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Friday, October 16, 2015

Cubbies v. Metsies is not Chicago v. New York. More like Little League.

Official Cub mascot Clark
Cubbies.  Am I the only one annoyed when the team of Ernie Banks is called that, even by independent media people?  And when did people start to cutesify the Cubs by making them Cubbies?

August, 2013 By slgckgc via Wikimedia Commons
Now Metsies is a derogatory term that is mine and which I got from Mets origins.  After the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates the Yankee owners fired general manage George Weiss and field manager Casey Stengel, both of whom wound up in those same jobs with the expansion Mets who started play in 1962.  Stengel was a media creature and one of his self created Met promotions was to insist that even babies were now Met fans.  Instead of their childish first words being Ma Ma or Pa Pa, Stengel assured us that those words were Metsie, Metsie, Metsie.  And so whenever I feel animosity towards this odd New York entity I think of them as Metsies.

In the first half century of modern baseball, 1903 through 1952, the 16 teams remained put.  They played in only ten cities and cities with multiple teams was the norm.  Now only Chicago and New York have multiple teams.

Among the respective indigenous baseball populations in Chicago and New York when something happens to one team at least 40% of those people do not care.  So don't assume that White Sox and Yankee fans will be interested much less pulling for the other "home" team.  In fact, maybe just the opposite.

At first glance this may seem like a good thing for the league, that two big market Cinderella teams have reached the semifinal series and one is assured of reaching the finals.  First, the Mets act like and are often regarded as a small market team.  Second, those two markets are split as described above.  And I'm guessing that most of the baseball universe doesn't care.  Once your team is eliminated, you monitor but do not watch much of the remaining baseball.

The marketing nightmare is the semifinal series between Kansas City and Toronto.  Both are much more legitimate contenders than Cubbies or Metsies, both of whom came from nowhere.  Kansas City lost in game seven of last year's final series.  Toronto muscled up at the July 31 trading deadline and built on their early season underachieving numbers.

But Kansas City is not a major market and Toronto is, well, in Canada.

So this weekend we have Metsies playing two against the Cubbies at Citi Field then on to Wrigley, that cutesy ball park with that cute brick outfield wall hidden behind the ivy. It's all too cute by half.

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