The most devoted baseball friend we know grew up in Hartford, CT. Halfway between NYC and New England, Hartford is a baseball fan's crucible, where one must decide at an early age whether you're for the Red Sox or the Yankees. If geography poses a dillema in Connecticut, it really is a problem once you're living in the boroughs or its neighboring towns. The New York Times notices today a growing movement of Mets fan as the Yankees stumble through the first few weeks of their season:
Anecdotal evidence, collected from bartenders, merchandise dealers and bleacher creatures, suggests that the Mets — with their core of young, flashy players and recent winning ways — are taking substantial bites out of the Yankee fan base, at least in Westchester.
“I’d say it’s between 50-50 and 60-40 in the bar since Willie Randolph became manager of the Mets” before the 2005 season, said Doug Crossett, owner of Michael’s Tavern, a sports bar in Pleasantville, the 60 percent being Yankee fans. “It used to be 9 out of 10 Yankee fans.”
The problem with fickle fans are they are just that, willing to float with the latest tide. As fans of NYC, this is a no-lose situation for us. American League, National League: we're totally covered. If you don't want to feel completely ancient, however, don't read the following excerpt:
But most of the Mets’ renewed popularity, particularly with the Little League set, can be chalked up to the emergence of young players like David Wright and José Reyes, with their All-Star-caliber play and animated handshakes. “Kids can associate with the young players more than a guy like Derek Jeter, who’s been around for awhile,” says Patrick Quinn, 25, from Hawthorne, the only Met fan in a Yankee-rooting family. [Emphasis added.]
Seriously, we remember when Little Leauge umps used to complain that kids were too eager to mimic Jeter's held-up time-out hand.
(Subway Series, by Casa de Darnoc at flickr)