Terry Collins

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 34 Noah Syndergaard

It’s rare a team can trade the reigning Cy Young Award winner and make the trade look like an absolute steal. However, that is what happened when the Mets traded R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for a package which included Noah Syndergaard.

After the December 2012 trade, Syndergaard would have a somewhat interesting path to the majors. It included him trying to push his way to the majors partially to get away from the environment in Triple-A Las Vegas. He would also be ambushed by David Wright and Bobby Parnell in Spring Training with the duo throwing out his lunch. That strange odyssey led to him being truly ready in 2015.

The Mets first called him up in May when Dillon Gee hit the disabled list. Syndergaard would have a very impressive start to his Major League career. In his fourth career start, he hit his first Major League homer. In August, he would be named the National League Pitcher of the Week. He’d set a Major League record by becoming the first rookie since 1900 to have consecutive starts with nine strikeouts and no walks. This was a pitcher not only ready to debut; this was a pitcher ready for the biggest of stages – New York and the postseason.

He pitched well in his first postseason start, Game 2 of the NLDS, but he would get tagged with the loss partially because what should’ve been an inning ending double play was a blown call by second base umpire Chris Guccione when Chase Utley tackled and broke Ruben Tejada‘s leg. Syndergaard would get his revenge twice for this. The first time was his relief appearance in Game 5:

That relief appearance helped propel the Mets to the NLCS. Syndergaard would pitch again in Game 2 of the NLCS helping the Mets get a 2-0 series lead on the Cubs after striking out nine Cubs in 5.2 innings. He would not take the mound again until Game 3 of the World Series. With the Mets down 2-0, he would send a message to the Royals that he was 6’6″ away.”

The Mets would win that game and get back in the series. With that win, Syndergaard would become the first ever pitcher to win a World Series game at Citi Field. Unfortunately, he never got to take the mound again in what should’ve been an epic Game 7.

Instead, he took the mound in Kansas City for the second game of the 2016 season. In that game, he unleashed a wicked slider which would be a key to his having a great year, one which he was named an All Star for the first time in his career. Over his first two starts of the season, he tied a club record with Pedro Martinez and Dwight Gooden for the most strikeouts over the first two starts of the season (21).

In that season, Syndergaard developed not only that slider but also a chemistry with Rene Rivera. He would have a number of great games including his two home run game against the Dodgers.

That season, he would also get tossed from a game trying to exact revenge against Utley by throwing behind him. As if that moment was not iconic enough for Mets fans, it created the infamous Terry Collins rant video.

In that season, Syndergaard would lead the league in FIP and HR/9, and he would be second in the majors in pitcher WAR and third in ERA and ERA+. For some reason, he would only finish eighth in the Cy Young voting that year. Despite the voting, one thing was clear – Syndergaard had arrived on the scene as a true ace. The was the type of ace you wanted to give the ball to in a winner-take-all game, which is what the Mets did.

In the Mets first National League Wild Card Game, Syndergaard was phenomenal. Over seven innings, he actually out-pitched Madison Bumgarner, the greatest big game pitcher of his generation. Unfortunately, the Mets were not able to give him the support he needed, and ultimately, Jeurys Familia would allow a three run homer, and the Mets would be eliminated from the postseason.

One interesting fact about Syndergaard is he joined Al Leiter and John Franco as just the only Mets pitchers to pitch in elimination games in consecutive postseasons. Familia would join him in that feat as well.

After 2016, Syndergaard has had difficulty taking the leap we expected. In 2017, he had a torn lat, and as we recently discovered, in addition to the bone spurs in his elbow, he had a torn UCL. Despite the injuries, Syndergaard pitched like an ace level pitcher. For example, in 2019, he was 18th in the Majors in FIP, and he had the second best hard hit rate.

In fact, since his debut in 2015, Syndergaard has the 10th best WAR and FIP in the majors. During that time frame, he has also been etching his name onto the Mets record books. In fact, despite all the hand wringing some commentators have about his ability to strike people out, he has the second best K/9 in team history. He has also demonstrated exceptional control with the fourth best K/BB in team history.

In the end, he has the fourth best FIP in team history. He has also established himself as a big game pitcher who you can trust to take the ball with everything on the line. He has already established himself as the best Mets player to ever wear the number 34.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack
33. Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey Deserves More Love Than Bartolo Colon

Because of the regular season, we normally overlook what happens on a particular day in the history of any franchise. For example, if it wasn’t for everyone wearing the number 42, it is very likely Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier on April 15 would be little more than a footnote year-in and year-out.

However, with there no baseball going on, we get to appreciate just how much significant events happen on the same day. For the Mets, on May 7th, there were two fairly significant events which happened.

The first was Matt Harvey‘s near no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. This was back when Harvey was drawing Tom Seaver comparisons, and this game was a perfect example why. He was not just dominant, but he was pitching smart and effective. Really, none of the White Sox batters had a chance against him.

If not for Ruben Tejada, he would have had a perfect game. That’s how great he was on this day. If not for the Mets offense, he would have had a complete game shut out. Instead, he would have to settle for one of the most incredible no decisions you will ever see.

It is easy to forget but in 2013, Harvey is what gave Mets fans hope as they hoped the team would eventually turn the corner to become World Series contenders again. He started the All-Star Game in Citi Field, and he was neck-in-neck with Clayton Kershaw in the Cy Young chase until he succumbed to Tommy John. Remember, this was Kershaw at his peak, which was back when Kershaw might’ve been the best pitcher anyone has ever seen. Harvey was that great.

Three years later, May 7 would be the day Bartolo Colon did the seemingly impossible. Someone who was just about the worst hitter you will ever see, and a player who obviously had little to no interest in hitting, would hit a homer. What made it all the more incredulous was it happened in Petco Park, one of the most difficult ballparks to homer:

Colon made Major League history that day by becoming the oldest player to hit his first homer. Arguably, he also made history by becoming the worst ever hitter to homer in a game.

Harvey’s near perfect game and Colon’s homer were significant events which both happened on the same day. Especially given the fact there is no baseball being played, those are two events which should be denoted and remembered. The Mets did do that with Colon:

The Mets did not do the same with Harvey. There was no tweet commemorating one of the best pitching performances in team history. It’s also very likely you will not see it on SNY anytime soon.

This is part of the strange odyssey of Harvey, and it is part of the way over-the-top adoration of Colon during his time with the Mets.

There is no doubt Harvey had his missteps with the Mets. Many did not appreciate Scott Boras trying to protect Harvey’s career the way he once did with Stephen Strasburg, who was last year’s World Series MVP. There was the missed workout on the eve of the 2015 postseason, and then there was that one day he was a flat out no show at the ballpark.

Eventually, Harvey pushed back against a demotion to the bullpen, and he wouldn’t accept a demotion to the minors. This led to his eventual DFA and trade to the Reds.

Lost in all of that was Harvey’s great 2013 season. Also lost was how he returned to form in 2015. In those seasons, Harvey was synonymous with hope. He gave you hope the Mets could turn it around, and then he gave you hope the Mets could win it all. With that 2015 postseason, if not for some serious managerial missteps by Terry Collins, he would have pulled it off.

Keep in mind, in doing that, Harvey had to ignore the advice of his agent and doctors. He would pitch more innings than anyone has post Tommy John surgery. It would not be his fault his career was forever altered by TOS. In the end, he did everything he could do to help the Mets, and he gave us some moments we truly cherised.

As for Colon, well, he was a below average pitcher during his time with the Mets (96 ERA+), and he was just not good in the 2015 postseason.

Still, he had his moments, especially in the field. There are many defensive plays no one will forget like his behind the back flip against the Marlins. Overall, Colon was a good fielding pitcher, and he was frankly robbed of the Gold Glove in 2016. It should also be noted he was very good in 2016, and he was one of the main reasons why that team went on the great run they did to get back to the postseason.

Ultimately, fans are entitled to love who they love for whatever reason. After all, there is a certain irrational element in being a fan of any team or sport. You have to stick by when people give you every reason there is not to stick with them. That goes double, triple, and much much higher for a Wilpon run franchise.

That said, Harvey was great with the Mets, and he gave everything he could give them. As such, it is flat out wrong to see his great moments go completely overlooked by the team. When you boil it down, he should also get more respect and love from the fans, the same fans who once chanted his name and cheered him vociferously during the 2013 and 2015 seasons.

Best Mets Of All Time: No. 27 Jeurys Familia

For the first time on this Best Mets list, there is an active player with Jeurys Familia being the best Mets player to ever wear the number 27. Looking beyond that, Familia is one of the best relievers to ever don a Mets uniform. What makes that all the more remarkable is Familia didn’t even begin playing baseball until he was 15 years old. As a result, he’d be a largely unheralded intertional free agent signing in 2007 earning just a $100,000 signing bonus.

After two cups of coffee in 2012 and 2013, Familia burst on the scene in 2014 finishing seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting. He had a 2.21 ERA over 77.1 innings. This would begin what was arguably the best three year stretch for any Mets reliever in team history and what could be the best stretch by any Major League reliever over that time span.

With Familia’s 2014 season, many saw him as the closer of the future. The thought was that was going to have to wait as Jenrry Mejia had established himself as the closer. That was until the first of his steroid suspensions which eventually led to his banishment from baseball. Familia stepped up, and he successfully converted his first 13 save chances and 27 of his first 29.

It should be noted the Mets had VERY little margin of error for much of that season. After a great April start, the Mets suffered a number of injuries leaving them with little to no offense. That problem was compounded by a shallow bullpen. Oft times, Familia was left with a very little margin of error, and he was called upon to pitch more than just one inning. He was a huge reason why the Mets won the division that year.

As great as Familia was during the regular season, he was even better in the postseason. He appeared in four of the five games against the Dodgers in what was an epic NLDS, and he converted the save in all three Mets wins. That included him going four outs to preserve Jacob deGrom‘s great Game 1 start, and it was his pitching two innings to get the save in the clinching Game 5.

Throughout that postseason, he would have a 0.61 ERA. That includes a 1.80 ERA in the World Series. Unfortunately, he was saddled with a blown save in three of those games. However, that speaks more to poor defense and just plain bad decision making by Terry Collins.

Familia rebounded from the World Series disappointment to put together a truly great 2016 season. In that season, he would set a number of Mets records including consecutive saves and saves in a season. In fact, Familia would set a Major League record in the process by converting his 53rd consecutive save opportunity. This would garner him his first All-Star appearance (to date). His signature save conversion that season was in April when he got out of a bases loaded no out jam to save a 1-0 Mets victory:

From 2015 – 2016, Familia set the Mets record for most saves over a two year span with 94. In 2015, he tied Armando Benitez‘s single season record, and in 2016, he blew past it. Over that time span, no National League reliever had converted more saves, finished more games, or pitched more innings than him.

From 2014 – 2016, he pitched more innings than any other National League reliever, and he had the second highest WAR and FIP. Arguably, he was the best reliever in the National League and the best closer in all of baseball. Some of this gets lost in his postseason misfortunes.

Unfortunately, the 2017 season was a disaster. It started with a domestic violence arrest, and he would suffer a season ending injury.

After 2017, he hasn’t quite reached that peak he was at in 2015-2016. However, he did rebound in 2018 to have a very effective season leading to him being traded at the trade deadline. Familia missed New York, and he returned the first chance he got. His return did not go well in year one, but there is hope he can return to form working with former teammate and new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner.

Through it all, Familia has arguably emerged as the best right-handed closer in Mets history. His two year stretch from 2015-2016 saw him close more games and finish more games than any Mets closer. At the moment, he is third all-time on the Mets saves list, and fourth all-time in appearances. Through it all, he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 27.

Previous

1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach

1999 Mets Win One

There wasn’t John Franco blowing an eighth inning lead. Armando Benitez didn’t blow a 10th inning save opportunity. Kenny Rogers didn’t walk Andruw Jones with the bases loaded.

Instead, Frank Clark got Jimmy Garopollo into a grasp only Eli Manning could’ve wrestled out of leading to the drive ending on downs.

A Damien Williams touchdown and Kendall Fuller pick later, and the Chiefs somewhat improbable comeback was accomplished, and they were Super Bowl Champions.

Twenty years later, Mets fans got to finally see Pat Mahomes win a title.

No, it wasn’t with the same team or even the same sport, but Mahomes is a champion. Still, with him wearing his father’s Mets jersey on occasion, as a Mets fan, you couldn’t help from feeling happy for the family.

With the Chiefs winning their first Super Bowl since Super Bowl IV, you also couldn’t help but feel optimism the Mets own drought will soon end.

Like the Chiefs for so many years, the Mets seemed snake bitten facing many brutal losses and horrific moments since their last title.

Rogers walked in Jones. Todd Zeile‘s bounced back and Timo Perez didn’t run it out.

Roberto Alomar completely lost it. On that note, the team traded away Jason Bay too soon and signed him too late. There was also the mishandling of his and Ryan Church‘s concussions.

There were so many mishandled injuries. Pedro Martinez was inexplicably forced to pitch, and the Mets at least tried to prevent Carlos Beltran from getting knee surgery.

Of course, we have Beltran looking at an Adam Wainwright curveball and his teams teams collapse in the ensuing two years leaving everyone but Tom Glavine devastated. That’s nowhere near as bad as the embarrassment leading up to Beltran’s firing.

That cast a shadow over his World Series. Mets fans should be so lucky.

Terry Collins can completely blew the series with bad decisions which backfired all series long. Jeurys Familia‘s quick pitch didn’t fool Alex Gordon, and a year later, he was flat out beat by Conor Gillaspie.

This all meant David Wright, forced to retire too soon from spinal stenosis which robbed him of the Hall of Fame, never won a ring. To a lesser extent, there’s the career Matt Harvey never got to have due to his TOS.

Throw in the Madoff scandal and the Wilpons being the Wilpons, and this franchise seems as snakebitten as they come. That’s how the Chiefs fans once felt.

They don’t feel that way anymore. That changed with Mahomes, who is now a champion.

For the Mets, they have Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Noah Syndergaard, and more. Combine that with the impending sale of the team, and there’s hope.

Maybe, just maybe, 2020 will be the year for the Mets.

It may sound ridiculous, but so is Andy Reid managing the clock well and having terrific game management in the fourth quarter to help the Chiefs win a Super Bowl.

Mets Trust In Carlos Beltran Based On Seven Years, Not One Interview

There has been this prevailing notion the fate of Carlos Beltran should be determined by how honest he was with the Mets during his interviews for the managerial position.

The premise is if he lied they can’t trust him, and he should be fired. If he was honest, they really have no basis to fire him.

For a typical managerial hire, this would be true. After all, many managers are hired from outside the organization. As we saw with Mickey Callaway, you only really speak to a candidate once or twice, and then you vet that candidate.

But that’s not Beltran.

Carlos Beltran spent seven years with the Mets. During that time, Beltran and the team had a tumultuous relationship.

Fred Wilpon based Beltran in an interview with the New Yorker. The Mets fought with Beltran over his opting for knee surgery. Overall, Beltran was there for good times and bad times. In fact, with two collapses, the Madoff scandal, firing Willie Randolph one game into a west coast trip, and Francisco Rodriguez attacking his children’s grandfather in the family room, he was there for some of the worst times in team history.

Beltran is close with Omar Minaya and Allard Baird, both of whom are assistant general managers. He played for Terry Collins, who is a special assistant. He also played for AJ Hinch, who is a close personal friend of Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

When you throw in Beltran’s personal relationships with other members of the front office like David Wright, and his playing for the Wilpons in all the seven years he played in Flushing, you realize the Mets know Beltran extremely well.

Based on that relationship, the Mets believed Beltran was the best person to lead the franchise in 2020 and into the future. A report where he was not explicitly found of any wrongdoing should do nothing at all to change that.

What happened with the Astros is a red herring as it pertains to the Mets. They know exactly the person who Beltran is, and they thought so highly of that person, they made him their manager. Right now, Beltran is the same person who interviewed for the job, was hired, and has been preparing for his first Spring Training as manager.

Don’t be fooled by moving narratives. Beltran is exactly the person they know him to be, and he’s not facing any punishment from baseball. As such, short of being instructed to do so by the commissioner, the Mets have zero basis to fire him for a supposed inability to trust a person with whom they have a long standing relationship.

‘Twas Five Years Before Cohen

‘Twas five years before Cohen, when all through the Citi
Not a dollar was whirling, not even a fifty.
The equipment was hung in the clubhouse with care,
In hopes a free agent soon would be there.

Jeff was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of insurance savings danced in his head.
And Fred in his ‘kerchief, and Saul in his cap,
Began preparing for when they took that one final nap.

When out on the news wire there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Away to Twitter I flew like a flash,
Sifted through the notification and ignored the trash.

A new moon on the New York baseball shown
The chance of the Wilpons money no longer be sown.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Steve Cohen, and some reason to cheer.

With a new owner, so wealthy and smart,
I knew in a moment the Wilpons ways will part.
More rapid than eagles the hope sure came,
Mets whistled, and shouted, and called extensions by name!

“Now Matz! now, Thor! now, Marcus and Lugo!
On, Nimmo! On, Alonso! on, on McNeil and Conforto!
To the top of the norn! before next fall!
Extend them! Extend them! Extend them all!”

As quality free agents sign and poor excuses once fly,
Finances no longer an obstacle, debt reaching the sky.
So among the fanbase optimism grew,
Jeff Wilpon soon to be gone, and Van Wagenen too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard through the wall
The prancing and pawing of agents who now call.
As the Mets try to get ahead, and turn things around,
Soon gone are the Wilpons ways which always confound.

Cohen was dressed all in Mets gear, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes not tarnished with Brooklyn Dodgers adorations afoot.
A bundle of cash he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a legitimate owner, hanging over a stack.

Our eyes—how they twinkled! our moods how merry!
A leader like Moses, and nothing like Terry!
Boras’ droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the green in his eyes from money now aflow

The stump of a pencil Cohen held tight in his teeth,
Writing to Jeff that only in title he will be chief.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
Which hungered to see a Mets winner playing on his telly!

He loved his art, some displayed on a shelf,
One piece alone worth more than all of Fred’s wealth
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

In five years Cohen will leave experts to their work,
Suddenly we won’t see micromanaging from some little jerk.
Injured players no longer needing to ignore doctors they chose,
Now healthy teams playing Mets foes!

He sprang to the bank, to his team gave a whistle,
As homers and fastballs firing faster than a missle.
But I heard him exclaim causing a lot of mayhem,
“Happy Christmas to all, and all a L-F-G-M!”

15 Years Later Carlos Beltran Replaces Willie Randolph

On November 4, 2004, the New York Mets introduced Willie Randolph as the 18th manager in Mets history. In his three plus years on the job, Randolph would have the second best winning percentage in Mets history, and like Davey Johnson, he would be one of only two Mets managers to never have a losing record over a full season.

During Randolph’s tenure, there tends to be a heavy focus on the 2007 collapse and his being fired one game into a trip to the West Coast. Lost in that was Randolph taking the Mets to that level. Sure, adding players like Carlos Delgado were a huge factor. However, Randolph helped develop players like David Wright and Jose Reyes.

People also forget Randolph guided the Mets to a winning record in a season where Doug Mientkiewicz, Miguel Cairo, and Victor Diaz got the most games played at first, second, and right. Randolph did help build a winning culture, and to his credit, he learned to adapt to the team while doing a good job with the bullpen.

No, he was not perfect by any means, but overall, Randolph had done a good job with the Mets. Seeing the jobs Jerry Manuel, Terry Collins, and Mickey Callaway did, you tend to realize Randolph was much better than anyone realized.

Fifteen years later, the Mets are following a pattern a bit in hiring their next manager.

Like Randolph, Carlos Beltran came to the New York Mets directly from the Yankees organization. Like Randolph, Beltran played for both the Mets and the Yankees. Both were multiple time All Stars who won a World Series. Both were looked upon by Mets fans as someone who really wanted to be a Yankee and not a Met.

It was odd for Randolph considering how he grew up a Mets fan. Randolph spoke lovingly about the team even telling everyone his first date with his wife was at Shea Stadium. When Randolph had an opportunity at the end of his career, he came to the Mets.

For Beltran, he actually signed with the Mets. As we know things ended poorly with the Mets, but despite all of that, Beltran came back to the Mets. Like Randolph 15 years ago, Beltran is going to become the Mets manager. He is also going to be entasked with guiding the young careers of players like Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.

If in the end of his career as the Mets manager, Beltran never has a losing record, helped his young players take the next step forward, and he takes the Mets to the postseason, we would all agree it was a very successful run. However, that is today. As we know, there is a lot which happens in-between now and then.

2010 Decade Worst in New York Sports

On February 5, 2012, Eli Manning threw an amazing 38 yard pass to Mario Manningham starting off the Giants game winning drive in Super Bowl XLVI. After Ahmad Bradshaw stumbled into the end zone with the latest rushing TD in Super Bowl history, and a Tom Brady Hail Mary falling harmlessly to the ground, the New York Giants won their fourth Super Bowl in team history.

With the World Series now completed and the 2019 baseball season officially over, that Giants Super Bowl now stands as the only championship won by a New York sports team. That officially makes this the worst ever decade in New York sports history. In fact, prior to this decade, New York had not seen fewer than three championships in any decade:

Decade Champions Teams
1920s 6 New York Giants (1920 – 1921), New York Yankees (1927 – 1928), New York Giants (1927), New York Rangers (1928)
1930s 8 New York Yankees (1932, 1936 – 1939), New York Rangers (1933), New York Giants (1934, 1938)
1940s 5 New York Rangers (1940), New York Yankees (1941, 1943, 1947, 1949)
1950s 9 New York Yankees (1950 – 1953, 1956, 1958), New York Giants (1954), Brooklyn Dodgers (1955), New York Giants (1956)
1960s 4 New York Yankees (1961 – 1962), New York Mets (1969), New York Jets (1969)
1970s 4 New York Knicks (1970, 1973) New York Yankees (1977 – 1978)
1980s 6 New York Islanders (1980 – 1983) New York Mets (1986), New York Giants (1987)
1990s 4 New York Giants (1991), New York Yankees (1996, 1998-1999)
2000s 3 New York Yankees (2000, 2009), New York Giants (2008)
2010s 1 New York Giants (2012)

Looking at it, this is the first decade since the 1910s where New York did not have at least three championships. In that decade, there were none as the New York Giants lost four World Series and the Brooklyn Robins lost one themselves.

But that was really it. The NHL was established towards the end of the decade in 1917. The NFL wasn’t established until 1920, and the NBA was not founded until 1947.

As has been noted many times over, this was also the first decade since those 1910s where the New York Yankees did not make a World Series. This decade’s team didn’t make it there largely because of Justin Verlander with the Yankees losing in the ALCS to his teams in 2012, 2017, and 2019.

The only teams who would make it to the championship series were the 2014 New York Rangers and the 2015 Mets. The Rangers lost in five to the Los Angels Kings in a very questionably officiated series. As for the Mets, they blew it with Terry Collins mismanaging and crucial errors from Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda leading to two of Jeurys Familia‘s three blown saves.

In the ensuing season, the Mets would lose the Wild Card game as Madison Bumgarner outlasted Noah Syndergaard. The Rangers had a run with three Conference Finals in four years. The New York Jets had their second AFC Championship Game at the beginning of a decade which has largely been associated with the Butt Fumble.

The New York Knicks, New York Islanders, and Brooklyn Nets never got out of the second round. On the topic of the Nets, even if we incorporate the New Jersey teams, the New Jersey Devils lost the 2012 Stanley Cup to the Los Angeles Kings.

Thankfully, this decade of relative New York ineptitude has come to an end, and there is some hope on the horizon. The Mets have an impressive core with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Jacob deGrom, Edwin Diaz, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, and Syndergaard.

The Yankees have been in the ALCS in two out of the last three years, and they have an even more impressive core with Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres.

The New York Rangers are properly rebuilding, and they are a year or two away from real contention. The New York Islanders leadership with Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz is as good as there is in all of sports. The New York Giants and New York Jets have potential franchise QBs in Daniel Jones and Sam Darnold.

The Brooklyn Nets have Kyrie Irving, and next year, a healthy Kevin Durant. The New York Knicks are well, they’re the Knicks. Even with them being the Knicks, we see some hope at the end of the tunnel for New York sports in the ensuing decade, and you could actually foresee a chance where they surpass the nine championships of the 1950s.

2019 Washington Nationals World Series Reminiscent of Mets Inability To Win

The 2019 Washington Nationals World Series winning team had many parallels to the 2015 New York Mets pennant winning team. Really, the parallels go further than that. Those parallels bring forth a sense of melancholy when you consider what the Nationals could do that the Mets didn’t.

First and foremost, you think of how David Wright isn’t going to get the ring which Ryan Zimmerman just one. The two of them grew up together, were first round draft picks, and they were both Gold Glove All Star third baseman playing in the same division. They’d both suffer career altering injuries. In Wright’s case, it was career ending, but Zimmerman was able to overcome his injuries. That is part of the reason why Zimmerman has a ring, and Wright doesn’t.

Zimmerman might’ve won in 2012, but the Nationals would lose in the NLDS. One of the reasons for that loss was Stephen Strasburg was shut down.

Unlike Matt Harvey, Strasburg heeded the advice of Scott Boras, and Strasburg put his career above one shot at a World Series. To the Nationals credit, they did the same. Of course, the Mets pressured Harvey to pitch, and in the process, they reneged on their previous agreements. In the end, Harvey would pitch more innings than anyone had previous pitched post Tommy John.

As noted previously, Dave Martinez did what Terry Collins didn’t do. He lifted Strasburg one batter in the ninth. Through and through, the Nationals knew how to treat and handle their franchise starter, and the Mets didn’t.

On the subject of Martinez, it is noteworthy he was a first time manager in 2018 like Mickey Callaway. Like Callaway, both were on the hot seat entering this season. In fact, both of them had seats scolding hot at points during the season. The Nationals stuck by Martinez, and they won a World Series, while the Mets are conducting a search for their next manager with former Mets player and current Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar among the candidates.

In terms of players with ties to both teams, Asdrubal Cabrera would win his first ring with the Nationals. To his credit, Cabrera did all he could do in 2016 to get the Mets into the Wild Card Game, but the Mets would lose that game. Obviously, the Nationals would win that game making a stunning come from behind victory.

Other interesting tidbits was Max Scherzer having a start similar to the one Jacob deGrom had in Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS. Scherzer faced off against Zack Greinke much like deGrom did four years ago. Another interesting tidbit was like with Daniel Murphy in 2015,  it took a home run from the second baseman to give their team a 3-2 lead. Well, actually Howie Kendrick was the DH last night, but he has been a second baseman for much of the year.

Finally, when thinking of the Washington Nationals franchise, you come to think of Gary Carter. He was the first ever player from that franchise inducted into the Hall of Fame, and it was the result of the Baseball Hall of Fame not permitting him to wear a Mets cap like he wanted. Part of the reason why was Carter didn’t want to go in the Hall with a team with whom he had no ties.

In the ensuing year, the Nationals unretired his number, and there is little reference or honoring him or the other Montreal Expos greats. Still, while the Nationals fans don’t remember him, we, as Mets fans will, especially because it was Carter who started the greatest rally in World Series history. That rally helped that 1986 team accomplish what the 2019 Nationals did – win a World Series.

Stephen Strasburg Lifted In Ninth Like Matt Harvey Wasn’t

With the Washington Nationals facing elimination, Stephen Strasburg was sent to the mound to begin the ninth inning. On the second pitch of the inning, Yuli Gurriel hit a hard liner to left, which was caught by Juan Soto for the first out of the inning.

Even with a five run lead, the Nationals went to their closer, Sean Doolittle, who was already warmed up. Doolittle came in, and he shut down the Astros allowing the Nationals to fight another day.

In a World Series filled with reminders of the 2015 Mets, this served as yet another tragic reminder to Mets fans.

Going back to that fateful Game 5, Matt Harvey was as dominant as any pitcher we had ever seen on that stage. Through the first eight innings, he had not allowed a run. The Royals had no chance against him walking just once and getting just four hits while striking out nine times.

After that eighth inning, Harvey was at 101 pitches. At that time, the heart said to keep Harvey in the game to complete his masterpiece. The head said to go with Jeurys Familia. Terry Collins went with his heart, and then he completely lost his head.

Collins sat idly by when Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain. Harvey was still on that mound when Cain stole second, and he would score on an Eric Hosmer RBI double. This set forth a series of dominoes leading to David Wright playing a ball which should’ve been played by Wilmer Flores. With Wright abandoning third, Hosmer took off from third with reckless abandon, and he scored the tying run as Lucas Duda made what was the worst throw in World Series history.

No, the Mets didn’t lose because Harvey started the ninth. The same can be said about Duda completely botching that throw. However, what is not up for debate is Collins didn’t put his closer in the best possible position to succeed. Looking back at that series, that’s one of the many ways Collins blew that World Series for the Mets.

The Nationals didn’t blow the World Series. Not yet at least. They didn’t partially because they knew when to get Strasburg from the game. This is just yet another dreaded Strasburg/Harvey parallel from this World Series. Based on how this series is going, who knows what insult to injury will be added for the Mets fan in Game 7 of this series.