Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Title and Pride On the Line in Fall Classic

For the first time in 44 years, there is a true subway series in New York, and all that most people can do is bellyache about it and claim they’re not going to watch it. Good. Enjoy hockey season and the brand new season of “Law and Order.” They’ve got a new district attorney on the show – it should be great.

For the rest of you who actually enjoy the game of baseball, the ets-Yankees series is going to be one of the most exciting, riveting six or seven games in recent memory. To start, this is the World Series, the October Classic – not some sort of beer league tournament. No matter who is in the World Series, it’s one of the best sporting events all year.

Despite that fact, people are coming out of the woodwork saying that this World Series is going to be awful for a whole slew of reasons. (That’s the same woodwork out of which Mets fans are coming, by the way.) The number two answer on the ESPN.com poll to the question of what do you think of the Subway Series was “I think it’s a horrible idea” or something to that effect. That’s absurd.

To say that this series is irrelevant is to say that any series in which your team isn’t playing is a bad one. To a Dodgers or Orioles fan, this series is just as “bad” as ets-Twins or Yankees-Rockies. Anyone who tells you this series is not going to be exciting, or is a horrible thing for baseball, obviously isn’t a real baseball fan.

The main reason, I think, that people are down on this series is that they think people from New York don’t care about the outcome now that one of the New York teams must win. That’s possibly the most ridiculous sports argument I have ever heard. There are two New Yorks when you talk about baseball the New York that roots for the Yankees and the New York that roots for the ets. When the two teams meet head-to-head, there is no third direction.

Since the Mets’ birth in 1962, they have always been regarded as the second team in New York and rightly so. The Yankees have been much more successful and have been around much longer – which makes this series the Mets’ first genuine opportunity to get respect from most New Yorkers. People care very, very deeply about this series.

Part of the reason this belief exists is that when one of the New York teams plays against, say, the Atlanta Braves in a World Series, New Yorkers would rather see the Yankees beat the Braves. But this is different folks – this is one team against the other in a winner-takes-all battle. There are no undecided voters in this race.

You can’t sum it up much better than Yankees manager Joe Torre did when he said that this series is going to break up some families. Unlike the death penalty or gun control, Mets-Yankees is not a subject about which rational New Yorkers can disagree – friendships will be put to the test by this series.

The only person in New York who’s genuinely conflicted by the prospect of both of the state’s baseball teams in the World Series is Senate candidate, First Lady and carpetbagger Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has claimed during the course of her campaign to have been a lifelong Yankee fan. (She grew up outside Chicago.) You can count on the Clinton campaign to issue some sort of ninnyish mom-like statement like “I hope both teams play well and no one gets hurt and that everyone has a good time.” I just hope she doesn’t get stuck up there straddling that fence.

As much as I’m giddy about this series, by tonight the amount of coverage is going to be gross. Media hype – like the kind I’m attempting to create with this column – is going to make it impossible for this series to live up to its expectations.

The series also has a plethora, that’s right a plethora, of great stories at play. Roger Clemens-Mike Piazza, Clemens back in Shea in the World Series and El Duque and Mariano Rivera’s postseason dominance to name a few. But one story that this World Series lacks is a great rivalry. Despite the Mets and Yankees physical proximity, they have never met in any contest worth anything more than pride.

But for a team like the Mets who have gotten so little respect in their home city, pride is worth about as much as anything else on the table in this World Series.

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