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Girardi and Collins Reflect on Subway Series Rivalry

The Subway Series is a way for Yankees and Mets fans to settle the banter of who’s the top team in the city.  Hours before the first series of the 2012 season is set to begin, the managers of both clubs made it clear that they share their fans’ feelings of winning or losing against the crosstown rival.

“If you lose to the Mets, it’s tough to go out to dinner and stuff like that because all the Mets fans are going to come up to you in the restaurant,” Joe Girardi said Friday.  “And all of the Yankees fans are going to let you know, ‘what are you doin?’”

Girardi and Mets Manager Terry Collins held a press conference attended by NYYUniverse.com Friday morning at the Audi Club in Yankee Stadium to field questions about the rivalry and their respective teams.   Both teams currently sit on the cusp of first place in their respective divisions and the managers believe the strong play from both teams will provide for a great weekend series.

Collins added that Mets fans have already expressed their desire to take down the Bronx Bombers.

“Last night I was giving the lineup card to the umpire and when I walked back to the dugout there was a few fans right above the dugout and the one thing they yelled out to me was ‘beat the Yankees!’” Collins joked.  “And all I thought about was that we haven’t even played the Nationals yet and these guys are already talking about the Yankees.”

Girardi said that the added amount of Mets fans in the stands at Yankee Stadium this weekend may be a dosage of the Yankees own medicine.

“It’s probably going to be like what it’s like for other teams when we go on the road,” Girardi said.  “A lot of places we go we have a lot of fans, but I think it creates a great atmosphere because you get the chance to go back and forth and I love that part of the game.”

Both managers added some insight to their lineups this weekend and are in the process of welcoming back some key players to their teams.  Collins said that outfielder Jason Bay will return from the DL and be in the lineup tonight in left field.  Girardi said that Brett Gardner and David Robertson will begin their rehab assignments this weekend in the minors and he hopes both will make a return to the bigs soon.

The series kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. ET with Hiroki Kuroda on the mound for the Yankees and Johan Santana for the Mets, who is making his first start since pitching  a no-hitter last Friday night.

More Pics from Today’s Press Conference: