Throw out the notion of bragging rights when the Yankees and Mets meet at Citi Field starting Friday night in a three-game interleague series.
“This is about playoffs for the Yankees,” said Steve Phillips, the Mets general manager when the teams met in the 2000 World Series, “and the Mets want to get home-field advantage [in the NLDS] so, yeah, there are bigger fish to fry than bragging rights right now.”
The NL East-leading Mets, who have lost their last two games, entered Thursday with a suddenly not so cozy 7 1/2-game lead over the Nationals, while the Yankees were three games behind the AL East-leading Blue Jays.
“I would definitely give the edge to the Mets,” Phillips said, “and yet the Yankees are desperate for wins to keep pace with the Blue Jays.” And with no designated hitter in the National League ballpark, it appears Alex Rodriguez, who leads the Yankees with 32 home runs and 83 RBIs, will be reduced to pinch hitting.
Phillips, host of an MLB Network show on satellite radio, assisted in a breakdown of this weekend’s lineups.