Gina asked me to compare the two clubhouses since I covered both teams. In answer to one question, my boss decides the team I cover. In answer to another, no, I don’t have split sympathies. Honestly, it really doesn’t matter who wins.
However, when you are around people as much as a writer is around a team, you develop certain attachments. I get to see them under a different light. The job prevents you from being real friends because you must stay objective, but you are friendly. There are a lot of good, hard working people in there and you want to see good things happen to good people.
I root for good storylines and well played games. There is always more turmoil around a losing team, so the Yankees might be more interesting or challenging now. Certainly a lot more breaking news is going on with them and you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I don’t know about being a good luck charm, but before I covered the Yankees, I covered Baltimore when they made the playoffs in 96 and 97.
The Mets clubhouse is a lot looser than the Yankees. They are a more free-spirited group. They are more approachable than the Yankee players. Not all Yankee players, but the majority.
There is more tenseness with the Yankees, and that’s the Steinbrenner factor. At any moment he could go off. It’s not that way with the Mets. Wilpon rarely speaks out on the team, and if he does have something to say, he says it and doesn’t go through a publicist.
Yankee players are more guarded. Derek Jeter is about his image. He’s not one you can shoot the breeze with. Neither is A-Rod. You can with Mussina and Pettitte. But forget Randy Johnson when he was here. And no way with Clemens, either. Conversely, Glavine, Wright, Delgado and Reyes are easy to speak with.
Players on both teams can get a little uptight when they lose. The Yankee clubhouse was much better when they were winning. Then again, they were younger then and didn’t have the issues they have now such as drugs (Giambi and Sheffield) and the recent losing.
The chemistry in the Yankees’ clubhouse is different without O’Neill and Williams and Cone. It is more staid.
The Mets are easier to be around. Glavine is always interesting to talk with, as is Delgado and Wagner. Wright is always in a good mood. All of them are polite. Moises Alou stunned me last week in San Francisco. I asked if he had a moment and he said no. It’s not a big deal it happens all the time.
The next day he came up to me an apologized. He said he has been hounded in SF because he played there and had just turned down a TV interview. He told me he didn’t want the TV guy to see him turn around and talk with somebody else.
Thanks for the questions, Gina. I hope I answered them.