"It doesn't work—ever," said Valentine, who survived a wobbly outing from his No. 4 starter, righthander Bobby J. Jones. "I don't do it in the regular season, never mind October."
Torre was nearly burned in the Division Series by using Clemens and lefthander Andy Pettitte on short rest. Both threw poorly. This time he lost Game 5 with his No. 4 starter, lefthander Denny Neagle, but that still left him with righthander Orlando Hernandez (7-0 lifetime in the postseason) and Pettitte lined up on full rest for Games 6 and (if necessary) 7 at Yankee Stadium.
Surreally, the Mets, minutes before they were to play their own Game 4 on Sunday night, watched on televisions in their clubhouse as the Yankees attempted a vain comeback in Game 5. Third baseman Robin Ventura followed the action without a rooting interest, though he preferred to play the Yankees in the World Series "because there'd be no travel." Backup catcher Todd Pratt was hoping the Yankees would lose the game (even though he, too, wanted to see them in the World Series) "because I want them to see us win [the pennant] first." Franco wasn't sure what to think.
"There would be a lot of pressure," admitted the Brooklyn native as he contemplated a Subway Series. "Listen, I'd like us to get to the World Series any way we can. But for the past few years the focus in the city has been on them. If we played them, we'd have to share the focus. I'd love to see the focus on us. Just us."
Clubhouses, families, politicians, comedians and your friendly neighborhood bomb squad were divided on the matter of a Subway Series. This much, however, would be as true for all parties during an all-New York World Series as it was when Clemens—the one without the splitter—wrote it in 1867: "There is one thing very sure—I can't keep my temper in New York."