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We are ready for your best 26.
We are the all-time Subway Series team, a group of performers who are not necessarily the best players to have donned Yankees and Mets uniforms since 1997, but rather — as this successful scheduling innovation launches its 25th iteration Friday night at Yankee Stadium — those who have shined, have played their finest ball, under the Subway spotlight of 128 regular-season games and five more in the postseason.
And this club, battle-tested, will go up against any other 26 players from the last quarter-century you can muster, and we’ll take our chances.
Without further ado …
Starter: Mike Piazza. A .951 regular-season OPS against the Yankees with eight homers — half of those, you might recall, against Roger Clemens.
Backup: Joe Girardi. An .892 OPS and if there’s a bench-clearing brawl that results in mass ejections, he can step in as player-manager.
Starting 1B: Mark Teixeira. A .963 OPS, and his final-play hustle in 2009 ensured the immortality of Luis Castiilo’s dropped pop fly.
Starting 2B: Jeff McNeil. A .909 OPS, better than the .848 his (sort of) current teammate Robinson Cano put up from the other side.
Starting SS: Derek Jeter. Well, he won Most Valuable Player honors in the one Yankees-Mets World Series, in 2000. Kind of a no-brainer.
Starting 3B: David Wright. The best moment of his stellar .878 OPS? His 2006 walk-off single off Mariano Rivera at Shea Stadium.
Backup 1: Matt Franco. Speaking of walk-offs against Rivera, his 1999 two-run, two-out, ninth-inning single gave the Mets arguably their best win in this rivalry.
Backup 2: Luis Sojo. The beloved veteran’s 25-hopper (or so) on Al Leiter’s 142nd pitch gave the Yankees their 26th title in 2000.
Starting LF: Hideki Matsui. An astounding .976 OPS over seven years of action. You know how much the 2009 World Series MVP enjoyed the big moments.
Starting CF: Curtis Granderson. He had an .832 OPS as a Yankee against the Mets and then .955 as a Met against the Yankees. No one has excelled more on both sides.
Starting RF: Aaron Judge. With a 1.070 OPS and four homers in Subway action, he has done his part to try to keep this series lively.
Backup 1: Brandon Nimmo. As has this Wyomingite turned New Yorker, who owns a 1.007 OPS.
Backup 2: Bernie Williams. In addition to his .921 OPS, he homered in the clinching 2000 World Series Game 5 and caught Piazza’s blast to center for the final out.
Designated hitter (1)
Alex Rodriguez: Come on, we’re really not gonna take him? A .929 OPS and 13 homers get him aboard.
Starting pitchers (5)
Matt Harvey: As he dreamed of joining the Yankees someday, the right-hander put up one heck of a job interview in the form of a 1.25 ERA over three starts.
Orlando Hernandez: Not only did he compile a 1.73 ERA in four regular-season starts, but his 1999 “throw the entire glove to Tino Martinez” play might be the series’ funniest moment.
Pedro Martinez: We shouldn’t be surprised that, even in his decline phase, the all-time great tallied a 2.93 ERA against the Yankees in four starts as a Met.
Dave Mlicki: One start — first start! — one shutout. Fans still stop him today to tell him they were there.
Andy Pettitte: While his 4.13 regular-season ERA hardly stands out, his two outstanding World Series starts (three runs in 13 ²/₃ innings) shouldn’t be overlooked.
Relief pitchers (7)
Dellin Betances: As a Yankee, he never allowed a run to the Mets in 10 appearances totaling 11 ¹/₃ innings.
Jeurys Familia: He’ll come off the injured list this weekend and try to build on his 0.84 Subway Series ERA in 11 games.
Dae-Sung Koo: Gets lefty hitters out, hits Hall of Fame lefty pitchers, runs the bases fearlessly. What more could you want?
Mariano Rivera: OK, a 3.53 ERA over 16 years means he didn’t do his best work here, but how can we overlook his 20 saves and two more in the 2000 Fall Classic?
David Robertson: The current free agent recorded a 1.53 ERA in eight years of action.
Francisco Rodriguez: If K-Rod underwhelmed overall as a Met, his 1.04 ERA and four saves against the Yankees weren’t the problem.
Mike Stanton: Two wins and 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings in the 2000 World Series plus a 1.98 ERA in 15 regular-season appearances? A slam dunk.
Joe Torre: And if there’s a bad umpire’s call, then Terry Collins, Bobby Valentine, Don Zimmer and Girardi take turns coming out to argue.
Taxi squad: David Cone, Carlos Delgado, Oliver Perez, Jorge Posada and Kevin Russo.
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