Mets, Yankees meet in this week's Subway Series; rivalry lax
Maybe we can all get along.
On the eve of this week's Subway Series -- four games, two in each team's stadium, that run through Thursday -- Yankees and Mets fans indicated a remarkable willingness to see the attributes of the "other guys" and to acknowledge the foibles of their own beloved teams.
Is the rivalry dead?
Lisa Callicotte, 53, a talent manager from the Upper West Side, roots for both teams, with a historical bias toward the Yankees, but will be cheering for the Mets when she attends Thursday's game.
"The high salaries, the steroids, the scandals" caused her to switch what was at most a tepid allegiance. "I'd just as soon take the PATH train and see the Red Bulls and all those beautiful soccer players," Callicotte said.
Even Upper West Sider Ron McGugins, 60, a TV technician, was short on undiluted rah rah for his beloved Yankees, a deep loyalty embedded during a Bronx childhood. "I think they're going to split" the games, he diplomatically predicted, with each team winning a home and away game.
When asked to prophesy the outcome of the Subway Series, John Ferraiolo, 53, a locomotive engineer, announced, "It's going to rain!" The Huntington, Long Island, resident is a Mets fan but says he won't buy tickets until Fred Wilpon sells the team.
"It's horrendous ownership," he groused. While the Yankees are favored, Ferraiolo cautioned, "Anything can happen in that series."
Like maybe a miracle? That's what Mets fan Herold Celius, 40, hopes will save his team. The security guard who lives in East Flatbush confessed it's hard for him to get all that pumped up any more -- and not just because his team is doing poorly.
"Ten years ago there was so much more passion in the game. Now it's all financial," he sighed.
Mercedes Tartanian, 52, a patient advocate from Chester, confessed to an almost existential conflict over her baseball loyalties. She likes the Yankees "because they represent winning. But they also represent fixed winning because of all the money they can pay for players. There's such a discrepancy! I'm an advocate, so if the Mets are the underdog, maybe I should be for the Mets," she agonized.
Time was at the top of Washington Heights resident David Steinmetz's complaints.
"My problem with baseball is more of time than money -- the games take so long now and there's so much dead time," said the 24-year-old Yankees fan, who believes the Bronx Bombers will take the series.
Fellow Yankees fan Omar Diaz is more diplomatic.
"The Mets might get lucky with one," allowed the 35-year-old ticket agent from Van Cortlandt Park. His brother is a Mets fan, and the two love to trash-talk each other's allegiances while watching the Subway Series on television together. "We say brother stuff, but it's all love," Diaz insisted.
Celius had perhaps the strongest reason to root for his team.
"My wife works at Citi Field" as a cleaner, he explained. "She wants the Mets to go to the playoffs so she can work more hours and get more overtime."