By Matt Oakes
Alright baseball fans, you asked for it, you got it. The long-awaited "subway series," which stations both New York teams in a bitter engagement for bragging rights for both sides of Harlem, has the potential to be one of the best World Series matchups of all time. Commencing on Saturday, sports fans are going to be treated to a baseball extravaganza unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. The Bronx versus Queens. I can’t wait. Just imagine the carnival-like atmosphere in the Big Apple; it’s already the city that doesn’t sleep.
There is no place like New York It is a city of extremes. Along with the well known violence and crime statistics, the inhabitants proclaim their metropolis to be the "cultural center of the world." Within this massive melting pot, the city is divided into fans of either the Yanks or Mets. From businessmen on Wall Street to taxi drivers in Manhattan everyone is looking forward to the battle of the Big Apple. On one hand there is Mayor Giuliani, who has guaranteed a Yankee win, and on the other we have Mr. Met himself, Jerry Seinfeld.
Nevertheless, when all is said and done, which team will cruise down Broadway in their convertibles, basking in their own glory as the ticker-tape flutters down? Let’s take a closer look.
The favourite to win the World Series is obviously the Yanks They have it all going for them. Great starting pitching and a solid bullpen, timely hitting, and a great defence minus Chuck Knoblach. Additionally, who can dismiss the experience of a team whose nucleus has remained intact for three World Series championships in four years?
On the other side of the subway we have the upstart Metropolitans who believe a miracle on 42nd street is about to drift over the Bronx Bombers like a blizzard on Christmas Day. And yet you can’t help get the feeling they are a team that is not content simply to be in the World Series. The Mets are on a roll and are playing like champions. The loss of a meagre three out of their last 18 games has even caught the attention of long-time heckler David Letterman.
The Yankees look like a team poised for the upset. In many outings this season they have given off a smell worse than the Hudson River on a hot summer’s day. Who can argue with the 15-game losing streak to end the season? As well, there seems to be dissension among the ranks of the Pinstripes. Currently, Chuck Knoblach is refusing to practise on the same side of the field as the rest of the team, which has prompted both Manager Joe Torre and owner George Steinbrenner to speculate about his future with the organization. Moreover, the Yankees are older and slower. Someone needs to tell Luis Sojo that for him the "subway series" should be the line of sandwiches which have less than six grams of fat.
When one examines this confrontation from a historical standpoint, the past definitely favours the Yankees They claimed one-quarter of the 20th century’s World Series crowns including the 1956 edition of the subway series versus the Brooklyn Dodgers. On the flip side, the Mets have only two championship trophies, from 1969 and 1986.
My prediction is that if the frequently suspect Yankee pitching surfaces and the bats go silent like they have so many times this season, the Mets will prevail. Yet, the Yankees still have the potential to play like a champion. However, I believe that when push comes to shove next week the Mets are going to have the Yankees running for their lives like a jogger on a dark night in Central Park.
Others were inspired by the dedication and strength of the team.
"I thought it was cool," said U of C student Tara Collins. "I wanted to do something like it."