This weekend’s three game sweep at the hands of the hated New York Yankees resulted in a number of things. In the process, the Mets have now dropped six of their last seven games and fallen to a mere three games above .500 for the first time since May 24th. Their all-time record against their crosstown rivals..a disappointing 35-52. Worse yet, having had a chance to move into first place in the NL East as recently as Tuesday night, the team now stands a full 4.5 games back of the Washington Nationals. All of this is bad for the 2012 New York Mets, but when it comes to the Subway Series, is there really a way they can win?
Please understand that when I say “win” I don’t mean on a game-to-game basis. The reality of the Subway Series is that it means far more to the fans than it does to the players. At the end of the season, these most recent three games against the Yankees are equally as important as any other three games set the teams will play this year. However, from a fan’s standpoint these games are for bragging rights, for pride and for respect.
The issue remains that no matter the outcome of the Subway Series each year, Mets fans will always struggle to earn the respect of their Yankee counterparts regardless of whether that’s right or wrong. The three game sweep appears to be the Yankees beating down on their baby brother, but if the series had played out differently, Yankee fans would still rest their head on a history of championships. Its the lack of the same from a Met fan’s point of view that makes these games so important, but places the fan base and the team in a position where either nothing good will happen, such as this weekend, or a position where any good that does happen will be slighted.
The worst thing to come out of this weekend, in a series that shouldn’t really matter anymore than the next, is that Mets fans now view their team as being on the brink of collapse. Following the game, several fans took to twitter declaring this the “low point of the season”. Is it? Maybe. However, would it be had the sweep come at the hands of the Braves, the Giants, or even the Phillies? The Subway Series is the prime example of why interleague play remains in Major League Baseball. Fans flock to the ballpark to watch their team do battle for much more than wins in the standings. In our case, the Mets fan fights for a level of respect that they’ll simply never get from the opposition. For us, the Subway Series appears to be another opportunity to earn that shred of recognition, but unfortunately remains a no-win situation.