Reasons to be excited:
- Pedro Martinez: The Yankees, and Yankee fans are hypocrites when it comes to Pedro. All we hear is whining and crying from the Bronx when Pedro plunks one of their stars and has the nerve not to genuflect at the foot of the monuments at center field before doing so. But these are the same Yankee fans that will brag about the fact that Roger Clemens jeopardized Mike Piazza's career. For too long the Mets have been passive when it comes to the agressive, and when it comes to throwing high and tight. Martinez changes that, and he becomes the embodiment of having no fear of, and no respect for, the Yankees. I can't wait to see what Pedro does on Sunday, and more than that, I can't wait to see the response of the Yankee fans.
- Steroids: For too long the Yankees have been painted as the knights in shining armor compared to the Mets...think Darth Vader as good guy. They've had the ghosts, they've had the heroes, they've had the luck. It's always been the Mets with the drunks and the pot smokers and the mob supporters etc. Now it's 2005, and the Yankees have the alleged steroid boys (Giambi and Sheffield), the trouble makers (Sheffield in Boston), and the bad luck charms (A-Rod). The only trouble makers on the 2005 Mets so far are in the groundscrew. (And can you really blame a guy for getting into trouble when all he has to do all day is watch the grass grow?)
- Contenders: Last year, even during the sweep at Shea, the Mets were pretenders...and deep down we all knew it. This season, there's a real belief that the Mets are for real. And while I do still believe the 7 games against Atlanta and Florida are more important long term than the Yankee games, these three are a chance to prove to the world that the Mets are no longer a joke. This is as close to a playoff atmosphere as the Mets are going to get until September or later. These three will test the mettle of these new Mets as well as any other games during the regular season can.
What I'm Not Looking Forward To:
- Saturday: What makes Saturday different than the other two games? Simple, it's the debut of Major League Baseball on FOX. That means Jeanne Zelasko. That means Kevin Kennedy. That means endless and unneccesary gushing at the feet of Derek Jeter. That means, no doubt, a five minute recap of the July 1st game from 2004 against the Red Sox while conveniently forgetting to report the Yanks/Mets score from the previous evening, as was the case last July 3rd when the Mets won on the second of July. That means a ten minute highlight clip of Clemens beaning Piazza from seventeen different angles, and a fireside reading by Frank DeFord on why Alex Rodriguez is misunderstood. That means all large rocks need to be kept away from me before they are put through the television screen.
- Yankee fans: If the Yanks win the series, they'll never shut up. If the Mets win the series, they'll point to all their world titles, and they'll never shut up. If Pedro beans someone, they'll be angry and never shut up. If Randy Johnson beans somebody, they'll be proud and never shut up.
Are We Missing Anything?
- Roger Clemens: with Pedro pitching. None of this Shawn Estes jazz...