Letters to the NL East, Part 0, Dear Yankees…

To read previous letters, go here.
Letters to the NL East, part 0

Dear New York Yankees,

It’s April again.  It’s time to see how your collection of players that were good in the early part of last decade hold up in 2011.  The offense should be fine with mansion-building Jeter manning shortstop.  Even if he can’t quite man the position, at least he can make fine looking leaping throws since he lacks the arm strength of Jose Reyes to reach first otherwise.

The Mets released Oliver Perez, but if we still want to see his act we can always tune in to Yankees games when A.J. Burnett pitches.  Your bullpen looks good, sure, but Mariano is another year older and has presumably reached the stage where he’ll never have to audition for another contract again; the opposite of a contract year.  Soriano has been said to be a bit of a malcontent, we burned Pedro Feliciano out already, and most of us are tired of the Joba show.  Did you really add Luis Ayala, prominent 2008 collapsee, to the roster?

You’ve got steep competition in that division; the Red Sox are clearly better on paper and I wouldn’t count out the Rays.  The Blue Jays have managed to at least be dangerous in recent years and the Orioles are gunning for you.

Good luck trying to make the playoffs this year…you’ll need it.

You crosstown rival,

Optimistic Mets Fan

The Best Time To Face The Yankees

Many talk about how the Mets are reeling and it’s a horrible time to face the Yankees and Phillies.  I disagree, I think it’s time for them to rise up and face the challenges, but either way this is the perfect time to face the Yankees. 
The Yankees are riddled with injuries, and they’re going into the Subway Series five games out of first place. (the Mets are six)  Both teams have not played very well as of late.  Usually these series are best, regardless of talent, if both teams are both at least playing reasonably well, but maybe both of them playing badly works too; who gets up off the mat better? 

Maybe the Mets anemic offense, despite double digit runs Thursday, gets the Yankees pitchers into a groove?  Or maybe the Yankees tattered and faulty bullpen is what the Mets need to wake up the sleepy bats.  The Mets are just trying to get back to .500 and get some momentum before they play division-leading Philadelphia.  The Yankees are hoping to right the ship and not erase what was an excellent start to the season.  This series is more about not losing than it is about winning. 

The Mets have their two best pitchers going in this series, and certainly a fair chance to win each game.  Winning at least two out of three is not only possible, but would actually create a lot of good will and confidence going into the bigger divisional series against the Phillies.  The Yankees are indeed supposedly better, but they’re losing lately, they’re injured, and even great teams lose 50+ games a year.  The lowly Pirates beat the Phillies and Halladay last week, for instance.  So It’s time for the Mets to make the most of their wins, and get them in these next six days.  No time like the present for a hot streak. 

The Yankees are no juggernaut.  Their biggest key to success last year may have been health, and that’s eluded them this year. Posada will not play.  The bullpen is a wreck, Vazquez is very sketchy this year. 

I’m headed out to the Citi today and Sunday.  I’m planning to enjoy myself.  Let’s have a fun weekend of baseball, an orange and blue Empire State Building on Monday, and momentum for the Phillies.

Letters to the NL East, Part 0/5

(To read past year’s letters, click here)

Letters to the NL East, Part 0 of 5. (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)


Dear New York Yankees, (Because while they are not part of the division, are still are rivals in a way)

Ugh.  You purchased your 27th World Series last year.  You made the team better by acquiring Javier Vasquez from the Braves, even if he’s struggled as a Yankee before.  But this doesn’t exactly guarantee the same success in 2010.

Your team looked old and over the hill last April but was able to bounce back.  Eventually the age on the team won’t be able to do that, although Jeter and Rivera will certainly be trying so they can get that extra bit out of you in contract negotiations.

However, just about everything went right for you last season, and it’s not likely to go that way again.  Will guys like Nick Johnson and AJ Burnett stay healthy?  Will Granderson hit lefties?  How many games can Posada play behind the plate?   As I write this, Nick Johnson and Posada have both already been scratched from spring games this week.

It’s fair to say that the Yankees don’t have a ton of holes, but you do have two talented teams in your division that can exploit even the smallest problem in your game.  The success of last year does mask a lot of possible problems that could open up and devour the team though.  The handling of the bullpen, Joba and Hughes.  The range and age of your shortstop.  A-Rod’s hip, which was supposedly going to need more surgery but somehow didn’t.  Are the Feds coming for A-Rod and why is he dodging them?  Will Yankee Stadium in 2010 become the setting of some sort of Bourne film with A-Rod dashing through the stands with Matt Damon chasing him?  It’s probably a safe bet that they all the holes won’t all open at once, and that the Yankees could overcome some of them, but that’s why we play the games. When the dust clears you may find yourselves in third place and playing golf in October.

Your cross-town rival,

Optimistic Mets Fan

2009 World Series: Bad News

As everyone has made light of, this World Series sucks for a Mets fan.

Mets fans are pretty split on which side they’re rooting for, if you can even call it rooting.  Funny thing is, you see plenty of Yankees fans saying that we should be rooting for them, but I don’t hear any Phillies fans making that same argument.

From Mets

Personally, I’m rooting for the Yankees to lose.  I don’t get any joy or any more grief no matter what the Phillies do, but the Yankees winning would really irk me.  It’d blow my theory of them being cursed for knocking down the house that Ruth built, it’d give even more fuel to the “Jeter’s the best player ever” arguments you hear, as well as the constant reminder about how much they’ve won.  Their eight rings to the Mets two would start to get a little insurmountable, whereas three for the Phillies wouldn’t be as rough.

From Mets

Some say that the cracks in Yankee Stadium will open up and swallow both teams into Hell.

Some compare it to 1999 although despite how much it sucked losing the Braves, the Braves fans were never in the equation as hated rivals.  Others suggest we ask who the Yankees were rooting for in 1986 and root accordingly.

Personally, I’m just not watching.  I get no joy out of watching either team, and if you factor in all the game-delay tactics, the 50 million pitching changes, and the pop-fly home runs, I’m just not sure it’s going to be fun to watch anyway.

I’ll be watching the Islanders at the Rangers Wednesday night.