The New York Yankees this. The New York Yankees that. Playing in the same city as the most successful North American franchise in the major sports hasn’t always been the easiest thing for the New York Mets. Now in their 60th year of existence, the power has swung back into their laps.
For those who weren’t around in the early 1970s or throughout most of the 1980s, it’s a dynamic we are not accustomed to. The Yankees won the first World Series I ever watched. Then they proceeded to win three straight only two years later.
Meanwhile, the Mets have only made it to the World Series twice in my lifetime. My hips are brittle. My knees are giving up. I’m no longer a young man and yet it’s only now in the year 2022 when the Mets seem to have finally taken Big Apple baseball away from the Yankees. How did they do it?
The Mets have an owner the fans can trust, the Yankees do not
The praise Steve Cohen gets is unlike anything you’ll find in most major sports. Usually, it’s the owner who feels the most wrath. They are the gatekeepers who determine how much is spent on the team. All responsibility ultimately falls on them.
The Mets have a rare professional sports owner that the fans actually like. It’s not just because the previous ownership regime was so disliked. Cohen actually takes steps toward bettering the team on and off the field. Everything he touches in the baseball world turns to gold.
Over in The Bronx, the opposite is happening. Under the Steinbrenner Family Flag, George’s son Hal is developing a far different reputation than his father. The Yankees have been accused by the fans for being cheap over the last few seasons. Certainly not the case, the high demands of their fans are catching up and making the franchise look second-class to the freer-spending Mets.
General manager Brian Cashman is also beginning to wear on the fans. His tenure with the club hasn’t yielded them much over the last few seasons other than contention for a championship. Yankees fans want much more.