about position players who come in to pitch. It's convoluted. I didn't even know this was an issue.
The more baseball makes these different rules, the less fun the game becomes, at least in my humble opinion.
The Super Bowl was great. It's wonderful when it is a good game - and it was a good game. But now it's time for baseball.
I'll put my Riggins jersey away until next year and hope and root root root for the Yankees!