Congregation Beth El—Having spent much of the past week celebrating the Jewish New Year (L’Shana Tovah to all who celebrate!) it is rewarding to return to my rightful place as writer-emeritus-in-residence here at MeetTheMatts. Think Billy Joel selling his soul to be artist in residence at the Garden for Jim Dolan. In my case, there is nobody sitting at the bar putting bread in my jar, and asking me “man, what are you doin’ here?”
The high holy days of September have arrived and nothing screams pennant race baseball quite like Mets and Yankees for three at Citifield this weekend! Huh? Wait-what? They’re not divisional rivals? They’re not even in the same league? Why the hell are they spending the weekend in late September playing against each other while divisions and wild card spots remain up in the air? Gotta love inter-league baseball being shoved down fans’ throats. Whether we like it or not. And we don’t.
I recall a business meeting I had about 10 years ago in the middle of December. As we were making our introductions, the meeting host extended well wishes for that holiday season, wishing me a “Merry Christmas.” I replied, “thank you.” Moments later, he looked at my business card and my Semitic last name and apologized profusely for wishing me a “Merry Christmas.” I was genuinely puzzled. I asked if he had just wished me a “Merry Christmas” or had he just said to me, “go burn in hell, you filthy Jew?” We all had a good laugh, and on my way home I called the JDL to take him out.
Back to the 3 game, 2015 version of the Mayor’s Trophy Game. This year feels a bit different. For one, the Mets are in 1st place. They own an 8 game lead for the division title over the detestable Nationals. 16 games remain. You’d have to agree that the Mets have their division locked up. No? Remember the old SNL skit about subliminal suggestion in which “hot sex” would be muttered under Kevin Nealon‘s breath while he spoke of something else? Well, the Mets will make the playoffs this year (2007! ahem!) now that the “magic number” is down today to just 9. (2007! ahem!)
Pitching figures to be a Mets strength and advantage over the Bombers. But hold on just a minute. Matt Harvey, the lecherous supernova has apparently flamed out. Harvey pitches when he wants. It’s no accident that the Dark Not will take the Bump on Sunday night against the Yanks in a nationally televised game. Is he even worth the trouble?
In the mittendrinen about Harvey‘s innings limit and how many starts he will make, someone forgot to mention that he’s been mediocre the past month. Jacob deGrom, the Mets’ true ace, appears fatigued and seems to lack the late “oomph” on his fastball that blew hitters away most of the season until his last 3 starts. So the Mets’ stud starters have been a bit “spotty” heading into the weekend. Thankfully, the Yankees’ rotation for this series will be Tanaka, Pineda and Sabathia. Keeping with today’s “theme,” it’s a shonda to roll out these 3 against the Mets’ unstoppable lineup. How does Brian Cashman keep his job? If the Boss was alive today, he’d be spinning in his grave.