Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Makes a Mets Loss So Much More Entertaining than a Yankees Loss?

I just got home and turned on the TV. I was about to put on a movie I needed to finish but instead remembered that WFAN had informed me of the Yankee score, a hint they gave me that my Former Pinstriped Amigo had a day game goin' on. (How was I supposed to know? If there were Orange and Blue painting the TV during the day I certainly would have known, having basically memorized the schedule from the first day it was released.) Wanting to watch some form of baseball, I changed to channel 686 on RCN, and sat listening, watching and taking in every aspect of the presentation. Yeah, I could have put on MLB Network, but maybe my subconscious, having gotten implanted with some form of telepathic radio waves from WFAN, wanted to stay New York Centric. While listening to such classic New York voices as Michael Kay, David Cone and Paul O'Neill, I watched the Texas Rangers score 2 more runs to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the 6th, which was cool.

And I started thinking, from the New York Perspective, this is not that entertaining. What makes a 0-4 deficit so much more entertaining in the hue of the Orange and Blue?
  1. The Announcers - Now, let me first disclaim that I actually like Michael Kay, Paul O'Neill and David Cone. I like Michael Kay's show (even though I normally listen to whatever is on WFAN at that time, whether it's Even and Beningo filling in for Francesa, or actually the man himself.) David Cone is another pitcher in the long list of pitchers I wish had pitched his whole career as a New York Met. Paul O'Neill actually made the Yankees losses entertaining because he'd be barking at himself the entire time (he's also the kind of player you'd like to see with the Mets for quite a while.) None of them, however, can trump what is the greatest trio in broadcasting. There is just something about the mixure of Gary, Keith and Ron's personalities that keeps you locked in as the losses get worse. You very much want to hear what they are saying and what they are discussing, regardless of the lopsided score. You'll especially hear the disappointment in Gary's voice but he will never let it get in the way of doing a great job. The fandom only adds another layer to Gary that enhances the overall presentation. For some reason, the three Yankee broadcasters are as bland as the team they are discussing. Each of them have interesting thoughts on baseball and the game, but the personalities, or at least the way they project out to this Sam Maxwell corner of the world, are too even to blend together. One guy represents the play-by-play and the other two represent both elements of the game, but Gary, Keith and Ron's personalities couldn't be any different, yet they flow together like you're traveling through the upstate foothills and mountains on a New York County Road. It's smooth as you go up and down throughout the land. The only thing more entertaining in baseball broadcasting is Vin Scully having a conversation with the entire Dodger baseball bubble.
  2. The uniforms - I love the Mets uniforms. Looking at it from the perspective of somebody who has been on either side, I come to appreciate the character that is the Mets far more than I ever appreciated the Yankees. If we first compare and contrast the colors, the orange and blue grabs your eyes and attention much more than the bland navy blue color. When you think about it, most sports franchises that have navy blue usually have another color with it that pops (The Denver Broncos and the Milwaukee Brewers come to mind [both of whom have relatively new uniform schemes. But the Brewers old uniform scheme is another example of uniform awesomeness].) The Yankees, nah. The pinstripes don't pop and the road greys don't pop. The funny thing is, I like the Tigers' home uniforms. With the Navy Blue Piping?! Now THAT'S baller. Maybe the navy pinstripes mute whatever pop they could have...An argument could clearly be made that both Yankees uniforms are baller, and a debate could begin as to the ballerness of the Yankees uniforms. The Mets, however, have two colors that pop, with one more muted than the other, making it a perfect marriage of Orange and Blueness. Secondly, when comparing and contrasting the logos, one is a little more bland than the other. Yes (no pun intended) the Yankees interlocking NY is smooth, but it's boring. The Mets' interlocking NY, originating with the New York Baseball Giants in a few different forms, has more character, more spunk, more personality (which is apparently what it is coming down to for me.) The same can be said for the chest logos (probably why the only thing I liked about these road uniforms was the 80's and the orange and blue.) It all leads to a more ascetically pleasing canvas when the deficit is large.
  3. The Yankees don't feel as "New York" as the Mets - I don't feel the Yankees represent New York the way the Mets do. The Mets were born here, as opposed the Yankees, who used to be the Baltimore Orioles. Yes, they became who they are here in New York, but the idea that The Metropolitans were not only born here, but were born out of a deep void New York felt from the loss of National League baseball, the oldest major league represented in New York, makes it somewhat more special from a New York perspective. The Yankees are no better than Walter O'Malley, who saw a more lucrative opportunity somewhere else and took it. (You know what? My own personal history of being born in Richmond, moving to Florida and then finally New York, leading to the person I have become today, completely cancels out this specific point. Disregard what I just said, because I am pretty New York. I'm not just gonna edit it out, though, because it's an interesting little debate I just had with myself.)
  4. The Yankees are Bland - That's it. I don't have to "prove" it. I just think the Yankees, every aspect of the Yankees are bland. Which is why it is so disappointing to see Ichiro as a Yankee. He's so much fun to watch play, but he's that much blander doing it in Yankee gear.
Everything I have just said could also be used to explain why a Mets win is more entertaining than a Yankees win, but the loss aspect is what I wanted to explore. The funny thing is, all the while I was writing this, the Yankees came from behind and lost the lead again. While an entertaining ballgame, it was all pretty boring. The Yankees may still win, or (they won't by the time I am done with this), but it will all be pretty bland, boring and yawn-inducing. Maybe it's just the idea that baseball is hard, and the losses remind you how hard the Mets have to work to win the damn thing. Maybe the Yankees don't give off that feeling 'cause they've been so lucky since 1920 that they make everything look too easy. And, yeah, the Yankees uniform scheme is one of the best in baseball, but that's not the point. Maybe, the whole point of this entire thing is that I just love the New York Mets.

I certainly am true to the Orange and Blue.


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