OCTOBER 24—As the Subway Series’ current address changes from River to Roosevelt Ave. for Games 3, 4, and 5 (that’s if the Mets can figure out how to beat the Yankees at least once before the calendar says Thursday), we did want to note something we picked up at Yankee Stadium during the first two games—and we don’t just mean finding out that, in person, Donald Trump is taller, and Billy Crystal shorter, than we always thought.
The Clemens-Piazza Batgate aside, emotions in the stands in Game 2 ran about as flat as Mike Hampton’s sinker. “The crowd seemed pretty quiet,” noted Mets first baseman Todd Zeile, who missed homering in each game by about the distance between stitches in a baseball. “I’ve been at regular season games here where the fans were much more alive. What would you call that?” asked Zeile, lifting an eyebrow. “A corporate crowd?”
Speaking of corporations, anyone with rotisserie league stock in the aforementioned free-agent-to-be Hampton would do well to check the column in his statistical portfolio marked “Intentional Walks” for a useful indicator of imminent crashes. All told, the intensely competitive lefthander has been ordered by manager Bobby Valentine to issue six free passes this year, and in all but one case, the next hitter up drove in the run the Mets were trying to prevent by employing that exact strategy. (The one time he escaped, the batter lined hard into a double play.) Suffice it to say when the Mets intentionally walked switch-hitting Jorge Posada to get to lefty Paul O’Neill the other night, we started to furiously hit the “sell” button before Mikey could once again get burned.