In Manhattan, walking around, a sea of blue-and-orange Mets' hats.
Is this the mid-80s again?
Here you have the Yankees, looking like Murderers' Row again this season, leading the AL East by 5.5 games--and really surprising everyone in doing it with older players like A-Rod and Mark Teixieira--and they are getting next to no props from the media and area sports fans.
Would it shock anyone at this point if the Yankees made it back to the World Series?
But it's the Mets, with their embarrassment of riches both in their starting staff and bullpen, and now a legitimate slugger in Cespedes, that have captured the imagination of New York. They are playing fast and loose and look like they'll never lose again.
Of course, they will lose again. And, naturally, the Nats are not going anywhere. But the final seven weeks of the regular season promise to the most exciting in the NL East because the second place team will likely miss the playoffs based on the wildcard prospects for the Pirates and Cubs. It's like it used to be--winner takes all in the NL East.
Still, the Yankees pounded the Red Sox into submission last night and don't get the love.
I channel-flipped between Yankees and Mets games over the weekend. The Citi Field crowd was juiced on every pitch. The Yankee game in Chicago? No buzz at all. It's a little better at Yankee Stadium, but not what it used to be like in the old stadium.
I suppose part of the reason for the difference in excitement levels has to do with how long it's been since the Mets have been relevant. The Yankees have seemed to be competitive since the pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. For the Mets, it's been almost a decade and, really, this edition has the makings of something not seen in three decades if they bring back guys like Cespedes and add another bat.
One thing is certain. It promises to be a great finish to the baseball season.