Life in the Minors: Chapter 4 -- Battle of the Boroughs
Scroll down to listen to this week's episode of Life in the Minors. WFUV's Chris Calamari and Joey Dayon recap this week's action in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
As the New York Penn League continues to roll on the cyclones are now 30 games into the season and currently stand at 11-19. Although the Cyclones stand in last place this week was a week in which the mets looked to turn their season around as they took 2 out of 3 games from their city rival Staten Island Yankees.
For many the rivalry is new, nerve racking and exhilarating. According to Mini Mets starter Marty Anderson it is the biggest rivalry he as ever been apart of and says that their is extra incentive to win and perform when he takes the Mound against Staten Island.
Not only is the play on the field ramped up, but its also intensified in the stands. Cyclone outfielder Jeremy Wolfe specifically enjoys the energy the fans bring to the game and the extra adrenalin in the air when Staten Island comes to town. Wolfe said that the fans are super into the game and extra loud which makes the players wanna win that much more.
On the other hand some Cyclone players take it as another game and do not pay too much attention to the rivalry chatter. Relief pitcher keaton Aldridge carries that approach and does not think it is such a big deal to play the Yankees saying its just another game on the schedule.
Whether the rivalry is acknowledge by some and ignored by others the constants that remain are loud fans, players competing to win, and ultimately fighting for their life long dream of becoming a big leaguer.
It’s mid-July and the New York-Penn league has just approached the 30 game mark for the Staten Island Yankees. While they are still in first, they suffered a two out of three series loss to their rival the Brooklyn Cyclones this week. This rivalry is rooted in the famous Major League New York City battle between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Some of the players are familiar with this great matchup, like pitcher Greg Weissert, a former Fordham Pitcher and native New Yorker. Weissert grew up watching this historic rivalry and felt excited to be a part of something he knows so well. These games can change many players approach and attitude toward the series, but for Yanks outfielder Timmy Robinson, he tries to avoid seeing the games differently and just looks at them as another opportunity to get a win for the ball club. Pitcher Braden Bristo agreed with his teammate Robinson feeling no incentive to win these games in particular because there is nothing personal between the two teams.
This New York rivalry at the lower levels like the New York-Penn league can be even more important for the fans than it is for the players. Weissert felt that whenever he takes the ball in big situations in Brooklyn he can always feel the crowd and the moment on top of him, fueling him in those situations. Even at the opposing teams park, fans travel well for both teams and outfielder Robinson says that when they get involved it makes the games that much more exciting for the players.
The Yankees and Mets competition is nothing new to many players as they have played in great rivalries throughout their career. One in particular that is hard to beat, is the USC and UCLA matchup that Timmy Robinson got to be a part of. As a college player at USC, Robinson played competitive and fierce conference series matchups against UCLA at Dodger stadium.
As the season continues these players will only become more immersed in this great New York rivalry and understand the feeling of what it is like to be a part of the Yankees and Mets battle.