The most likable team in baseball is now the Mets. (With 100% no bias from a Mets fan…)
There was a time not too long ago where you would’ve laughed if you heard that sentence.
The team has undergone a huge overhaul the last few years. The culture in the clubhouse has changed for the better. The results have improved the product on the field, the attendance at Citi Field and the wide support throughout baseball fans.
The Mets may not have all the ingredients that fans love, i.e., a player that can hit 40-50 home runs and a guy with the ability to swipe a bag every time he gets on base. However, there are plenty of fan favorites the Mets have in abundance.
Power pitching. The Amazins’ exemplify power pitching better than any other in baseball and perhaps in baseball history. Even the biggest Mets haters can’t deny this.
Of all pitchers who pitched at least 100 innings, Noah Syndergaard led the MLB last year in average fastball velocity at 97.1 mph. Matt Harvey was 4th at 95.9 mph. Jacob deGrom was 12th at 95 mph. Steven Matz was called up late so he didn’t reach 100 innings, but in the short stint he had in the majors his average would’ve been in the top 20 as well. It’s also interesting to note that Zack Wheeler was 5th in baseball in average fastball velocity in 2014. Familia came in 18th in baseball.
Nothing is more exciting in pitchers than strikeouts. Syndergaard had a 9.96 K/9, deGrom had a 9.66 K/9. Matt Harvey in his first season back from Tommy John surgery had an 8.94 K/9 and Matz came in at 8.58 K/9. Fireball relievers Robles and Familia had 10.7 k/9 and 9.92 k/9 respectively.
There is always going to be controversy and naysayers when you use the word historic to describe anything, but the Mets truly have one of the greatest power pitching staffs in history. The New York Times has a great article to show just how hard these guys throw. Fastest Pitchers in Baseball
Success. Fans like successful teams.
The Mets are coming off a season in which they won the NL East by beating out the Nationals, who many had as World Series favorites. They beat the Dodgers 3-2 in the NLDS. The Mets had to face the duo of Kershaw and Greinke twice each in that 5 game series. Greinke and Kershaw came in 2nd and 3rd respectively in the NL Cy Young vote. In the 4 games that duo started in the NLDS, the Mets managed just 9 runs total. Ultimately the Mets pitching was able to out-duel the Dodgers staff and get them to the NLCS. Not much to talk about here. The high-powered Cubs offense, that had fans thinking they could finally break the curse, mustered only 8 runs as they got swept. The Mets eventually lost in 5 to the Royals, but 2015 was wildly successful for the Metropolitans and there’s no reason the success shouldn’t continue this year and for years to come.
The greatness of the Mets pitching staff has been well documented. The Mets have the potential to keep these young guns together for a few more years before they have to break the bank to keep them. deGrom (27), Harvey (26), Familia (26), Wheeler (25), Matz (24), and Syndergaard (23) are a dream for the Mets and their fans.
Travis d’Arnaud made some huge strides last season despite playing in only 67 games. In those 67 games he hit 12 homers which was just 1 off his career high in 2014 when he played in 108 games. He had the same amount of RBI’s the last two years (41) hit .268 and had an OPS of .825.
The Mets called up Michael Conforto at the end of July and it paid dividends right away.
The 22-year-old outfielder played in 56 games for the Mets hitting .270 and smashing 9 homers and driving in 26 runs. He slugged an impressive .506 and displayed the ability to hit the ball all over the ballpark. What stood out the most was how confident he looked at the big league level and how all the defensive woes we heard about in the Minors didn’t transpire on the Mets.
If healthy, all these players could improve next year and that’s scary for the rest of baseball.
Mets might have the most flair in the league. deGrom might have a pretty reserved personality but his artistry on the mound is the polar opposite. He’s had this flair since the start of his rookie of the year campaign in 2014 but most people didn’t realize it until the 2015 All-Star Game when he struck out the side on 10 pitches (ASG record).
Matt Harvey. The Dark Knight. He may have been in the news too much for the innings limit controversy for most people’s liking but he’s the Dark Knight. Who has more flair than this guy both on the diamond and off it? The guys got the mentality that every great competitor has.
THOR. The flair his hair generates as well asNo Longer The Lovable Losers, But Still Baseball’s Most Likable Team the hardest fastball in baseball is enough to put him in this paragraph but he has even more to contribute.
“If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60-feet six-inches away. I’ve got no problem with that.”
This quote came after game 3 when Syndergaard threw the first pitch up and in on Alcides Escobar. That quote pumped up the entire fan base. When he said that I jumped off my couch so fast I got dizzy. And Noah wearing Big Sexy T-shirts on Christmas with his whole family. How can someone not love that.
YOOOO! The lime green arm sleeve, the rocket arm, the line drive home runs that get out of the park faster than I’ve seen any Met hit them before. This guy personifies flair.
These guys might not have flair but they are some of the most likable guys in baseball.
David Wright. Even with a declining production the last few years and a probable continued decline because of spinal stenosis, the baseball world loves David. Captain America. His 2013 heroics of the World Baseball Classic earned him that nickname and rightfully so.
Then he was voted the Face of MLB in 2014 by the fans. A true Captain on the field and off. Under the bright lights in NYC and he has been one of the classiest athletes in sports.
Bartolo Colon. I laugh every time I think of him. The smiles, furious swings at the plate, the high-class athleticism. I’m laughing even harder now.
The New York cult hero draws a standing ovation and smiles all over the ballpark every time he walks up to the plate. The behind the back throw to get Justin Bour at first base. He might have lost his fastball and he’s not the pitcher he once was but he’s loved by baseball. Wilmer Flores. The bizarre trade-that-never-was crying game might have produced some funny memes for the internet but it made Wilmer such a likable guy. Then two nights later he hit the walk-off home run against the Nationals that might have been the turning point of the season for the Amazins.
The Mets may
or may not be the most likable team in baseball.
The up and coming, young, hungry team full of personality is the most likable team this year and could be the most likable for a long time.