The New York radio airwaves are abuzz over how the Mets did the improbable last night and scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off Mariano Rivera to beat the Yankees 2-1.
It was a stunning victory — the second in as many nights at Citi Field — and even more amazin’ because the Metropolitans had honored Rivera at the start of the game and had him throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
While Rivera is unquestionably worthy of all laurels, I found the Mets’ decision to honor him during the Subway Series a curious one.
Rivera is a New York sports icon, but he’s a Yankee. He wears pinstripes. Always has. He has a fistful of World Series rings. He’s the anti-Met.
Would something like this happen elsewhere? I can’t see the Cubs or White Sox honoring anyone from the other Chicago nine, and the Dodgers would never be in the business of honoring Angles (or Giants!).
The Mets’ brass evidently decided honoring Rivera would be a classy move. But that’s where the class ended.
Jeff Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer, told Rivera before the game that he didn’t expect the Mets to make the World Series this year. I don’t care what your team’s record is. You don’t publicly announce that you don’t expect your team to fail, certainly not this early in the season.
Maybe Wilpon was trying to mess with Rivera’s head, to distract him with an honor so that the Mets would force him to blow a save. That, however, would require a bit of baseball acumen at a level totally lacking from Mets leadership the last decade or two.