The 2015 New York Mets have shocked nearly everyone, including their own fanbase by winning the National League pennant and making it into the World Series. And a lot has been written this past week with regards to Mets fandom, Yankees fandom, bandwagons and rooting interests, so I figured, we could do point/counterpoint type of post the morning the World Series begins, which also happens to be the 29th anniversary of the Mets clinching their last World Series win and the 30th anniversary of the Royals clinching their last World Series win. Funny how that worked out for everyone, right?
This originally started as a solo post, but then I got the bright idea, thanks to our many IIATMS email trails, to have someone else join me to write the opposing viewpoint and voila! So without further adieu, my colleague Scott Moss will be giving you a few reasons why he will be rooting for the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series, and I will be giving you a few reasons why I will not be rooting for them.
Mets-Royals is a tough one for a Yankee fan. The Royals were big playoff rivals of the Yankees when I started following baseball in the 1980s; then they were mainly non-entities in the 1990s-2000s. The Mets similarly have spent most years as non-entities, but their brief successes include the insufferably arrogant and coke-addled mid-late 1980s Mets, then the 2000 team that faced the Yankees in a World Series that was less a friendly Subway Series than a bad-blood, bat-throwing grudge match.
I’m getting flashbacks to the 1986 World Series: I was about 20 rows back of first base on the field level at the infamous Game Six, screaming “nooooo” at E-Buckner because I was rooting for the Red Sox – just because, as a Yankee fan at a World Series between my two least favorite teams, New York’s fair-weather Mets mania jumped past my Sox hatred on my rage list. Mets-Royals 2015 is a tick less bad for Yankee fans than Mets-Sox 1986: the Royals are an old rival but not like the Sox; the 2015 Mets, though still the local rival, aren’t insufferable like the 1986 Mets.
And the 2015 Mets have swung me around to rooting for them. I wasn’t sure whether to root for Mattingly’s Dodgers or the Mets in the LDS, but then Chase Utley shivved the smallest guy on the Mets because gamers gonna game or some such bullshit, and I got sucked into pulling for a really interesting team. Whatever my annoyances about the 1986 or 2000 Mets, the current Mets were mostly age -5 to 10 at the time. The only way this Mets team reminds me of the 1980s is that Syndergaard and DeGrom would fit right into Hair Bands like Motley Crue and Whitesnake. Yoenis Cespedes, whom you may know from such music as Yoenis Cespedes’s privately commissioned walk-up song, is the only Met whose public arrogance may match that of the “Get Metsmerized”-singing 1986 team, but his arrogance is comically harmless -- unlike, say Daryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez playing “mean girls” by constantly insulting Gary Carter for signing autographs and not “partying” like his degenerate teammates. Big, young hard throwers (Syndergaard, DeGrom, Marvey, Matz) are fun to watch, as is their Bizarro-world opposite, big (in a different way) Bartolo Colon. Several of their young position players have interesting skill sets worth watching to see if they become superstars (Conforto, D’Arnaud) or can pull off a lopsided glove-first (Lagares) or bat-first (Flores) profile. Then there’s a guy I’d viewed as their Jeter, but who may be more like their Mattingly: David Wright, the Hall-of-Fame talent struggling through a degenerative back condition (I cringe when I see him dive) and miscellaneous injuries that make it remarkable he still holds his own at third base at age 32.
So for a Yankee fan, yes, the Mets are “the other team” -- but they’re not playing against the Yankees, and they’re a fun, interesting team I’ll be pulling for.
As a Yankee fan, growing up in the 1980s, I dealt with a lot of ribbing from Mets fans when their team made and won the 1986 World Series. My team only made the playoffs one time, in 1981, and they lost the World Series while theirs made and won the World Series. Advantage Mets. I also had a 7th grade homeroom teacher, Mr. Peters, who constantly ribbed me for being a Yankee fan. And you know what? I could have easily jumped ship. I was an impressionable 12 year-old girl who caved into peer pressure daily, but I held my ground, and I remained a Yankee fan. Because that's what you do. You don't switch alliances when your team is down which brings me to the next reason why I am not rooting for the Mets in the World Series.
I do not jump on bandwagons. And if you do, that's perfectly fine, whatever floats your boat, but I do not, and I never did. I took my lumps when my team wasn't good, and as I already said, I never made the jump. I also do not adhere to this whole, "I'm rooting for the Mets because they're a New York team!" nonsense. Mets fans never root for the Yankees when they make the playoffs. If anything, they root for the Yankees to fail. This internet meme sums it up pretty well:
And they don't need us to root for them. They have their own strong and proud rooting section. So let them enjoy their time in the sun without trying to grab onto some of the glory. Because that's how a lot of them are viewing your sudden need to root for their team. In fact, the New York Times published an article last week about Mets fans being angry with Yankee fans feeling the need to cheer for their team.
This was my favorite passage:
At Union Grounds in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, where the Mets’ march to victory blared from three walls of TVs, Jamie Meyer, 31, a film editor, used a drastic metaphor to make his point.
“It’s like postwar Germany,” he said. “ ‘Yes, I was a member of the Nazi Party during the war. But sure, I’ll come over to your house.’ No, you can’t. Some really horrible things have happened.”
You see that, Yankee fans, we're like the Nazis. And while I do realize he was being hyperbolic, he's the one who decided to use that really awful metaphor. Good Lord. How can I root for a team with fans who dislike me that much? No thanks.
And it's a shame, really, because the 2015 Mets are pretty fun to watch.
So with all that being said, I say let the Mets and their fans have their moment in the sun. It's been a long time coming for them and we have our own team from New York to root for.
Please tell us your thoughts on this subject in the comments. As usual be respectful to us and to your fellow IIATMS readers.