First Pitch: Meet the Mets. Again

A Yankee-Mets game in spring training used to be an annual ritual, and a game that The Boss, George M. Steinbrenner III, used to take as seriously as any regular season matchup.

But these two teams haven't played one another in the spring since 1996, and in truth, the advent of interleague play a year later pretty much relegated the preseason Yankees-Mets tussles obsolete.

For some reason, however, the series was revived this spring, with a game today in Port St. Lucie and another tomorrow, the spring finale, at The Boss. Having just finished a two-day road trip to Miami, the Yankees are sending a skeleton crew of regulars -- only Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez are making the trip, along with starting pitcher Ivan Nova -- and it is likely the Mets will reciprocate on Wednesday, especially since they have to travel home for their season opener Thursday against the Braves.

Unlike the old days, when previous Yankees managers went up against the Mets in meaningless preseason games with the mandate to win or else, nobody on the Yankees side seems to be taking these games all that seriously, which is probably how it should be.

The Question: Whether you're a Mets or a Yankees fan, does a preseason game between these two still make a difference to you? Or has interleague play drained all the juice out of what used to be a fun spring ritual?

Up now: All my blog stuff from last night's 5-2 Yankees victory at the Fish Tank, and a little bit later, Andrew Marchand's scouting report and what to expect from the Yankees pitching staff this year. Plus, if you missed it, my "Five Key Question for the Yankees This Season'' is still up on the website, as well as our Hot Button topic, "Can Andy Pettitte be successful this season?''

On deck: I'll be in St. Lucie for the game, followed by what has become my daily spring training ritual, a three-hour drive, this time back to Tampa to wrap up the spring and plunge into the regular season, beginning Friday afternoon against the Rays at St. Petersburg. I'll be blogging all day so stay tuned, and thanks for reading.