Friday, June 23, 2000
Got a (J.) Jones
Originally posted on Squeezebunt.com in 2000.
New Yorkers live in their own world where everything they need, except perhaps peace and quiet, is within shouting distance. Since the start of interleague play a few years ago they don't even need to leave the city for a baseball rivalry. This year's first series between the Mets and Yankees was on the second weekend of June at Yankee Stadium.
The result was a blowout by each team and a rainout, and I saw the Saturday 13-5 win by the Yankees from the centerfield bleachers. Andy Pettitte was just good enough for the win, supported by homers from Paul O'Neill, Derek Jeter, and especially a three-run blast from Jorge Posada. By the way, that rainout has taken on bizarre proportions as it has been rescheduled as part of a home-and-home doubleheader on July 8. There is a game at Shea Stadium that afternoon so the makeup game will be at Yankee Stadium that night.
So what's it like in the bleachers during a Yankees-Mets game? First of all, it must be noted that the Yankees discontinued beer sales in the bleachers several weeks ago. Although there were a number of inebriated fans in attendance, they didn't have an opportunity to become more inebriated during the game. So while the byplay between the two sides was often intense while the game was still in doubt, it didn't descend into chaos. Then once the Yankees built the big lead, the Mets fans seemed to melt away.
The matchup was marketed as a "Subway Series," including commemorative subway passes with player pictures, so of course we took the subway to and from the game. The New York City subway may not have the best reputation, but compared to the two other cities where I've taken public transportation to games this year, New Yorkers have it best. In Atlanta, the subway stop is nowhere near the ballpark and you have to jam onto a bus. In Boston, the quaint Green Line is more of a trolley than a subway, and the old cars get packed to the roof as people desperately try to get in.
The Mets organization has cornered the market on pitchers named Bobby Jones. As with the presidential candidate W. you have to provide a middle initial to figure out which is which. M. is a relief pitcher acquired this year from the Rockies, while J. was the starting pitcher not only against the Yankees but also against the Pawtucket Red Sox in a game I saw on the 18th. He survived a rough start to get a no-decision as the AAA Norfolk Tides lost at Pawtucket 5-4 in 12 innings. J. gave up three runs in the first inning but threw an impressive assortment of junkballs during the remainder of his stint to keep the Pawsox off balance. He has since been recalled to the big league team.
I also saw J. pitch against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last year. Is he the only starting pitcher the Mets have?
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