Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
While another New York team has advanced to the World Series, the rest of America should know that the Mets are not the Yankees. They have different styles, different payrolls, and different rules on facial hair. These Mets don’t represent the capitalism-approach that many associate with the Yankees and are actually more representative of the working-class who worked their way to the position they’re currently at. Fourth place in their division in 2012, third place in 2013, second place in 2014, and NL East champs in 2015. That progression is something that many people, not just New Yorkers, can relate to and is just one of the reasons why you should root for these Mets. Here are five other reasons why any fan should love these Mets:
1. Raw emotion:
Perhaps the enduring image of the Mets season, thus far, was Wilmer Flores wiping tears from his eyes while at shortstop. While there was some mocking of Flores crying on the field after thinking he had been traded; for the most part, people lauded his show of emotion after believing he was leaving the only franchise he’s ever known. Baseball haters are always quick to point out how rigid and reticent its players are compared to other sports, but Flores broke that mold and most people empathized with him. Think about other instances in sports where athletes cried on the playing field and the subsequent reactions. (Remember Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis living up to his nickname and crying on the bench? Remember Adam Morrison crying on the court after losing in the NCAA Tournament? Those moments made them memes even before memes were popular.)
2. David Wright:
Much like the longtime captain of the Yankees, the Mets captain also dates models. But unlike Derek Jeter, David Wright actually marries models, or at least married one by tying the knot with Molly Beers in 2013. Nothing will ever top that high, but Wright has been pretty darn successful on the field in his own right. He’s seen it all in his dozen years in Queens and has seen a who’s who of ballplayers don a Mets uniform. Piazza, Pedro, Glavine, Delgado, Beltran, K-Rod, Reyes, and three stints of Pedro Feliciano; through them all the one constant has been and will be (at least through 2020) David Wright. And, at the end of the day, who’s going to root against Captain America?
3. Root for the old guy:
At 66 years old, Mets manager Terry Collins is the only senior citizen manager in MLB. He got his professional start as a player way back in 1971 which was even before Bartolo Colon was born. Over his 45 years as a player, coach, and manager; Collins has, literally, worked his way up to the position he has now. After a 10-year playing career he first became a manager in single-A ball, then AAA, then was the Pirates’ bullpen coach in the early 90s. He got his first MLB managerial job with the Astros where he lasted three seasons and then moved to the Angels where he also lasted three seasons. Neither of those stops ended in a postseason appearance. He then served as a coach, a scout, and director of player development in several organizations before taking his talents to the Japan and the NPB in 2007. He joined the Mets in 2010 and finally got another shot at a Big League managerial job in 2011 at the age of 61. Based on service to the game, alone, Collins deserves a ring; and unlike his younger counterparts, he likely won’t get many more opportunities on this stage.
4. The precocious rotation:
We’ve seen this before: the Orioles in the mid-1960s, the Braves in the early 1990s, the A’s in the early 2000s. Just like this current Mets rotation, we’re been gifted with a young collection of arms that is seemingly ahead of its time. However, these rotations usually never stick together for very long due to injuries, trades, or free agency. There’s already been trade speculation regarding some of these Mets pitchers and, of course, there’s the Tommy John injury suffered by Zack Wheeler. We can all look at the contracts and service time and say, “Oh they’ve got 4-5 years together” but sometimes, things just happen that you can’t predict. Thus, we should relish this current group of Mets aces because no one, not Sandy Alderson, not Terry Collins, not Scott Boras, can predict what the future holds.
5. Because they’re due:
Look, I know 1986 wasn’t that long ago compared to the droughts of other teams, including the one the Mets defeated in the NLCS. But in regards to the Cubs, their crosstown rival has been nearly as futile as they have been while Mets fans certainly can’t say the same about the Yankees. The Yankees have won nearly as many championships (5) since 1986 as the Mets have won playoff series (6). An entire generation of Mets fans has never known what it feels like to call their team the world champs and they are hoping for that to change. Besides, even Yankees fans should be able to relate to this Mets team as they copied the formula that’s worked so well for the team in Pinstripes: Team struggles early on…Team makes big in-season additions…Team turns around and goes deep into October. Just like Cecil Fielder in ’96, Jim Leyritz in ’99, and David Justice in ’00; Cespedes in ’15 may be the move that puts the team over the top.