Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were in Houston to start their season while the crosstown rival New York Mets hosted the Brewers in Flushing. It was an epic weekend for both teams, and yet for completely opposite reasons.

In four games, the Yankees finally looked like general manager Brian Cashman’s long-made comparison: A fully operational Death Star. Emperor Palpatine himself would be impressed with these Bronx Bombers, especially after how they handled the longtime nemesis Houston Astros. But more on that in a few.

The Mets, on the other hand, looked largely unchanged, even with new manager Carlos Mendoza. Milwaukee brought a new intensity fueled by former Phillie Rhys Hoskins and New York simply wasn’t ready. In fact, things devolved in Flushing fairly quickly.

Let’s take a look at both teams’ weekends and see what we learned.

Houston, you have a new problem. And that problem isn’t so much the New York Yankees, but their new attitude. New star addition Juan Soto put the team on his back and had nine hits in the four-game sweep, including a home run. Former MVP and team captain Aaron Judge was an absolute non-factor and went 2 for 16 in the series.

Oswaldo Cabrera, on the other hands, slugged three clutch home runs.

Even more notable was that three of the Yankees’ four wins were comebacks, and Sunday’s finale saw them break a tie in the ninth inning! Last year’s team and maybe even the 99-win squad from 2022 barely sniffed this type of energy. The New York Yankees finally have, to quote former outfielder Aaron Hicks, some “F*** you.”

No ace Gerrit Cole? No problem. New York starters didn’t pitch absolute gems on the mound, yet were still effective. Carlos Rodon already ranks third in MLB in Stuff+ and Marcus Stroman was as advertised on Saturday with plenty of groundballs and soft contact. The bullpen didn’t allow a single earned run.

It’s only four games, but Yankees fans have been salivating for this swagger for years. Next stop, Arizona.

Brand new season and manager, same old Mets. The story was way different in Queens as the Brewers made relatively short work of the Mets in three games. New York was outscored 14-8 and attendance dropped more in each game. Easter Weekend, or fan exasperation? The fact of the matter is that dirty slide from Hoskins or not, the fact that Jeff McNeil got so upset so quickly so early in the year is concerning.

Think about this, Mets fans. Rhys Hoskins missed all of last year with a torn ACL and is a power hitter who needs his legs working to be at his best. That’s just simple hitting mechanics.

Given that, why would he put his body at such risk with a dirty slide? Regardless, if the Mets are getting this upset this early in the season, plus Ramirez’s suspension? Their problems extend beyond simple baseball.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.