New York Mets have makings of Championship Team

Justin Rimpi

The MLB Playoffs is a month long extravaganza for both fans and players alike. It is commonly referred to as “October”. The whole season culminates with the “Fall Classic” or the MLB World Series.
The New York Mets have by far the best chance of making it back to the Fall Classic. It would be their first time back since their “Subway Series” loss to the vaunted New York Yankees in 2000, 15 years ago. For the first four months of the MLB Season the New York Mets were nothing but a mediocre ball club. The Mets could out pitch anybody but could not score enough runs to win any close ballgames.
They were losing way too many games by a score of 1-0, 2-1, or 3-2. Their offense plain and simply could not back up their great pitching. Early season injuries, most notably the New York Mets Captain David Wright really put the Metropolitans behind the eight ball. The suspension of Jenrry Mejia due to Performance Enhancing Drugs also was a huge blow to the Mets playoff chances. Luckily, something finally went well for the seemingly doomed Mets.
The Mets have not been back in the Playoffs since 2006 when they lost a heartbreaking Game 7 in the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals. It was an incredible back and forth series between two great teams but it will always be remembered for one moment in particular. That moment is the called third strike at the knees of Carlos Beltran to vault the St. Louis Cardinals into the World Series, which they would eventually lose, and sent the Mets home for the year.
That called third strike overshadowed what a great tenure Carlos Beltran had with the Mets. He won three Gold Gloves in the Mets Outfield (2006, 2007, and 2008) and two Silver Sluggers in 2006 and 2007. It was truly a great stay with the Mets and it is unfortunate that he will be remembered for that. Beltran and that image are so engrained in Met fans brains. It is impossible to forget.
Beltran and his Game 7 performance also overshadowed the catch made at the wall in Left Field by Endy Chavez. If the Mets would have won that series and ultimately advanced to the World Series that catch would go down as one of the greatest if not the greatest catch in the history of New York sports. It will probably be more revered than the one in which Odell Beckham Jr. made in the 2014 NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys.
It has certainly been a tumultuous nine years for the Mets. Over the past five or six seasons Fred Wilpon, the Mets Principal Owner, has been unable to improve the team. That is because he lost an estimate of $700 million to the infamous Bernie Madoff. That has understandably left the Wilpon family extremely strapped for funds and the baseball team fell by the wayside.
After the dismissal of Omar Minaya by the New York Mets in 2010, Major League Baseball and its Commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Oakland Athletics General Manager Sandy Alderson to resurrect one of the league’s cornerstone franchises. Baseball is definitely a much better sport when the New York Mets are relevant.
During the first few years of Alderson’s tenure he did not have much money to improve the team due to the aforementioned Madoff scandal. He was only able to make very minor moves and Met fans began growing more and more impatient as they saw their playoff drought stretch to eight years after conclusion of the 2014 season.
Once that season finished the Mets brass told the fans that 2016 would be their year to shine and get back to their rightful place as one of the bets franchises in Major League Baseball. They rationale it by saying their Ace Matt Harvey would be at full strength in 2016 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2013. Also the Mets rookies would be called up to the majors and be ready to go by ’16.
Instead, the plan for the Mets to reclaim their glory was moved up by one season. Jacob DeGrom was able to follow up his 2014 Rookie of the Year season with a CY Young worthy 2015 campaign. Matt Harvey also came back much stronger than the Mets could have ever expected. It ultimately worked out extremely well that Mets brass did not allow him to pitch at the end of the 2014 season like he originally wanted to. Also, contributions from Rookie Pitchers Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard helped make the Mets rotation one the best and brightest in the whole league. Also, rookie outfielder Michael Conforto helped to pick up the slack for the oft-injured and unproductive Michael Cuddyer.
Everyone knew the New York Mets would need to make necessary moves at the July 31st Trade Deadline if they wanted to see the light of October on the field instead of at home. General Manager Sandy Alderson convinced the Wilpon’s that this could be the year for the Mets if they could pick up a few players. On July 25th the Mets acquired utility player Kelly Johnson and infielder Juan Uribe from their division rival Atlanta Braves. July 31st was when the New York Mets made a move, which would completely change their 2015 season.
That move was the acquisition of All-Star Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers. Cespedes has jump started the Mets offense and saw them leapfrog the Nationals and gave the Mets the National League East Division crown. The Mets also solidified their bullpen by acquiring Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed to bridge the 7th and 8th innings until Jerusys Familia could come in the 9th inning and shut the door. David Wright also coming back for the homestretch of the season did not hurt the Mets in their push for the Playoffs.
Everything has gone the Mets way in the second half of the MLB season. The Washington Nationals imploded which gave the Mets the division, the acquisition of both Clippard and Reed helped to really solidify a previously weak Mets bullpen. Most importantly Cespedes had an MVP caliber second half and essentially put the Mets team on his shoulders. The Mets offense was finally able to help out the pitching and it was a welcomed sight by the fans, pitchers, and manager Terry Collins.
Nobody knows what the 2015 MLB Playoffs has in store. That is what makes sports the only reality show on television. With the New York Mets revamped lineup, great Starting Pitching, and Improved Bullpen it is extremely difficult to see the Mets not at least making it back to the World Series for the first time in a decade and a half. For Mets fans all over the world let’s hope Mr. Met is dancing all throughout the winter with a World Series ring around his finger.