I spend a lot of time giving the decision makers of Major League Baseball plenty of grief, but I will give credit where credit is due. The decision to schedule the Yankees and the Mets on the 20th Anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11th was nothing short of brilliant.
Twenty years ago, New York City was in mourning and was in need of healing. Sometimes, there’s no greater healing power than the power of cheer, laughter and yeah, baseball.
Twenty years later, folks across New York City certainly felt the gravity of the anniversary. The reminders were everywhere, and it felt like the ballpark in many ways was the perfect place to pay tribute to the folks who lost their lives and the first responders who did such heroic work at the time of the attack.
Twenty years ago, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium was a place of healing. Fast forward twenty years, the new ballpark Citi Field was a place of remembrance.
The pregame tribute struck the perfect cord, and it just felt right to have the Yankees and Mets playing baseball over the course of the weekend.
On the field, the heavy hearts turned into fired up emotions from both the Mets and the Yankees. Saturday and Sunday were two heart stopping, back and forth, terrific baseball games.
Saturday, the Yankees provided late drama, with Aaron Judge providing the power.
On Sunday, the Mets 300 million dollar man Francisco Lindor reminded New York City of how dynamic a baseball player he can be. Lindor has been much maligned and has delivered a very disappointing first year in a Mets uniform.
In addition, last month’s thumbs down fiasco had to make Mets fans wonder if Francisco Lindor had the right makeup to handle the scrutiny of playing in New York City. At that time, as critical as I was of Lindor, I also was pretty clear. If you start performing, those boos will turn to cheers pretty quickly.
Fast forward a month, Francisco Lindor delivered a 3 homer performance including a game winning bomb in the bottom half of the 8th inning.
The end result of a Lindor 3 homer night, well a curtain call!
It’s the sort of effort that should calm Mets fans down regarding his status with the team in the long term. Lindor is a star performer. He may have been overpaid, but if he is able to stay on the field, he will produce. Will his heroics in the Subway Series be a turning point in his Mets career, stay tuned for that one.
On the 20th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of New York City, it was refreshing to have something to be excited about.
From a drama standpoint, the Subway Series lived up to the billing and then some.