The only man who actually believed the New York Mets and New York Yankees remained heated rivals after the conclusion of the year 2000 passed away in 2010.
And, following George Steinbrenner’s death, the two franchises have only grown more isolated from one another.
To be fair, the two teams have engaged in several legendary battles over the years that followed. Remember Dave Mlicki in Interleague Play? Randy Johnson giving up a double to Dae-Sung Koo? Mariano Rivera taking a bases-loaded walk? Scintillating stuff. Things that we all definitely remember.
For one brief moment at the end of the past century, Mets fans — an aggrieved lot that’s despised the Yankees for decades despite never interacting with them — had a chance to prove their mettle; they fell in five games, and as far as we’re concerned, that was it. But with Steve Cohen on the verge of completing his excellent offseason with a “crown jewel” and an extremely argumentative man in Trevor Bauer, are we on the verge of developing some actual aversion here?
How does Trevor Bauer impact the Mets-Yankees rivalry?
If and when the Mets sign Trevor Bauer, I guess they’ll kind of be the Yankees’ rivals? If you squint?
Francisco Lindor gave the Mets superstar credibility when Cohen and Sandy Alderson swung the trade to make him the centerpiece, but Bauer brings the haughty attitude that’s for so long been a Yankees trademark — you can even find a hint of it in my first few paragraphs above!
With Lindor, deGrom, and the rest of the offense/rotation, there are certainly two viable baseball teams in New York.
But with Bauer, there might be actual animosity, too. Imagine having to watch a vlog with Rachel Luba after a Subway Series loss? That’ll convince any Yankees fan to embrace the hatred.
To be clear: the Mets have been good, at times, over the course of the past two decades. Those impressive seasons have never even come close to intersecting with the Yankees’ similar campaigns. Any Yankee fan who claims to give the Mets more than a few ounces of thought per year is either lying or referring to fantasizing about that GIF of Mr. Met flipping the bird.
But with Bauer in town? There’d be a real reason for Yankees fans to hate-watch the team on the other side of the city. Famously, Gerrit Cole and Bauer did not get along while sharing a UCLA rotation, and though the beef has been somewhat downplayed in recent years, you have to assume Bauer will steer into the skid if he comes to New York.
Once again, imagine the insipid vlogs that’ll produce.
Bauer and his agent promised us all a unique, never-before-seen peek at the free agent process this winter, then proceeded to fire off a few dull videos while the New York Mets bid against themselves for his services.
Against all odds, though, the Bauer/Luba team might’ve stumbled into a real innovation here: a reason to detest the blue and orange team instead of simply forgetting they exist.