It’s been fifteen years since Major League Baseball instituted Interleague Play and the game has been better for it. Midseason attendance spikes. It drives revenue and frankly, especially in the case of regional rivalries, a little healthy competition between family members is never bad.
In Chicago, it’s the “Crosstown Classic”. In northern California, it’s the “Bay Bridge Series”. However, the most famous of these regional rivals would easily have to be New York’s very own “Subway Series.”
Before Interleague Play was a gleam in Bud Selig’s eye, the “Subway Series” was pretty common in New York. After all, two New York teams have faced each other in the World Series fourteen times dating back to 1921. (Technically two New York teams played each other in the “World Championship Series” in 1889, but being that the Subway didn’t make its debut until 1904, that series could probably best be described as a “Trolley Series.”) The most of the regional rivals by far.
Beyond the postseason, the Yankees and Giants used to play exhibition series against each other from time to time. These match-ups were known as the “City Series.” Sometimes they were even played in October, on the rare occasion that either team wasn’t in the World Series. After 1940, this became difficult because the Yankees routinely appeared in the World Series. In the seventeen-year span between 1941 and 1957 (when the Giants and Dodgers left for California), the Yankees appeared in the World Series twelve times. They only failed to reach the Series in 1944, 1945, 1946, 1948 and 1954.
Prior to the abandonment of New York by the city’s two National League teams, the Yankees and Dodgers began to play an annual midseason exhibition game called the Mayor’s Trophy Game. It benefited sandlot baseball in New York City. The proceeds raised by the Yankees went to leagues in Manhattan and the Bronx while the proceeds raised by the Dodgers went to leagues on Long Island and Staten Island.
Interest in the annual charity event was revived in 1963 with the expansion New York Mets. With it, bragging rights to the city were back on the line. The Yankees were no longer the only team in town and at some points they weren’t even the best team in town. (For those of you born after 1996, this seems like an impossible idea, I know.)
Most of the time, these games weren’t very competitive. If one team was great, the other was usually very bad. After dwindling interest as well as public bickering between the owners of both teams, the Mayor’s Trophy Game was discontinued following the 1983 season.
It was revived again as a pre-Opening Day series titled the “Mayor’s Challenge” and hosted many recent Yankees’ and Mets’ Greats like Doc Gooden, David Cone, Al Leiter and Don Mattingly. However, as the Major League schedule evolved and the game became harder to schedule, it was eventually discontinued for good in 1992.
you ever sat in the ballpark and asked, “Why in God’s name are they playing
that song?” I understand why the Astros
jam to “Deep in the Heart of Texas” during their 7th Inning Stretch,
but can someone tell me what connection could there possibly be between “Lazy
Mary” by Lou Monte and the Mets’ 7th Inning? You know what I mean? The following are my Top 5 Baseball songs
that make me go “Whaa?”
5. Lets Go Mets Go! – Who can forget the
rally cry of the 1986 Mets? And sure, it
was great at the time. It has Martha Quinn in the video for Christ
)! Nonetheless, considering the sad
state of the team today, you have to ask why it still gets toted out during rain delays. It just looks dusty and sad (expect for Gary
Carter’s ‘fro. That will always look amazing).
4. All the Way – Who remembers this little
ditty written by Eddie Vedder in 2007 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqHTScDBsDU)?
The Cubs made such a big deal about the song when it first came out, but did
anyone take a look-see at the lyrics before they did? “We know someday
we’ll go all the way.” Someday?
Talk about not wanting to hedge your bets.
3. Shout – Yes, the Washington Nationals
actually play “Shout” during the 7th inning. Come to think of it,
there’s probably not a more appropriate song.
If you’ve ever been to a Washington Nationals game, you’re usually ready
to “shout, pick your heels up and shout” as you run toward the gate by the 7th.
2. Ok Blue Jays – Frankly, I never heard
this song, but I bet it’s pretty polite and flaccid. Come to think of it…not unlike the team.
1. Go Cubs Go – I am well aware that this
will probably make me the most unpopular girl in the Windy City, but hear me
out. It’s a catchy ditty. It’s actually on my iPod. The tradition is to play the song after a Cubs’ win, yet the song is about
future Cubs’ wins. Why isn’t it played before the game? Again, talk about a team that hasn’t won in so
long, they’re actually afraid of the word “win.” Sometimes a classic deserves
more respect than a drunken frat boy serenade in front of John Barleycorn.
It’s that time of year – Interleague! Who could forget such classic match-ups as Toronto vs. Arizona or Colorado vs. Kansas City? We cannot always meet up with our “natural” rival. In some cases, our team may not even have a “natural” rival, which leads to some pretty lame match-ups. When push comes to shove though, Interleague is still the best thing to happen to Major League Baseball.
Does it devalue the World Series? No way. It just makes the rivalry that more heated. I would make an argument that the All-Star Game deciding Home Field advantage is more devaluing.
However, speaking of devaluing…
The Subway Series
Talk about two teams limping to the midpoint. Ugh! This series has been almost intolerable to watch, or in my case, to listen to on Game Day Audio. The only thing it has going for it is that C.C. is on the mound today, facing Johan.
Which I would love to see if it wasn’t for…
Yeah, I know I’m not in the New York market. Nonetheless, because Chicago is currently the center of the Hockey universe, it’s near impossible to find a decent Baseball game on television. What makes it worse is that the Cubs are playing the thrill-a-moment Texas Rangers and the White Sox are playing the limping Marlins (who are at least at .500 which is better than either of the Chicago teams can say). I finally gave up and landed on Boston vs. Philadelphia on TBS. Tim Wakefield is about to come to bat.
Talk about comedy, which is what you can totally call my…
Fantasy Baseball Team
Teixeria! Mark, you are killing me. You’ve cold again?! You’re like my douchey ex-boyfriend. You can’t be serious!
Which speaking of being the epitome of professionalism…
The TBS Announcers
Come on guys! I understand that Boston took a No-No pretty late into the game yesterday, but it didn’t happen. Move on. Isn’t there a game you should be covering? I’m sorry. Almost No-No’s are no big deal (unless you’re Tom Seaver). If it was a big deal, it would be a No-No. Am I wrong on this?
I’m going to spend the rest of my afternoon reading “The Yankee Years” and eating my homemade soup (which I made for the first time this morning by the way).
In honor of this glorious Opening Day (aren’t they all?), the following are some of the funniest baseball conversations I’ve heard, had, or saw on Facebook all day…
Jessie S. set her Facebook status to say, “Jessie S. is so happy for baseball.” Jess, I’m confused…aren’t you an Indians fan?
Speaking of Indians fans, the following is just an excerpt of Maureen W.’s love letter to the Cleveland Indians Front Office, “Dear Cleveland Indians, I thought we were going to try to win this year. Remember? Oh, your cheap-*** owners got rid of everybody during the off-season? I miss the mid-90s.” Me too, Mo. Slap bracelets can’t come back quick enough.
Andrew R. says, “Go Baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Where? If this involves me getting on the Red line in the dead heat of the summer, I’m taking up hockey.
Peter G. says, “Watched the Cubs get down 14-5 before I finally turned it off. Cubs, you are in serious danger of me allowing my son to grow up a Yankees fan, just so he knows what it’s like to win something. Stop sucking.”
On the same topic, Eric L. says “What the ****. There’s no one at that flipping ball park on top of it all.***** you Atlanta. I hope you burn to the ground…(again)”
(Singing) Go, Cubs go. Go, Cubs gooooooo…… What? Too soon to start singing this ironically?
Upon David Wright’s homerun in today’s game:
My Roommate Meeg (in the other room): “Yey! Wait! What are we cheering for?”
Jay S. said, “You know what I love about the Yankees….I don’t know anything about sports, but I still know who Don Mattingly is. Now, Dolly Parton is a completely different story.”
Dujuan P. said to Jay M., “So if the Mets start winning, is Trish going to flip back to being a Mets fan?” Woah! Easy, aren’t you a White Sox fan? Make yourself at home….stab someone.
When Johan Santana gave up a hit in the third inning, Howie R. said on the Mets radio broadcast, “And the Mets will yet again not have a nohitter.” Dude! It was the third inning. That’s like me singing karaoke at a bar and you telling me that I just lost out on my chances of winning “American Idol.”
Mike G. said, “The Pittsburgh Pirates are in first place.” (Cue me falling off the couch laughing)
Lori S. says, “Hip, Hip Jorge!” Oh come on, Lori! You can come up with something better than that….Oh wait! That’s what your adorable baby girl says when Posada comes to bat? I’ll go hang my head in shame, now.
My uncle said, “”Go Boston Go! May the yank’s suck Boston mud. ;-)”
I refuse to comment on smack talk that isn’t grammatically correct.
And finally, from my Facebook status, “Hey Boston! You may have won this one but don’t be shocked when you see all your tires slashed in the parking lot.” Happy Opening Day, ya’ll!
You know, I’m old enough to no longer be shocked by people disappointing me. It’s an inevitable part of humanity’s imperfect nature. However, when it happens, that knowledge still can’t take away from the amazing sadness of the event. Sigh.
This week, I had a friend cut me out of their life after a stupid fight. That’s right. One fight and gone. Two and a half years of friendship tossed into the trash and for what? It’s not like we talking about two immature kids here. We’re talking about two people who should know better and have some perspective.
I was immensely disappointed at how disposable my friendship apparently was. This was a person I cared about, I was loyal to, I supported. Shouldn’t my friendship have been worth fighting out? Sigh. Maybe it’s the Italian in me.
So, how is this pertinent to this blog? Ex-New York Mets phenom and New York Yankee, Dwight Gooden, was arrested last week for DWI after a rush-hour crash with his son in the car. Although I’m merely a fan, I don’t think it’s disproportionate to say…Jesus Christ, Doc!
If you want to self-destruct, that’s fine. It’s a tragedy but fine. Sigh. However, the second you get behind the wheel with your kid in the car to boot, there’s no excuse. You put your life in danger. You put my life in danger. You put your own flesh and blood’s life in danger. It’s unacceptable.
Doc, you find new and interesting ways to disappoint me (and frankly I don’t think I’m out of line by extending the “me” metaphor to mean us, as in all your fans). You had an entire city behind you, rooting for you, supporting you and you’ve let us down. I’m not even referencing Darryl (Strawberry) and you prematurely tanking your careers, thus insuring a good twenty years before a Met will have a shot at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. That dead horse has been beaten to a pulp. I’m talking about your redemption story.
You had problems and we don’t expect you, nor want you, to be perfect. We’ve all have problems. You were fighting to get better. We were behind you. We were loyal to you. We invested in you coming out the end of this a better man, but this is what we get?
I wish I could say that this took me off guard, but this was as “shocking” as Big Mac finally coming out about his steroids use. Sadly, human nature holds true to form all the time. For once, I wish it would prove me wrong.