Mixed Reactions for Subway Series

Gotham is going gonzo over a Subway Series, but not everyone is celebrating an all-New York Fall Classic.

The New York Yankees came from behind Tuesday night to beat the Seattle Mariners 9-7 and clinch the American League Championship Series 4-2. The victory celebration in the Bronx came one day after the New York Mets were basking in the glow of their win of the National League pennant over the St. Louis Cardinals at Shea Stadium in Queens.

The series pits the boys in pinstripes — winners of three of the last four World Series — against the scrappy, upstart Mets, who are appearing in their first world championship since 1986.

“The city’s going to be just rockin’,” Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams said of the first Subway Series in 44 years. “It’s just going to be like no other World Series that we have played before.”

Fans waiting more than four decades for a one-city showdown are delirious with delight. But some say, no matter how you slice it, a Big Apple series is probably going to be rotten.

“We’re going to be subjected to the New York media sort of wallowing in New York self-importance,” said King Kaufman, a Salon.com sportswriter who recently wrote about how tough it will be to swallow the media mania of an all-New York World Series.

Subway Series Moments

An intracity World Series has been played 15 times before, including 13 times in New York when the Yankees staged cross-town battles with the Giants six times and the Brooklyn Dodgers seven times.

There are fond memories of the all-New York championships of yesteryear: the Yankees’ Mike McNally stealing home in Game 1 of the 1921 World Series against the New York Giants. Yankee pitcher Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 Fall Classic against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Left fielder Sandy Amoros’ amazing catch of a Yogi Berra fly ball, which helped the Dodgers clinch their first and only championship in Brooklyn in 1955.

After the last all-New York World Series in 1956, the Dodgers moved to southern California and it wasn’t until 1962 that the Mets set up shop in Queens. But the two New York clubs never seemed to hit stride in the same year. The so-called Bronx Bombers and Amazin’s flirted with a Subway Series last year, but the Atlanta Braves wiped out the Mets’ hopes with a win in the NLCS.

Until this year.

Dream or Nightmare

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said the series would raise baseball passions in New York to a fever pitch.

“It’s going to be a city divided against itself,” he said Tuesday after the Mets clinched the pennant and the Yankees were one game away from winning their 37th. “Like a civil war. Father against son. Brother against brother. Brother against sister.”

The series could also mean big bucks for the city. City Comptroller Alan Hevesi said last week the pennant race and a seven-game Subway Series could add as much as $246 million to the city’s economy and generate $15 million in tax revenues for local government. The city has already gained about $31 million from the Mets’ and Yankees’ participation in the first round of this year’s playoffs.

While that’s great for New York, what about around the country? Some say the series could be greeted with a yawn or resentment at the success of two ball clubs with very deep pockets.

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