In 1986, the Mets made the World Series for the first time in thirteen years. In 2000, the Mets made the World Series for the first time in fourteen years. And now the Mets are in the World Series for the first time in fifteen years. My friend and fellow Met fan Dina compared the Mets to cicadas and their 17-year (sometimes 13-year) life cycle. Indeed, today the whole town is, uh, buzzing - the Mets are in the World Series!
This is the tenth season of Subway Squawkers, and being a Met fan during the time has often been more comparable to a plague of locusts. Things looked promising when Subway Squawkers began in 2006 as part of the New York Daily News website. The Mets were coming off an 83-79 season. They won 97 games, only to be upset in the NLCS.
As disappointing as the end of the 2006 season was, it was largely downhill for Met fans in the following years. Chokes in September 2007 and 2008. And then things really got bad. Bernie Madoff. Luis Castillo. The Yankees go to the World Series and you're not even sure if you should root against them because they are playing the Phillies.
Even when the Mets had a chance to celebrate something, it was always short-lived. Jose Reyes wins a batting title but leaves the last game of the season in the first inning, sparking criticism from media and fans. (Personally, I thought Reyes got a raw deal here for all the criticism about him not "playing the game the right way," particularly with what would later happen with the player he beat out for the batting title, Ryan Braun.) And then it turned out to be Reyes' last game as a Met.
The Mets finally get a no-hitter, but Johan Santana throws 134 pitches and his career craters soon afterward.
R.A. Dickey becomes one of the most unexpected Cy Young award winners ever and is promptly traded away.
It seemed that whenever the Mets finally had someone to root for, he was soon off the team. When Dickey was traded, I wrote the following:
I hope Dickey proves all the doubters wrong. With Jose Reyes also
joining the Blue Jays, I now have a new team to root for in the AL East.
That said, with the current state of the Mets' franchise, trading Dickey
for the haul of prospects the Mets got could be the right move
long-term. Citi Field could even become a more interesting place if the
team appears to be building for the future instead of treading water and
denying they are in rebuilding mode.
At that point, all I wanted was a little hope. Who would have thought that Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard would be integral parts of a pennant winner within three years?
Now it's the Mets who are upsetting the 97-win team in the NLCS. Now it's the other team with the ludicrous fielding displays (I'd still take Kyle Schwarber's bat on my team, though). Now, instead of trading away a Cy Young winner, the Met mow down Cy Young candidates Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta.
When Santana and his huge contract went down with a serious injury, he could not successfully come back. When David Wright and his huge contract went down with a serious injury, he made it back in time for the homestretch and postseason. In Game 4, Wright's leaping grab of a Starlin Castro liner with the bases loaded and none out in the fourth prevented the Cubs from getting back in the game.
Now, instead of having to wait a cicada life cycle for another Mets World Series, Met fans only have to wait a few days. Amazing!