If you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse for this floundering Mets team, here come the Yankees. Here we are at the misfit table in middle school. It’s not bad enough the cute girl saw us spill milk on our laps and we got picked last in gym class, but here comes Biff to give us a wedgie.
One of the hardest things about being a Mets fan (and probably a Mets player these days) is constantly having our crosstown rival waving victory flags in our faces. While Citi Field seems to have been built on an ancient indian burial ground (how else can you explain the endless string of misfortune?) the house that Ruth built seems to crown a new all-star every few months. Not only do the Yankees have more rings than a jewelry store, but they are a well run, and often lucky organization that always seems to come up with great young player after great young player.
Yes, the Yankees have unmatched resources and generous ownership that we can’t compete with. They can go after the top free agents and reel in players like Giancarlo Stanton. But how about seizing on the opportunity to trade pending free agent Aroldis Chapman for top prospect Gleyber Torres? They knew they were out of the playoff race and that the Cubs were desperate for a top closer to put them over the top. They pounced like a cat at this opportunity. Then they brought back Chapman as a free agent and developed Torres into the hottest rookie in the game. At last check he’s hitting .900 with 80 home runs, or something like that.
Aaron Judge was a big strong kid with a flawed swing. The Yankees, reportedly on the advice of Alex Rodriguez, worked hard to develop him into one of the best power hitters in the game. The Yankees don’t just sign big money free agents – though that’s an easy narrative to perpetuate. They make smart draft picks and shrewd trades and do a great job of developing talent and preparing prospects for the majors. The Mets do none of this.
The Mets sign second tier, past-their-prime free agents to plug holes. We draft hitters who can’t field and fielders who can’t hit. And clearly we put something in the water coolers that deteriorates elbow ligaments because every pitcher we draft, sign or trade for winds up needing Tommy John surgery.
This Mets team should have won a World Series by now behind a dominant Matt Harvey and an enviable brigade of power arms. David Wright should have been our third baseman and three-hole hitter these past four years on his way to the Hall of Fame. Instead he’s a sad, broken man rooting for his teammates from the dugout while we root for him to take the field one last time. At least that’s something worth cheering for. It beats clapping when the power hitting Jay Bruce emerges from a month long slump to bloop a bases empty single. It sure beats cheering for Brandon Nimmo when he beams from ear-to-ear because he reached base via another hit by pitch.
It’s hard to find humor in this organization when so much is going wrong. We’re a wounded team and a wounded fan base. And now here comes the @#$%& Yankees with the big salt shaker.