It’s no longer the baseball preseason. Time to get your ass fired up for the regular fall season of America’s Pastime. Read all our playoff team previews here. Today, you’re getting to know … THE NEW YORK METS.
Congratulations to the Mets for not screwing up something that was impossible to screw up, and so rendering LOLMets jokes sour and stupid (for now). They could’ve found a way to collapse, but math, apathetic divisional rivals, the seemingly endless series of disasters that is the 2015 Washington Nationals, and the fact that they’re actually pretty good stood in their way. They have the NL East title, affable lunch policeman David Wright, and a potent pitching staff. What should you know about them?
If you’ve encountered a person who supports the Mets (you have), you know more than you need to know. Mets fans are the Crossfitters of baseball agony, aggressive proselytizers who want you to know all about their suffering. They rend their garments and talk about all the disappointments they’ve experienced—have you heard that their owner’s family was once scammed by Bernie Madoff?—but it’s worth bearing in mind that they won a World Series a mere 29 years ago, aided by one of the all-time sports gaffes. To hear the laments of these sad-sack, semolina-smelling, self-deprecating fucking ninnies, though, you’d think they’d never won at all. The Cubs, Indians, Rangers, Astros, Brewers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Pirates, Orioles, Tigers, and Royals all have longer championship droughts than the Mets. Five or six of those teams will be in this year’s postseason. Relax for a second, Mets fans; there are far more appealing underdogs than you out there. (You have a few likeable players, though.)
Qualcomm spokesperson Matt Harvey is in a precarious position with the Mets. The 26-year-old is arbitration-eligible after the season, and wants to get paid. Harvey’s agent Scott Boras and general manager Sandy Alderson already got into a tiff over the pitcher’s inning limit, since Harvey spent last year recovering from Tommy John surgery* and wants to keep his elbow intact until his big contract. This led to Mets fans turning against Harvey for putting his health above the team, and culminated with a Players’ Tribune post by New York City Bureau Chief Matt Harvey, which is the equivalent of resolving your relationship troubles in the middle of a crowded supermarket. Anyway, Harvey approached manager Terry Collins this week about loosening his pitch limitations during the regular season, so everything will be fine, and this will definitely not come up ever again.
Should Harvey acrimoniously split with the Mets after 2015, the team will still have Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, two long-haired baby freaks who are fun to watch. They’ll pitch behind Harvey in the rotation to start the postseason.
The Mets’ hitting isn’t as deep as their pitching, but old man Curtis Granderson has been an all-around sensation. More importantly, he’s one of the executive producers behind @wefollowlucasduda, an Instagram account for all your Lucas Duda needs. (Lucas Duda is a big strong doofus who hits home runs.) It’s a recommended follow.
The other fun story in the outfield is Yoenis Cespedes, who had a ludicrous August after the Mets acquired him from the Tigers. His hot streak overshadowed Bryce Harper’s MVP-worthy campaign for a day or two:
The Cuban and his neon accoutrements absolutely embarrassed the Rockies on Aug. 21. Cespedes hit a grand slam, a two-run homer, and a solo shot among five hits:
Cespedes cooled off a bit starting in the middle of September, but his power is still quite appreciated by the Mets. Every good team needs an enormous Cuban who can rake.
Oh, yeah, remember Wilmer Flores, that guy who cried because he thought he was being traded? He’s still there. That’s all.
The Mets had a 3-4 regular-season record against St. Louis, but anything can happen in October! No, they probably can’t.
Easy. Bartolo Colon:
What a guy.
If you’re a fan of underachieving, large-market teams, the Mets are the team for you. Hop on the bandwagon, but don’t get too emotionally attached.
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