Over the past few seasons, New York was considered a ‘Mets town.’ But the New York Yankees came to play, and are reclaiming their throne.
In recent years, New York Mets dethroned the New York Yankees as the “Kings of New York.” You couldn’t go anywhere in New York City without seeing someone dressed in Mets gear from head to toe. Of course, the Mets signing Yoenis Cespedes and making an appearance in the 2015 World Series had something to do with it.
Like in 2000, the Mets lost the World Series in 2015, meaning they last won the World Series in 1986. However, the Mets still had the upper hand on the Yankees. They had a dominant roster while the Yankees struggled to even make it to the Wild Card game.
After an abysmal start last year, the Yankees just missed out on the postseason. However, the Yankees made some changes by the August trade deadline which included trading Andrew Miller, Brian McCann, Ivan Nova, Carlos Beltran and Aroldis Chapman. The Yankees stocked up their farm system and decided to mix their roster with youth and veterans. Put it all together, and you have a cohesive team capable of knocking down their American League East opponents.
Over the offseason, the Yankees didn’t do much to shake up their roster. They signed Matt Holliday and Chris Carter, and decided to fill the rest of the holes internally. Over in Queens, the Mets did nothing but sign the same players that were on the 2016 ball club. The only player not joining the Mets in 2017 was Bartolo Colon, who signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees were clearly in a rebuild mode, and the Mets figured putting together the same roster would increase their chances of reentering the postseason.
But fast forward to May of 2017, and there would be a huge difference in both teams.
Despite the Yankees saying their goal was to win a World Series, everyone knew they were just rebuilding for the future. Hence why they included Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird on the 25-man roster to begin the season. Sanchez got hurt early on and Bird struggled throughout April before he was placed on the 10-day DL with a bruised ankle. However, Judge made a name for himself and helped lead the Yankees to a 17-9 start going into Thursday’s off-day.
Even though Judge was the main source of offense, he wasn’t the only one carrying the team. Everyone made contributions, no matter how small. Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery and Michael Pineda were forces to be reckoned with on the mound. Chase Headley was off to one of the hottest starts you would ever see from the third baseman. Brett Gardner, along with his Gold Glove in the outfield, started showing power by already notching two multi-home run games. Hicks silenced the naysayers and proved he was capable of being an every day outfielder.
Hicks silenced the naysayers and proved he was capable of being an everyday outfielder. Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine were excellent replacements for the injured Didi Gregorius and Sanchez. And the Yankees bullpen was once again the team’s strength.
The Mets, on the other hand, have struggled out of the gate. The team already started the season off without David Wright, Seth Lugo, Jeurys Familia and Steven Matz , and a plethora of injuries didn’t make the situation any easier. Lucas Duda (hyperextended elbow), Wilmer Flores (knee infection), Cespedes (hamstring injury), Noah Syndergaard (partially torn right lat), and Travis d’Arnaud (sore right wrist) all saw time on the bench. Not to mention in his last two outings, Matt Harvey struggled, although one of his outings came after the Mets initially scratched Syndergaard for a bicep issue.
Another telling sign in the dysfunctional Mets season was the battle to make Syndergaard undergo an MRI. The Mets suggested it to their ace, but Syndergaard refused, with the Mets simply stating they “couldn’t strap him down” to undergo the procedure. Had he undergone the MRI, the Mets could have found the lat issue earlier, meaning instead of a lat tear, it could have simply been a lat strain.
Now, I’m not saying both teams are perfect; CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka struggled, which constantly placed the offense in a hole to climb out of. But it’s quite clear the Yankees and the Mets are on different ends of the spectrum. The Yankees, who were supposed to be rebuilding, have sole possession of first place in the AL East. While the Mets, who were supposed to be a contending team, are currently in fourth place in the NL East.
It’s early in the season, but nowadays you see more New Yorker’s wearing Yankees gear and flocking to the stadium in Aaron Judge jerseys. The Mets, on the other hand, are trying to find a way not to have their entire roster on the disabled list as the season goes on.
Sorry New York Mets fans, but New York isn’t a Mets town anymore. The Yankees have rightfully reclaimed their throne, and it’s going to take quite a bit to knock them down again.