The 2018 regular season is over, and we are down to 10 teams that are still alive in the World Series chase. The question is, what team should the Mets fans root for? We’ll look at the possibilities in reverse order, from the perspective of an everyman Mets fan.
It’s possible there are some Mets fans who would root for the Yankees, but their can’t be many. One hundred years of Yankee arrogance and success as well as the inter-city rivalry would weigh against most Mets fans choosing them. Sure, they do have ex-Met Neil Walker on their roster, but that pales against the traditional Met fans preference for the underdog. The Yankees, despite their record this year, are the antithesis of an underdog.
The Boston Red Sox suffered through decades of frustration, but in the 21st century they have bagged three World Series titles already. They won 108 games, their fans are a little snobbish, and they have a huge payroll. Their best player appropriated the nickname of beloved Mets icon Mookie Wilson. We can cross the Red Sox off the list as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a classic big market, big spending team. They tend to make the postseason a lot, although their last World Series win was 1988. Chase Utley is on their roster, he of the airborne fracture slide on Ruben Tejada of the Mets in the 2015 NLDS. Then there is the little matter of the franchise abandoning Brooklyn in 1957. Sure they have Justin Turner on their squad, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
The Houston Astros have a fine team with some nice players, including Jose Altuve, he of the big smile and the big production. However the Astros did win the title last year, and there are some deserving teams mired in World Series droughts. Let’s give someone else a chance this year.
The Atlanta Braves are a traditional division rival of the Mets, and they have racked up a slew of division titles over the past 25 years. They do have ex-Mets Rene Rivera and Lucas Duda on their roster. The Braves also have a legacy of some players from the past rubbing Mets fans the wrong way, notably John Rocker and Chipper Jones.
The Colorado Rockies have never won a World Series, but then they have only been in the League since 1993, so that’s not exactly a drought. They have some nice players like Nolan Arenado, but no ex-Mets on the roster. Let’s skip the Rockies this year.
The Cubs would have been a logical choice, except that they just won the World Series two years ago. Granted, it was over a hundred years before that for a title. They do feature a hard hitting ex-Met in Daniel Murphy, but there are some deserving teams with epic World Series droughts ahead of them.
Oakland probably will draw some Mets fans, they are a major market team with a small market budget, and they play second fiddle to a neighboring franchise. They do have an ex-Met, and a prominent one at that in reliever Jeurys Familia. But the A’s have hauled in four World Series wins in the past 50 years. Significantly, despite being a contentender, the A’s were only 27th in attendance this year, unengaged fans don’t deserve a World Series winner.
The Cleveland Indians fell just short in 2016 in that classic World Series battle with the Cubs. The Cleveland fans have certainly been more than patient, their last World Series crown was way back in 1948 when Bob Feller and Larry Doby were starring for the team. However, there is one team that might be even a little more deserving than the tribe.
That would be the Milwaukee Brewers, a small market team that finished 10th in attendance in the league, despite Miller Field having one of the smaller capacities in MLB. The Brewers have been in the Majors since 1970, with no World Series titles. They ended up the regular season with the best record in the NL, even though they play in the toughest division, the Central. Maybe the difference maker for Mets fans, though, is the fact that they have Curtis Granderson on their roster. Granderson was one of the more popular Mets of recent seasons, and was a key factor in the Mets’ 2015 pennant.
The postseason begins today, (the Monday games were technically part of the regular season), so sit back and enjoy the action. With a few breaks, we might even have a more enjoyable 2019 postseason if the Mets catch a few breaks.