sorry Mets, but i think if you want a shot at the NL pennant, you should rest your star playres now. i mean your magic number is 11, you have a huge lead over the rest of the conference, and the Yankees are going to home court advantage you guys because Trevor Hoffman invalidated your hard work.
Subway Series? Good for N.Y., bad for baseball
Sep. 4, 2006
By Mike Freeman
CBS SportsLine.com National Columnist
Tell Mike your opinion!
The momentum is beginning to build. The baseball stars are starting to align in a perfect storm of bloated payrolls and big-market self-importance. The Subway Series Part Dos is coming.
When the Yankees celebrated at Shea in 2000, did anyone see it? (Getty Images)
The New York Mets vs. the New York Yankees ... in the World Series. It's heading that way. The buzz in New York about the possibility is beginning to grow, while the rest of the country starts to wince in pain at just the thought.
Please don't let it happen.
Please, please, please. On the knees, begging, hoping something occurs to derail what seems to be the inevitable.
One New York team in it? Cool. Fantastic. Both? A total disaster for baseball.
Yankees versus Mets. Again. Yucky. Sucky.
Don't think it will happen? Just glance at the standings. The Yankees took the Boston Red Sox, bent the organization and its neurotic fans over one knee, and spanked them into oblivion. Even for Red Sox fans, who take pride in wallowing in their misery, that piece of total obliteration caused massive therapy bills. That series propelled the Yankees to the best record in the American League East.
(Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez has been able to remove the "Kick Me" sign from his back. His bat is getting warm at just the right time.)
The Mets do play in the junior varsity that is the National League, but they remain the most dangerous team in baseball, owners of the best record in the sport and a club capable of beating any team, anywhere. They are that good.
So here we go. Baseball's brash bullies, their big, fat hulking bank accounts prepared to again collide, the two rich kids on the block racing their yachts to the finish line while the rest of baseball shakes its head in disgust and wallows in their tiny payrolls.
"Brother, can you spare some salary cap cash?" the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ask.
Subway Series Part Dos -- "This Time It's For Real!" will be the slogan. It would be splendid for New York, but absolutely, positively horrible for baseball.
What the sport needs is diversity. It needs a World Series that features new names and franchises and rivalries. Not the same old superpowers battling it out with their hefty savings accounts.
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The reason baseball has fallen so far behind the NFL and the NBA goes beyond the disfigured skulls of the acne-scarred steroid generation. Fans want to see balance in their sport. They want to feel like each team has a chance even if some of that hope is part illusion.
While football's salary cap has defeated the problem, baseball still stubbornly sticks to its 20th century ideals and notions.
It is true that small markets in baseball can and have won championships, but it takes great luck to do so. Just recently the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, J.P. Ricciardi, told the Toronto Sun that unless the Blue Jays can drastically increase their payroll from the $70 million range, baseball's equivalent of minimum wage, they had no chance to compete against the Yankees or Red Sox in the division.
"I'd have to say for the money we had to work with and what we got, we're probably doing as expected," Ricciardi told the newspaper, speaking of his third-place team. "I don't think you're going to win this division on $70 million. I don't think you're going to make the playoffs on $70 million.
"I think you can be competitive and you can have some good years, but I think these two teams (Boston and New York) with their payroll, it's going to be really tough to catch these guys if we stay at a $70 million payroll," he said. "It doesn't mean we can't be good, we can't compete. I just don't think you're going to see a chance to win 95, 100 games." He added: "I think we tell the fans the same thing we did this year. It's not like there is no hope, but the reality is that we can be competitive and, if everything goes right, we might find a way to get in the playoffs. But a lot of things have to go right for us to overtake these two teams. It's not sour grapes or anything. It's just the reality. We'll be competitive, but up to a point."
Fans know deep in their souls that what Ricciardi says is true. It's what kills baseball and World Series ratings and why another Yankees-Mets clash would injure baseball. It would only reinforce the perception that big markets are buying a championship and subsequently send many fans scrambling for something else to watch.
Baseball's refusal to change how it does business reeks of stubbornness and arrogance. The NFL is perky and pugnacious, while baseball smells like old cheese.
The proof of how big-market snobbery destroys the World Series is the television ratings from the 2000 Subway Series. The numbers in New York were huge but nationally, at the time, it was the lowest rated World Series ever, recording a 12.4 (the Nielsen rating is the percentage of television households in the country watching a broadcast, with each point representing about one million people.)
The Jeffersons reruns get bigger numbers. The Super Bowl can snag three or four times that.
When there was an all-California World Series in 2002, the series drew another record low, this time a tiny 11.9 share nationally. Same dilemma for baseball.
The lesson is simple. Big market series do not appeal to the nation as a whole, just to those big markets. The NFL, with its parity, has managed to draw the casual fan, which is why it has lapped baseball in terms of popularity, while baseball's big-market World Series teams appeal only to the hardcore baseball nut.
If there is a Subway Series, few outside of New York will give a hoot.
Television sets will shut down by the millions because fans won't care about two franchises that possess a combined payroll equivalent to the gross national product of Guatemala.
The Subway Series is coming. New Yorkers will be ecstatic. It could be another huge party.
The rest of the country?
They'll ask: When are The Jeffersons on?
i say keep crying haters and plead Bud Selig to do something before baseball falls into mediocrity.
i will be at the party and I will attend all games at both stadiums.
I think A's and Dodgers will end up being in the WS. I know many think that is a prediction out of left field but I really think these team will make it. I know the A’s have a history of choking in the playoffs but this is a much different team than the early 2000’s teams. This team has a much deeper and versatile bullpen, better overall pitching and better defense even their offense is getting better as the season moves on. Also I’m not that worried about guys like Thomas, Payton, Swisher, ect disappearing in October. As for the Dodgers I really like this teams pitching they have red hot for some time and I the Mets seem to have injury concerns at the wrong time of the season.