With the Mets invading the Bronx for the Subway Series, Curtis Granderson spoke to NY Sports a Day for a few minutes. Granderson, the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner, is the only player with a 30-homer season for both New York teams. Granderson was a Yankee from 2010-13, and finished fourth in the MVP voting in 2011. He left for the Mets in free agency and hit 26 homers for the 2015 NL champs.
He spoke before Monday’s game about the rivalry, New York and compared the 2017 Mets to the 2008 Tigers.
NYSD: Did you talk to any of the new guys about the Subway Series?
Curtis Granderson: I haven’t yet, really. Dom I’ve talked to, Dom Smith that is, because his parents just got in town and asked him if they were gonna make it out here, but unfortunately they gotta get back and they have some family stuff, the dog and then they’re going to fly him to Citi Field for it, but that’s been really it in terms of conversation about it. One interesting thing that I did find out that I would love to see as a possibility, Ray Ramirez said that there was a, when it was told I said ‘this is a great idea’, that there was a day-night doubleheader. First game was here in Yankee Stadium, second game was in Citi Field. I was like ‘was that scheduled?’ He goes ‘I don’t remember.’ I go ‘that’s a great idea.’ But he said ‘no, it was a rain out and they made it up that way.’ I was like, what an awesome way like here, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, places that proximity-wise you can get there without saying OK we have to stop from Houston to Dallas. From a fan standpoint, obviously players don’t always want to have doubleheaders but if you know you have that scheduled, you can save a day here, get an off day at the end of it, it’d be something to consider. So that part of it, I was like, that’s something new for me.
NYSD: Well the game where Roger Clemens beaned Mike Piazza was the second game of a two-stadium doubleheader.
CG: Ok. I didn’t know it was that game. Interesting.
NYSD: Did you have a certain favorite memory as a Yankee?
CG: I’d say, if anything, probably something that stands out, I remember being on-deck for Jeter’s 3,000th. That was really cool. Mariano’s retirement. So a combination of getting to see some great guys that I played with wrap up their seasons and me being a part of it as they finished things up, so I think it was a combination of that.
NYSD: You were a popular Yankee and then when you signed here you said most of the real New Yorkers are Mets fans. You didn’t waste any time.
CG: Yeah, but that wasn’t the exact comment I said. People twisted my comment. My comment was ‘I heard from people here in New York that people felt that true New Yorkers were Mets fans. So I was repeating what I heard from someone else. And they put that as I said it. I was like, no, I heard it from someone here in New York. So it was twisted. I had people come up to me and say ‘yeah, real fans are New Yorkers’. I said, ‘no, that’s not what I said.’ Or everybody’s mixed up exactly what I said, which was I heard from somebody that’s from New York, born and raised, that real New Yorkers are Mets fans. So I said, ok, I’m excited to see if that’s true or not. And then everybody obviously, the media, mecca, twisted it and moved it around. For eight years I’ve experienced that, so you know, definitely nothing.
NYSD: Well you were ahead of the game before 2015 saying the Mets were ready to take over the town. That was a nice thing you declared.
CG: Yeah, you know it was interesting asking me if we could be in a position. And why else would you think not? I mean, would people rather me said ‘No. I don’t think we are’? Or, yeah we are and if we come up short that’s where it’s at. But you’ve got to set the bar high. That way, if you fall short you can still be happy with the results versus saying OK, I hope we play .500 and then we end up a game over .500, that’s not too much of an accomplishment.
NYSD: I was wondering also with this year that’s been tough at times, just comparing that now that you’re a veteran to maybe 10 years ago when you were with the Tigers and coming off a pennant and that team that struggled.
CG: You know the first two years when I was a September call-up and I got called up in June and August of the next season and we aren’t necessarily in it, so it was interesting just to see how the fans not be there for it, and rightfully so, expecting a team to do well that didn’t. But we had been bad for a long time. 2003 we were coming off a terrible record but I was in the minor leagues at that time. In ’04, we did a little better, nothing great, ’05 I think we contended for the wild card in June. We were like seven games out or five games out, that’s as close as we got. So we were never really in it. But then ’06, things just switched around a lot. And then we were there and a lot of expectations for us. ’07 we missed out by a little bit and ’08 was the big one. Very similar to this year. A lot of expectations going into the season and guys failed to deliver when we thought we could for a number of different reasons and it was disappointing. This year, you know obviously we understand we had a lot of injuries, which that part of disappointment, you can’t control that. We still are as excited, as energetic to come out and play. We’ve just been missing pieces and as we get a piece back, we lose another piece and that’s made it difficult to do the things we wanted to do.