Growing up in New York there are lines crossed with which baseball teams you have to follow.
The Bronx and Staten Island are primarily Yankees fans, Brooklyn and Queens were partial to the Mets and Manhattan is always split in half.
Being that I am from Brooklyn I should have been a Mets fan growing up. My mom was a Mets fan, my Dad was a Mets fan, my uncles, aunts and cousins were all Mets fans. Yet somehow during the Steve Sax, Randy Velerde and Luis Polonia days I was always partial to the Yankees.
I couldn’t tell you why I was more partial to the Pinstripes, but I was. Both teams had great play-by-play guys, Phil Rizzuto for the Yanks, Ralph Kiner for the Mets, both teams were at the bottom of their divisions and going to Yankee and Shea stadium really wasn’t too different to me because both places were dumps.
Yet I liked the Yankees more. My first games was a Yankees game, my first hat was a Yankees hat, and my favorite player at the time was still Andre Dawson so I couldn’t like the Mets anyway because I would always want Dawson’s Cubs to go off on the Mets.
20 years later when I look back on those times and my subconscious decision-making I’m so happy that I became a Yankees fan, because the Mets stink.
Actually let me rephrase that… the Mets are the biggest mess in baseball ever.
As a fan of this team there isn’t a single reason that you should look forward to this season. You’re team is bleeding money thanks to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, your lineup cant produce runs in any way shape form or fashion, your star players can’t stay on the field and your pitching staff is horrendous.
Mets tried to talk themselves into Oliver Perez, fail. They gave Carlos Beltran 119 million 7 years ago in hopes that he would be the piece that put them over the top, fail. They traded for Johan Santana in hopes that he would carry their staff to the top of the division, fail. Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, K-rod, J.J. Putz, fail, fail, fail.
There have a laundry list of deficiencies that have hindered this team on off of the field. Whether its Jose Reyes’s health or K-rod knocking out his girlfriends dad, Johan’s sex scandal or the Willie Randolph firing. The Mets have been baseballs best soap opera for years and the hits just keep on coming.
When you look at the Mets have some talent on paper. Ike Davis was a mid-season call-up last year that showed potential and, Mike Pelfrey could possibly be a top of the rotation guy and the face of the franchise, and David Wright, is one of the best third basemen in the game. Yet on the field they have no cohesiveness, no consistency, no nothing.
Watching the Mets is like a lesson in futility. They were 24th in the league in runs scored, hits and home runs, 22nd in batting average, 25th in OBP. Their pitching was mediocre as well by being 18th in the league in WHIP and BAA, and that was due in part to Pelfrey and Santana.
They made mistakes in crucial situations, they were a sideshow of errors that came with a blooper reel in the field that seemed to happen every other day. There were times where I think I saw Wright mutter to himself “two more years and I’m out of here,” and I wouldn’t blame him.
Would you want to play for this team? This is a team with no identity, a dark future, an owner who needs money, a fan base that’s embarrassed to come to the park and watch them and in their division they are an easy choice for 5th.
The Mets bad decision from the Beltran and Santana deals, to the quick trigger release of Randolph, to the Madoff scandal, have crippled them to the point where they could easily be one of the worst teams in the league.
Entering this year they don’t have Santana until the summer time, the are still concerned about Beltran’s health as well as Reyes’, and their only hope in their rotation is Chris Young, who hasn’t been healthy in 3 years, Pelfrey, Jon Niese and the ageless wonder R.A. Dickey.
And you thought the Yankees had pitching problems.
If you want any good news, Beltran’s contract comes off of the books this year and there is optimism with Davis and David Murphy possibly playing everyday, and that’s about it.
The rest is one big snowball that hasn’t reached the bottom of the hill yet and seems to be rolling along at a steady pace.
The Yankees problems with pitching, age and deciding the future of the team would be welcomed in Queens. At least have some idea about what’s going on and on what to do about it. The Mets on the other hand are taking it day-to-day, not knowing what will happen next.
It’s a sad story of a team that 5 years ago was a World Series contender and three years ago was a front-runner in the NL East. Nowadays they would be thankful enough to have a day without something going wrong.