I spend a lot of time giving the decision makers of Major League Baseball plenty of grief, but I will give credit where credit is due.
The decision to schedule the second installment of the Subway Series on the 20th Anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11th was nothing short of brilliant.
Twenty years ago, New York City was in mourning and in need of healing.
Sometimes, there’s no greater healing power than the power of cheer, laughter, and yes, baseball. Twenty years later, folks across New York City certainly felt the gravity of the anniversary.
The reminders were everywhere, and it felt like the ballpark was the perfect place to pay tribute to the folks who lost their lives and the first responders who did such heroic work.
Twenty years ago, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium were places of healing. Fast forward twenty years, and Citi Field served as a place of remembrance.
The pregame tribute struck the perfect chord. It felt right to have the Yankees and Mets playing baseball this past weekend.
On the field, the heavy hearts turned into fired-up emotions from both the Mets and the Yankees. Saturday and Sunday were two heart-stopping, back-and-forth, terrific baseball games.
Saturday, the Yankees provided late drama with Aaron Judge providing the power. On Sunday, the Mets’ $300 million man Francisco Lindor reminded New York City of how dynamic a baseball player he can be.
Lindor has been much maligned and delivered a very disappointing first year in a Mets uniform.
In addition, last month’s “thumbs down” fiasco had to make Mets fans wonder if Francisco Lindor had the right makeup to handle the scrutiny of playing in New York City.
At that time, as critical as I was of Lindor, I was also pretty clear. If you start performing, those boos will turn to cheers pretty quickly.
Fast forward one month and Lindor delivered a three-homer performance on Sunday night, including a game-winning bomb in the bottom half of the eighth inning.
The end result: a curtain call!
It’s the sort of effort that should calm Mets fans down regarding his long-term status with the team. Lindor is a star performer. He may have been overpaid, but if he is able to stay on the field, he will produce.
Will his heroics in the Subway Series be a turning point in his Mets career? Stay tuned for the answer to that question.
On the 20th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of New York City, it was refreshing to have something to be excited about.
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