MLB - US Sports: The Renaissance of New York Baseball
New York baseball is on the rise, the Yankees have the best record in the Major League's while their cross-town rivals have the second best.
It's a matchup for the ages and it's happened before. In 2000, we had a Subway Series World Series.
The Yankees prevailed in a 4-1 win for their third straight championship and 26th overall. It was the first postseason subway series since 1956, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.
But that was then, this season, both New York teams are on course for being the best combined season in NYC baseball history.
New York's current history between the two clubs only really started in 1962 when the Mets were born.
Following the move in 1958 of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, New York needed a second team.
Merging the colours of the Dodgers and Giants, the Big Apple fans had a National League team called the New York Mets, and they were awful to begin with.
Losing seasons until a miraculous World Series win in 1969 transformed the Mets' from outright losers into what the fans called "The Amazins'".
While the birth of the Mets was going on, the Yankees went about their business and appeared in six World Series championships between 1958 and 1969, winning two of them.
They have been the postseason champions on a record 27 occasions and have appeared in the World Series on 40 occasions, last winning in 2009.
The Mets have been poor in this regard, appearing in the finals five times and winning just twice, last time in 1986.
HOU Astros vs. NY Mets
Citi Field, New York
00.10 BST, Wednesday 29th June
How to watch
MLB.tv or bet365 Live Streaming
HOU Astros 1.80, NY Mets 2.05
So why have both teams been good this season?
It's taken a while for the Yankees to progress, too many injuries have been the main cause. Some of the superstar signings they make, barely made the field over the past 13 seasons.
They still have issues, but not as many, and more importantly, not at the same time. There were several occasions when Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres et al, were all out of action and team manager Aaron Boone was scrambling to just put a line-up out there to satisfy their support.
That said, the Yankees had enough to make the postseason on nine occasions since 2009 under Boone and previous World Series manager Joe Girardi.
The Mets somewhat surprisingly reached the 2015 World Series under manager Terry Collins.
Since appearing in the fall classic in 2000, the Mets had been awful, reaching the playoffs once in 2006.
Collins was appointed in 2011 and gradually built a side that wasn't spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but ground out wins and somehow found a way.
Collins unearthed talented pitchers in Jacob deGrom, (arguably MLB's greatest current pitcher), Zack Wheeler, local-boy Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and the much-maligned Matt Harvey.
Mistakes were always too frequent though with Collins' teams and they never felt that they had enough to go all the way.
Subsequent rookie managers in Mickey Callaway and Luis Rojas were just not good enough to take the Mets to the next step, until billionaire fan-owner Steve Cohen took over in November 2020 and the dynamic changed.
A year later Rojas was fired and they appointed baseball-lifer Buck Showalter, a former Yankee and Baltimore Orioles manager and a man who knows all the tricks of the trade and since then, the Mets have flourished.
Related MLB News
Will both sides buy in at the trade deadline and where?
According to MLB.com's Yankee rumours, the one area where the Bronx Bombers may need to strengthen is the outfield.
While Stanton and Judge have been excellent this season, Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks have not, hitting just .198 between them.
The Chicago Cubs' outfielder Ian Happ and Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds have been mentioned. Although a move for a big-name pitcher is not out of the question for the Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman.
The Cincinnati Reds' Luis Castillo or the Oakland Athletics' Frankie Montas have been mentioned in dispatches, although the Yankee farm system would need to be used to great effect to attract both players to New York.
The Mets have key injuries to deGrom and Max Scherzer at the moment, although both are due back in July.
So pitching is the number one priority for the Mets, Castillo and Montas have been talked about, plus the Reds' righty Tyler Mahle.
Again though, the Mets may have to give something in return and first baseman Dom Smith may be the trade to go.
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