I still do not care about this team. It really is amazing. After growing up obsessing over the Mets, as a kid whose biggest dream was to meet Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, I am having trouble finding someone to root for on this team. Think about it, who embodies the underdog spirit traditionally rooted in this town’s youngest sports franchise? The ballclub descendant of the departed Dodgers and Giants? I frankly have no idea.
I mean who are you rooting for? Who am I rooting for? The Mets allow us to root for the laundry, of course. But who are the heroes, the guys you wish you could be like, who you wish you could play like? Is there anyone you watch, and think “win or lose I really want this guy, to succeed”? I will exclude the pitchers for now, they simply do not see the field enough to draw me in other than periodically. So with that in mind, we start at the 1.
At catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been a disappointment since his arrival, has zero personality when interviewed. Prime example, here is a guy who has given me no reason to want him to succeed beyond the laundry.
Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy; I am convinced these guys would not start for any other MLB club. If when wishing you could play baseball, you wish you were any of these guys, then you are aiming tragically low, and probably have self-esteem issues. These players are the epitome of the “AAAA” player. Their presence to me embodies the entire Sandy Alderson Era in Flushing. Cheap middling players, who will never amount to much, but I must be forced to pull for them because of the laundry.
Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson; also emblematic of Alderson FA signings. Old players, way past their prime, who are on their final contracts. They may produce this year, as they have in the past. Solid players with talent, no matter how old, can not suppress it all the time. But this does not make me want to root for either of them. Not here long enough for me to develop any attachment.
David Wright and Juan Lagares remain. It is nearly impossible not to root for David. He is our captain, he is sold as the face as the franchise. I root for David, I always will. But I do not root for him because I want him to succeed. I root for him because it will help the team succeed. Same goal, so our causes overlap. But if David Wright never swings a bat again, he will be fine. After a hundred million dollars, a gorgeous model wife, and being forever etched in Mets’ history as our captain; nobody should worry about David.
Juan Lagares is the guy, he is the lone success story in my opinion, on this team. Problem last year was, we have a manager whose ineptitude caused him to consider not playing him every day until later in 2014. That doubt and his amazing athleticism and talent, makes me root for him. Frankly, I wish we had 7 other Lagares’ in the field. After being signed by Omar Minaya in 2006, Juan began his journey fighting through doubt and questionable managing in the minors. Seven years after signing with the Mets, he finally saw the field. Juan is now a Gold Glove center fielder, and hopefully a permanent fixture on this team.
I pray Juan Lagares is a Met for life, because as it stands right now I am simply not invested in any of these other players. The blame swirls throughout the offices at Citi Field, as they talk about contending for the playoffs, 90 wins, etc…
Realistically, if none of these happen, attendance in Queens will continue to plateau at where it is, with the stands 40-45% empty. The reason? Not anyone we like frankly, is wearing the laundry.