New York Mets fans have had little to be excited about this season. The team has already suffered two six-game losing streaks and been amongst the three worst teams in Major League Baseball at the lowest points of its downward spiral. Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada and Dillon Gee, once considered part of the team’s core, have all been, and still are, on the brink of getting sent down to the minors in Las Vegas.
No one would have bet on the Mets sweeping the New York Yankees in Queens and the Bronx. Anyone who did is filthy rich.
My friend and I met in Harlem before the final game of the Subway Series on May 30, decked out in Mets jerseys and caps. Only a few Yankees fans heckled us and vowed that their team would not get swept; the rest seemed oblivious there was even a game. Even people who are not Yankees fans and do not watch baseball at all wear the cap due to its popularity; only actual Mets fans wear their team’s cap. We bought four-dollar brooms on Lexington Avenue and brought them onto the 4 train and into the Bronx. We literally swept the entrance and provoked the Yankees faithful with corny banters. A few snickered and cursed at us, but for the most part they treated us like peasants to a king. You should care if an opposing team comes to your house with such blatant disrespect, but they were too cool for school. The few that responded just boasted their 27 championship rings and higher standing in their division.
True fans root for their team regardless of the standings and time of the baseball season. The Yankees trailed the entire game on May 30, yet some people left during the ninth inning, when their team still had a chance. Some barely even paid attention to the game or left the stadium before the sixth inning. I sat through the entire game last season when Johan Santana got lit up one week after his no-hitter. “If they don’t win it’s a shame,” says the classic “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” song. Only sore losers flaunt their team’s history but do not accept in a gracious. I acknowledge when other teams outplay us, which is often. If you are gregarious when your team is winning you also have to die hard for them during rough stretches.
The Mets-Yankees game I attended on Memorial Day was electric, but the fans I saw at Yankee Stadium had too much pride to admit they were upset. They must have been hurt inside. My section chanted “Let’s Go Mets” at Citi Field on Memorial Day every inning, the Yankees faithful responded with “Let’s Go Yankees” and we countered with “Yankees Suck.” Fans that are passionate about their teams do not tolerate trash talk from their cross town rivals, but the Yankees fans in Section 411 brushed it off like flies at a restaurant.
It was rather lifeless at Yankee Stadium on May 30. No one responded when I turned around with both of my hands open to inform them that Gee had ten strikeouts. They looked disgusted, like I was being noisy at a library. A stadium is a place where you should be free to yell and clap as loud as you please, but most of the Yankees fans did not exercise that right.
I know there are respectable Yankees fans that are as passionate about their team as Mets fans; I have corresponded with them on Twitter, but they were nowhere to be found at Yankee Stadium. The New York Mets ran New York this past week, no doubt, and a true Yankee fan would acknowledge that fact. The Mets are still several games under .500, but that makes the sweep of the Yankees even more embarrassing for them and sweeter for Mets fans. David beat Goliath with a stone.
Yankees fans would have boasted relentlessly if the Empire State Building was navy blue all week, but it was not. At least for one season, and for the first time ever, the Mets can say they swept the Bronx Bombers. We run New York for now, but we will fall hard when the Mets lose. And we would not have it any other way.