Now that the Subway Series is history, the Mets, the Yankees (with the exception of Roger Clemens) and all of their fans are to be congratulated for showing good sportsmanship. To everyone’s credit, there were no reports of any fistfights between Mets and Yankees fans during the Subway Series. The Yankees were gracious winners in praising the Mets as the toughest post-season opponent that they have faced during their world championship run. Classy Mets backup catcher Todd Pratt summed up the Mets collective feelings by saying, “They are obviously a terrific team. We tip our hats to them.”
As disappointed as the Mets were when their season came to an end just before the stroke of midnight last Thursday, they were professional in every sense as they thanked well-wishers who gathered outside of their clubhouse and shook hands with the respective members of the media who had covered them throughout the 2000 season.
Although New York City officials pulled for the Subway Series to go the full seven games, privately many politicians are relieved that it ended late on Thursday night when most people had to work or go to school the next day. Had the series ended on Saturday night with a Yankees victory in their home park, particularly with notorious Roger Clemens scheduled to pitch for the Bronx Bombers, there would have been a greater chance of violent celebrations.
The biggest joke of the World Series was the $50,000 fine Major League Baseball levied on Clemens for tossing broken bat fragments in the direction of Mike Piazza in Game 2. Not only is that fine loose change for a guy who earns over $8 million per year but because all baseball fines are designated for charitable organizations, Clemens can deduct the entire amount on Schedule A of his tax return. Since he is in the highest tax bracket, the U.S. Treasury and various state taxing authorities wind up subsidizing almost half of the fine. In addition, deductions for charity are one of the few tax breaks which are not subject to recapture for purposes of the alternative minimum tax, a tax device in the Internal Revenue Code which is supposed to prevent the wealthy from taking inordinate amounts of otherwise allowable deductions.
Mets coach John Stearns had the best quip on the financial impact of the World Series. Stearns was fitted with a microphone as he presented the lineup card to the umpires prior to the start of Game 5. With the Mets down 3 games to 1, Stearns told the umps that he looks forward to seeing all of them right through Sunday’s seventh game. “We have to maximize the revenue which a seven-game World Series would produce” said Stearns with the earnest expression of a choirboy.
I have to laugh at the Mets fans who were whining about the number of Yankees fans who were able to buy tickets for games at Shea Stadium. The Mets accounting department could not care less about which team ticket buyers were supporting. For years Phillies fans have good-naturedly endured the sizable number of Mets fans who descend upon Veterans Stadium when the Mets play in Philadelphia. Last September, at least 75 percent of the fans at the Vet were cheering for the Mets during their weekend series with the Phils. I don’t think that any Phillies executives were upset.Although many have written about the Mets base running blunders and their lack of clutch hitting as the reasons for the Mets’ defeat in the Subway Series, the bottom line is that the turning point of the World Series was when Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter belted Bobby Jones’ very first pitch of Game 4 into the bleachers. The Mets had won Game 3 and many felt that positive karma had shifted to the Amazin’s. Bobby Jones proved once again why he is a magician. With one pitch he made all of the Mets’ momentum disappear while instantly depressing Mets rooters and elating Yankees backers who were quite apprehensive prior to the start of that game. Yes, Bobby Jones did pitch a masterpiece against the Giants in the playoffs but that was a fluke. Jones is now a free agent. Hopefully Mets general manager Steve Phillips will do a little magic of his own this winter to ensure that Jones’ name will not appear on the Mets roster next season.