COMMENTARY | No playoffs since 2006? Four straight years of finishing in fourth place in the National League East? A 41-50 record at the break? No problem.
Here are five things the New York Mets have going for them:
No. 1: Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey isn't just good. He's really good. He was the starter for the National League in last night's All-Star game for a reason. Right now, he might be the best pitcher in all of baseball. The top of the first inning said it all. After allowing a leadoff double to Mike Trout, and then hitting Robinson Cano with a pitch, Harvey retired Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Jose Bautista to end the inning. Mets fans get to see him every fifth day or so. The rest of the baseball world will be seeing plenty of him for many years to come.
No. 2: David Wright
You tell me the player in professional sports who is a better ambassador for his team than David Wright is for the Mets. Wright's talent, class and overall appeal were on display over the past couple of days at Citi Field. His baseball abilities are one thing. His importance to the organization, the loyalty he's shown all along, and the way he conducts himself, are another. Matt Harvey may be the talk of the town but when you consider the whole package, David Wright is still the face of the franchise.
No. 3: The Future
Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero. All young arms that the Mets currently project to be part of their starting rotation for years to come. The key will be for general manager Sandy Alderson to bring in quality everyday players, and that will require some skillful maneuvering and, of course, money. But it starts with pitching and that's the Mets' strength right now. This offseason will be a big one for the organization. We keep hearing and talking about the future. In reality, it's already begun.
No. 4: Citi Field
For all the criticism directed at Mets ownership, they certainly got this one right. Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark that this week proved to be a great setting for a big event. One thing we should all take away from last night's game is just how great this stadium looks when it's full, and how electric it can be for a big game. It's got a lot of charm to go along with the typical amenities found at modern ballparks. Citi Field opened in 2009 and in many ways it's still looking for its big moment. The All-Star Game proved what could be.
No. 5: The Fans
Give the Met fan credit. It's not easy when your team plays in the same town as the Yankees, who for nearly two decades have been one of the best teams in the sport. Between the Yankees' success and their own team's futility, Mets fans are about as thirsty for a winner as any fan base in sports. It's hard for many to remember, but in the 1980s the Mets owned New York. Shea Stadium was the place to be. If they start winning again, that same excitement will return.
Charles Costello has followed the Mets closely since the rookie years of Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). He was a beat reporter assigned to cover the Mets during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Mets
- Matt Harvey
- David Wright
- Citi Field