This Met fan’s rooting guide to the NL postseason

For the first time since 2014, the Mets will not be playing in the postseason. We’re all going to watch at least some of the action, so who to root for? We will be looking at connections to the Mets (both good and bad), general likeability, length of WS drought, and any other relevant factors. Please note there will not be a specific designation of which team Met fans should root for, that will be up to the individual.

The two wild card teams, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, are both late 20th century expansion teams. The D-backs did grab a WS win in 2001, while the Rockies lost their only WS appearance in 2007. Both are good hitting teams but are probably longshots to advance to the WS.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the Western Division champs. They have several Met connections, including Bench Coach Bob Geren, slugging third baseman Justin Turner and outfielder Curtis Granderson, although he may not make the postseason roster. They also have one bad connection, Chase Utley, known for his innovative airborne fracture slide into Rueben Tejada of the Mets in the 2015 NLDS. That alone is probably enough to cancel out the good connections.

The Dodgers have the largest payroll in MLB, but their last WS win came back in 1988, a year they upset a very good Met team in the postseason. Oh, and we do have to consider the matter of the Dodgers abandoning Brooklyn in 1957, despite being the most profitable team in the game in the mid 1950’s.

The Chicago Cubs are the Central Division champs this year, and are the defending WS winners. After a slow start the team played more like their 2016 form for the second half of the season. The players seem affable enough, and they have some neat traditions like the “W” flag. The fans are loyal, routinely selling out the ballpark. The only Met connection is backup catcher Rene Rivera, and although he filled in nicely, he probably won’t be on the postseason roster. The Cubs won last year, ending their epic 108 year World Series drought.

The Washington Nationals cruised to a win in the Eastern Division with a pretty formidable lineup. Bryce Harper is a great player but is a little too smug for a lot of fans taste, so he usually draws some boos at Citi Field. The lineup also features ex-Met and current Met killer Daniel Murphy. The Nats have never won a WS, either in their current form or their pre-2005 incarnation as the Montreal Expos. For the city itself the last (and only) WS triumph was back in 1924 as the Senators, led by fireballing HOFer Walter Johnson, triumphed over the New York Giants.

Just a quick note on the AL. The Cleveland Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, and recent Met Jay Bruce is a key part of their lineup. Should the tribe advance to the WS, more than a few Met fans just might be cheering for them, despite their American League pedigree.

12 comments for “This Met fan’s rooting guide to the NL postseason

  1. NormE
    October 3, 2017 at 11:28 am

    John, you should have added Addison Reed out of the Bosox bullpen.

    • John Fox
      October 3, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Norm, I do have “guide to the NL postseason” in the title, I admit I did veer off by mentioning Cleveland at the end

  2. Chris F
    October 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    My rooting guide: ABC

    Anyone. But. Cubs.

  3. MattyMets
    October 3, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I’ll be watching a lot. I’m a baseball fan, not just a Mets fan. I’m rooting for Cleveland, but first, I’m going to root for the Twins to win tonight.

  4. Nicholas S.
    October 3, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Anyone But Yankees (as always) – it was supposed to be our year, not theirs …

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  5. Jimmy P
    October 4, 2017 at 9:02 am

    There’s a number of good, likeable teams out there this season. The Indians feel the most deserving, intelligently managed. It’s always interesting to see a strong, smart manager handle a deep, talented roster.

    I’ve never been able to root for the Yankees, but my dislike varies in degree.

    Back in 1996, I didn’t particularly mind that the Yankees won. It had been a while. They had some really nice, young players. I knew plenty of Yankee fans.

    By 2001, I despised them all.

    This year feels more like ’96 to me. It’s a fun team, a curious combination of young and veteran talent.

    I never expect Didi to hit like this. He was a cheap option for the Mets once upon a time. I thought the glove would be terrific and that he’d never hit. Whiffed on that one.

    • October 4, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Not what I’d call cheap.

      “The Mets had talked to the Diamondbacks about Gregorius earlier this winter, but sources said Arizona wanted Noah Syndergaard in return, scuttling any potential deal.”

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/yankees-discussing-3-way-trade-didi-gregorius-article-1.2034731

      • Jimmy P
        October 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        But that’s silly, Brian. Just PR, an excuse for the Mets to not make a move — they had Tejada!

        Sure, the D-backs asked for Noah, the Mets said no. Then you go down the line.

        The Yankees got him for Shane Green. That was the true cost.

        • October 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm

          I think it’s silly to believe that the Mets didn’t see what the actual price for them was. Another Daily News article:

          “On Tuesday, we asked new GM Dave Stewart for his take — and his take was blunt. Stewart wants no part of Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, or Bartolo Colon, who the Mets would much rather move than Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom (rivals in touch with Mets say that the latter three are close to untouchable).

          “We don’t have any interest in those kind of guys,” Stewart told the News. “If we’re going to get something back for (Gregorius or Owings), it’s going to be young, controllable pitching. Guys that aren’t making any money right now, who have a chance to grow within our organization.”
          http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/baseballinsider/exploring-ny-mets-shortstop-options-blog-entry-1.2007411

          • Jimmy P
            October 4, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            The Yankees made it a three-team deal in order to overcome a similar obstacle. Sandy didn’t try very hard — clearly — and stuck with Tejada — frustratingly.

            Hey, I whiffed on Gregorious too. But to act like it was some impossible “get” is to be far too much of an apologist for the Mets GM. Shortstop was a huge problem and it took him years to address it.

            • October 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm

              Kudos to Cashman for making the trade happen.

              But let’s be honest about what it took to get done. Stewart said he wanted young, controllable pitching and the two pitchers traded in this deal were All-Star Robbie Ray and now-Tigers closer Shane Greene. No matter how much we may wish otherwsie, Dillon Gee or Jon Niese wasn’t getting it done.

              If I told you at the conclusion of the 2014 season that if you wanted to acquire Didi, it was going to cost you a 22-year-old, future All-Star with a 12.1 K/9 – you and everyone else would have said no thanks.

              I know you want to take every opportunity to bash Alderson and that’s okay. But I think if you objectively look at all of the GMs surrounding both the actual trade and rumored trades, the GM that comes out looking the worst is Dave Dombrowski. Universally panned for not getting enough when he traded Doug Fister after coming off three years with a combined 12.7 fWAR, he turned around and sold low on Ray, the guy they got. Even if Greene makes it as a closer, I’m sure Detroit would rather have Ray back now.

              • Chris F
                October 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm

                We could have dumped both Wheeler and Montero….what an excellent choice that would have been.

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