Hey, baseball fans, get ready for the possibility of another Subway World Series.
New York Yankees and New York Mets are flexing their baseball muscles in the first few months of the 2022 season, and nobody would be shocked if they wound up facing each other this October in the World Series. It would be the first ‘Subway Series’ since 2000, when the Yankees beat their crosstown rivals 4-1.
The Mets showed in the off-season they intended to improve their fortunes by signing the best pitcher on the free-agent market, Max Scherzer, and one of the best position players, Francisco Lindor. Then they added some stability to their operation by convincing veteran manager Buck Showalter to guide the team’s fortunes.
The Yankees threatening to contend for a Series title is hardly surprising; the Bronx Bombers are a perennial contender in the American League East, and have had a winning record for 29 consecutive seasons dating back to 1992. Through mid-June, they had the best record in baseball, cruising along at a .720-plus clip.
The Mets, on the other hand, have been closer in recent years to the ‘Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game’ lament of their first manager, Casey Stengel, than a playoff threat. The Mets have posted a losing record in 10 of the last 13 seasons, but 2022 has been a different story. At last glance, they held a five-game lead over second-place Atlanta, in the National League East, and were riding the pitching arms of Carlos Carrasco, Scherzer and Taijuan Walker to a handsome .650-plus winning percentage. At the plate, Lindor has joined veteran Met slugger Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo to provide plenty of offence.
Across town, it’s easy to judge why the Yankees are flourishing. That’s judge, as in the imposing 6-foot-7, 282-pound Aaron Judge, who during the pre-season turned down a seven-year contract extension offer which would have paid him $213 million. He and his handlers thought a couple of boffo offensive seasons would attract offers far north of a measly $30 million per year. His judgment looks to be correct. Judge is by far the Yankees’ best player, the A.L.’s likely MVP and on pace to eclipse the 60 home-run mark. The Yankee’ accountants might have to raid the offices of Citibank and Chase Manhattan to find enough cash to pay Judge over the next decade or so.
So, is the baseball world ready for New York vs. New York?
• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald on The Match, a 12-hole golf event featuring NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers against Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, won by the veteran team of Brady-Rodgers: “It was one for the ages. The old ages.”
• From Super 70s Sports, on Twitter: “Legend has it one time someone quoted John 3:16 to Rickey Henderson and he said ‘I don’t wanna hear about John hittin’ .316, Rickey’s hittin’ .330.’”
• Bob Molinaro of pilot online.com: “Now that a scion of the Walmart dynasty is buying Denver’s NFL team, can we expect elderly men and women to work as greeters at Broncos games?”
• Another one from Molinaro: “Will Rafael Nadal play Wimbledon? Maybe. But he was photographed on crutches this week. He probably couldn’t win more than two or three matches on crutches.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “Aaron Rodgers's new girlfriend identifies as a witch named Blu of Earth. Has anyone checked to see if Rodgers's man bun is tied way too tight?”
• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “Is it just me or is firing Joe Maddon sort of like booing Bruce Springsteen?”
• Headline at the onion.com: “North Dakota Constructs Billion-Dollar Stadium Just In Case Some NFL Franchise Gets Desperate”
• Headline at fark.com: “Soccer teams banned for match fixing. Officials started getting slightly suspicious after the 41st own goal”
• Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “A bad hop in a Happy Valley softball game in Encino, California, sent singer Nick Jonas to the emergency room. Where did it hit him? Let’s just say he suddenly went from the Jonas Brothers to The Sopranos.”
• Perry again: “Managers Joe Girardi and Joe Maddon got fired one day apart last week. Say it ain’t so, Joes.”
• Billy Foster, PGA Tour caddie for Matt Fitzpatrick, on deplorable conditions caddies faced when sharing a room with other loopers to reduce expenses: “I’ve stayed in hotels where, if rats had walked in during the night, they would have taken one look and left because it was too dirty.”
• Two Inches Short, on Twitter: “The year is 2036. Bryson won the Saudi long drive championship, Patrick Reed has been dismembered for cheating by crown prince Phil bin Mickelson and DJ is an Arabian drug lord who goes by the name Muhammad.”
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