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Mets, Yankees both having playoff shot doesn’t happen often

Mets, Yankees both having playoff shot doesn't happen often

We are a city of baseball pessimists, let’s be honest. Both the Yankees and the Mets emerged from the All-Star Game with their seasons intact. The Mets are in first place, the Yankees fourth, but within shouting range of the wild card. And yet nobody seems terribly happy.

Yankees fans are cuddled in misery, and look, things aren’t looking great. Mets fans? They do have moments of delight that somehow their team has managed to make it this far still in first place — Sunday will be 71 straight days all alone atop the NL East. But there is also a nagging sense: It should be better.

I am generally not one to distribute rose-colored glasses. But this simply doesn’t happen a lot, both teams emerging from the All-Star break with a chance (which I’ll define as: .500 or better). It happens with remarkable infrequency, in fact. Take a look:

1970

Yanks at the break: 46-39

Mets at the break: 47-39

The first time both teams broke through together, this was as feel-good a year as the Yankees had between 1964 and 1976, though the Orioles had already lapped them. The Mets fought the Pirates and Cubs to the season’s final week before finishing third. The Yankees won 93 games and actually sipped champagne when they clinched second.

1975

Yanks at the break: 46-41

Mets at the break: 43-42

Both teams had winning records, but both were disappointing and soon fired their managers: Bill Virdon was replaced by Billy Martin; Yogi Berra was replaced by Roy McMillan.

Yankees
The Yankees faced the Reds in the World Series in 1976.
Bettmann/CORBIS

1976

Yanks at the break: 50-31

Mets at the break: 46-42

The Yankees cruised to their first first-place finish in 12 years and the Mets won 86 games, the second most they ever had between 1962 and 1984.

1985

Yanks at the break: 49-36

Mets at the break: 50-36

The first honest-to-goodness shot we ever had at a Subway Series. Neither team was eliminated from the playoffs until the next-to-last day of the season and they combined for an all-time record (until then) of 195 wins.

1986

Yanks at the break: 50-39

Mets at the break: 59-25

We know how the ’86 Mets ran roughshod over the National League, but the Yankees got as close as 3 ¹/₂ games behind the Red Sox in mid-August before fading.

Mets
The Mets won the 1986 World Series.
Getty Images

1987

Yanks at the break: 55-34

Mets at the break: 47-40

The Yankees faded in August, overcome by the Tigers. The Mets couldn’t hold off the Cardinals in September.

1988

Yanks at the break: 49-36

Mets at the break: 53-34

The Mets won their fourth division title. The Yankees stalked the Sox all summer long and closed to within 3 ¹/₂ in the season’s final week, but couldn’t catch up.

1997

Yanks at the break: 48-37

Mets at the break: 48-38

In the first year of the regular-season Subway Series, both teams stayed in the wild-card hunt all year. The Yankees got it, but the Mets lost out to the Marlins.

1998

Yanks at the break: 61-20

Mets at the break: 44-39

The Yankees’ destiny was never in doubt, but the Mets held a lead in the wild card with five games left and finished 0-5. New all-time record, 202 combined wins.

1999

Yanks at the break: 52-34

Mets at the break: 50-39

For the first time, both teams made the playoffs in the same year. The Mets lost the NLCS in six to the Braves; the Yankees swept Atlanta for the championship.

2000

Yanks at the break: 45-38

Mets at the break: 48-38

Two words: Subway Series.

2006

Yanks at the break: 50-36

Mets at the break: 53-36

Both teams looked as if they could duplicate 2000, but the Tigers ousted the Yankees in the ALDS and the Cardinals broke the Mets’ hearts in the NLCS.

2008

Yanks at the break: 50-45

Mets at the break: 51-44

For the second straight year, a late-season Mets collapse prevented the fourth season with both as playoff teams.

2010

Yanks at the break: 56-32

Mets at the break: 48-40

The Mets’ first half proved to be a total mirage — they were out by August.

2012

Yanks at the break: 52-33

Mets at the break: 46-40

Ditto.

Mets
Matt Harvey and the Mets lost in the 2015 World Series.
Anthony J. Causi

2015

Yanks at the break: 48-40

Mets at the break: 47-42

Both teams back in the playoffs. For the Yankees, it’s a one-game stay; for the Mets, the ride lasts till Game 5 of the World Series.

2021

Yanks at the break: 46-43

Mets at the break: 47-40

???

Vac’s Whacks

These grotesque All-Star uniforms shall henceforth be known as “Manthreads”


Gregg Popovich sure seems like a wee bit less of a basketball genius when he is unable to write the words “Tim Duncan” on his pregame lineup card.


NBA Finals
Jrue Holiday
AP

I mean, I’ve listened to “Thunder Road” literally, 10,000 times. And all I hear is, “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways …” Maybe I’ll hear “waves” sometime in the next 10,000 times I play the song. I doubt it.


I would like to love just one day of my life with the supreme confidence Jrue Holiday exhibits whenever he’s about to shoot the basketball … no matter how many in a row he’s missed.

Vac’s Whacks

Ron Perri: The Yankees would be fined by MLB if they tried to send their Friday night lineup to play the Pirates in Bradenton for a spring training game.

Vac: I suspect the final score wouldn’t have been much different, either.


Alan Taylor: Since Japan plans to hold the Olympics without fans, I think it would be great to move them to a safer site, such as the West Coast, U.S. Strip it down to the essentials: track & field, swimming, gymnastics, beach volleyball and, of course, badminton.

Vac: Tokyo seems bound and determined to have these Games no matter what. I have never been happier for having hung up my Olympic spikes after 2012 in London.

Mets
Marcus Stroman (r.0 and John Nogowski get into it before the benches cleared on Friday night.
AP

@gehrigmantle: The Mets are an annoying and childish team, but I’m happy for the manager. He paid his dues in the minors and got his chance.

@MikeVacc: Sometimes a person’s Twitter handle explains it all, doesn’t it?


Dave Ornauer: Too many times when USA Basketball is “humbled,” we ask “what’s wrong with Team USA” when we should be celebrating “what’s right with basketball.” It’s called evolution of the game. We don’t constantly need to remind the world who invented basketball. As if the world needed reminding.

Vac: You do sometimes feel like our inalienable right as Americans has been revised to: “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and regular 30-point blowouts over Australia.”

About the author

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Janice Tilson

Janice has been phenomenal in the success of Stock Market Pioneer. She is the super dedicated types, always glued to her computer. She talks less, but when it comes to work, she is behind none. She is a tech geek and contributes to the technology section of Stock Market Pioneer.

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