Trading Blue for Purple.
A true Mets fan is also a baseball fan. I grew up in New York, but went to College in the New England area, and I now reside in Connecticut. Where, I had to change cable providers 3 times before I could get SNY. That’s for another time though. My biggest pet peeve is when people say they are done caring about the sport for the year because their team is out of it. To me, that’s a Red Sox fan. Let me be clear, I truly respect a Red Sox fan who year after year struggled with the constant disappointments of their team. It’s the fan that jumped aboard in 2003 right before Aaron Boone’s Home Run that I can’t stand. Trust me, going to school in the New England area, I saw plenty of them.
While the Mets season is clearly over, and all we can hope for now is that they improve their draft placement and maybe call up some young players in September to see if they can contribute in 2010. The baseball season however, is not over.
The Mets have problems, no doubt about it. We can sit here and argue about Minaya, Manuel, the Wilpon’s, Ollie, all day. It won’t change. Everything that needs to be said, has been said. In fact, everybody who can get injured basically has been injured. So why focus on the last 30 something games? There is great baseball being played, and baseball Mets fans should pay close attention to. Next year will come. The winter will hit, the trade market will flourish, and the Mets will show us what direction they see this team going. So for now, while you flip the channel after a Mets error, or a double play by Tatis, or Pelfrey licking his hands 10 times after giving up 2 straight walks, take a look at what’s going on around the league.
Most Mets fans in my experience cannot stand the following teams (in no order): Yankees, Phillies, Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals and Red Sox. That’s just my experience of course. Sadly for the Mets fans, it’s possibly that all 6 of those teams will be in the post-season, but more likely at least 4 of them. So who do we watch? Who do we root for? I think I made it pretty clear in one of my previous articles that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim should be what Mets fans want their own ballclub to be. So naturally, I’ll be rooting for the Angels to take the AL Pennant home. They are as fun of a ballclub as you’ll get to watch in the American League, and set a true example of how the Mets need to build their team moving forward. In the National League, we’ve got some problems. The Phillies, Cardinals and most likely the Dodgers (whether by division or wild card) all seem likely playoff teams. That leaves us with only one option.
Colorado Rockies – What a great time for Mets fans to hop aboard the Rockies bandwagon for the year. On September 1st, the Mets travel to Colorado, so if it’s worth it to you to stay awake for the two 8:40pm starts, you’ll get to see this very exciting team in action. This is a team that teams like the Phillies, Dodgers, and Cardinals hate to play. Why? They have nothing to lose. Again, this team, just like their 2007 team, doesn’t have the talent to match up with those teams, but they make up for it with heart. Something the Mets fan certainly isn’t used to seeing.
In a recent Sports Illustrated article I read while waiting to get my hair cut, the Rockies were praised for their ability to run the bases better than any team in baseball, without relying on steals. They are aggressive, but smart when it comes to running the bases. Something again, we haven’t really experienced this year or in recent year’s past.
All 8 of the Rockies offensive starters are homegrown talent. Of course this is something the Mets have really never been able to achieve. Mets fans however have always hoped for something like this. To a true Rockies fan, this is indeed “their team.”
This is a team that can put up a great fight. We have struggled through a team for the last 3 years that has seemed to have no heart. A team that doesn’t handle firing managers, talking to press, diagnosing injuries, or developing young talent very well. A team that come September has laid down, showing no desire to win the big games, until the big games were long gone. It’s time to get inspired by watching how others do business. It’s time to watch the Angels bunt, steal, and pitch their way past the NY Yankees in the ALCS, and it’s time to watch a team defy all odds and all experts by proving that sometimes, it takes more than just a couple of free agents to win a pennant. It takes a team. The Angels and Rockies are two perfect examples of how the Mets need to plan for the future. So it’s natural that they will be the two teams I root for in the finals weeks of the regular season, and into the playoffs.
Writer’s Note: One of my best friend’s is a Rockies fan and prior to 2008 we made a $100 wager that the Rockies will win a World Series before the Mets do. So if the Rockies do manage to find their way back to the October Classic, I really hope they don’t plan on doing anything crazy, like winning it.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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