Today I went to my first Mets-Yankees game in 34 years, and the first one ever that's ever meant anything in the standings. I went to the Mayor's Trophy Game back in 1974, when the Mets and Yankees would play a meaningless exhibition game in midseason and it was eventually discontinued many years back. (My only memory of that game was some stiff on the Yankees named Celerino Sanchez hit a grand slam that won the game for the Yankees that night. I couldn't tell you what the score was if my life depended on it.)
I wore a special t-shirt for the game, my "got rings lately?" shirt I got from the BLOHARDS earlier this year. That's the one they made up in response to those obnoxious "got rings?" shirts that those brilliant Yankee fans came up with after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. (I saw a couple of Yankee fans wearing those antiquated "got rings?' shirts. I could only think to myself: "You're wearing the wrong 'rings' shirts, guys!")
When I came off the subway at Shea I saw a guy that looked a little like my friend Chris, who bears a striking resemblance to Big Papi. And he was wearing a Big Papi jersey also. But it wasn't Chris. I walked up to him and said I loved his jersey, and he saw my 2007 World Champions hat I had on, and said he liked it too. But then he saw my shirt, and flipped over it. He read the back on the shirt and busted out laughing, and shook my hand and said, "You just made my day!" His girlfriend who was with him laughed too, and she was wearing a Yankee jersey. I gave him the address of how to get the jersey online (at Blohards.com).
For the rest of the day I got almost no reaction from anyone about the shirt, which was a bit of a surprise. I sat in the upper level of Shea near the right foul pole, in the fifth row. A good seat, and there was a mixture of Mets and Yankees fans there. There was a slight delay in the game beginning, as the tarp was on the field at the start with a threat of rain possible. After 25 minutes, the game got going. The Yankee fans were their usual obnoxious selves, trying to do the "Hip Hip Jorge" chant when Jorge Posada came up, and were hooted down by Mets fans, with chants that decorum prevents me from mentioning here. And naturally, there was the usual Yankee fan sitting next to me who simply couldn't keep his mouth shut during the game. (BTW, the announced attendance was over 56,000, but they had nowhere near that. There were thousands of empty seats all over the park, and total crowd in house was about 45,000.)
There were few fights, only one that I could see. There wasn't much tension in the crowd, as it almost had the feel of an exhibition game to it. Yankee fans chanted "Let's Go Yankees," as the Mets fans followed it with "Yankees Suck!" By the sixth inning, the rain returned, and by the time the Yankees were out, it really began to pour, and it didn't look like it would subside anytime soon. This is the third game I have gone to this year, and all three times there has been a rain delay (one was postponed and never started). So once it started pouring I called it a day, jumped on the subway and headed home. The combination of rotten weather and Yankee fan mushmouths was enough for me, and the Red Sox-Astros game at home seemed like a better alternative. (When I was crossing the Manhattan Bridge I discovered the game had just resumed.)
And, oh yeah, the Yankees won, 3-2.
I've said this 100 times, so I'll say it again. It's time to junk interleague. It's not special anymore, it ruins teams schedules and causes havoc in travel. Games the Mets play against their NL opponents are far more relevant. If you really want to make it special again, have the New York teams play each other just one series every other year. But that won't happen, as the teams don't want to surrender the six guaranteed sellouts.
It was my first game between the New York teams that's ever meant anything. And it felt as meaningless as those Mayor's Trophy games.