The last time the Mets were really good was 2006. They came one win away from the World Series and it looked like they would compete for years to come. Unfortunately the success did not continue, and the Mets have been trying to rebuild ever since. Now it is 2013 and the Mets almost look decent again. Once they are finally good again they will be even more fun than 2006.
The 2006 Mets were built on big names acquired through trades and free agency. Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Pedro Martinez, and Tom Glavine all established themselves before coming to the Mets. Even smaller contributors such as Paul Lo Duca, Jose Valentin, and Shawn Green were veterans from other teams. The team was a blast to watch but most of the excitement originally came from the splash the Mets were able to make during the winters of 2005 and 2006.
This time the Mets looked primed to succeed with David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, and Bobby Parnell. They have been slowly building towards a winning team without the fanfare that comes with running through free agency. The Mets found themselves on the other side of the big trades, bringing Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard to the organization. The Mets are developing the players they need this time, not putting all their money towards the secondary success of big names.
When the Mets finally make the playoffs again it will be because Matt Harvey is one of the best young pitchers. Juan Lagares looks primed to win a Gold Glove and Bobby Parnell may actually be the closer the Mets have been searching for since 2007.
Of course, the Harvey, Lagares, and Parnell successes, as well as the success of Wright, Murphy, Wheeler, d’Arnaud, and almost anyone else, will be seen by the same fans who watched the growing pains. When players are homegrown there is a more genuine sense of accomplishment. It shows the quality of the organization as a whole, not only the MLB team.
The next winning Mets team will be the results of years of work and will show a dedication to the future. Sandy Alderson has done a good job showing he wants the Mets to have prolonged success. His patience with not only the organization as a whole, but with the call-ups of Harvey and Wheeler.
We all learned “slow and steady wins the race” when we read about the tortoise and the hare. Who would think that could apply to the Mets?