The World Series kicks off Tuesday night in Los Angeles between the Astros and Dodgers, and even though the Mets aren’t in the Fall Classic this year, most of us will be watching.
Who we’ll be rooting for is, of course, another story. We’ve thankfully avoided the nightmare scenario (Yankees vs Nationals), so most Mets fans will be watching the series and seem to be firmly on the side that prefers the Houston Astros be crowned world champs.
While there isn’t really any bad blood between the Astros and Mets, there’s still plenty of it when it comes to the Dodgers. The 2015 NLDS is still fresh in a lot of our minds, and even though the Mets won that series, the Dodgers became a little bit of a rival afterwards. There’s no doubt that they’re a fantastic powerhouse of team, so anyone that thinks otherwise is just lying to themselves.
Of course, you could also point to the last time the Dodgers were in the World Series and the fact that they beat the Mets in 1988 to get there as another reason to hate LA.
But there is one main reason why most Mets today will root against the Dodgers, and for the Astros instead, and his name is Chase Utley. His dirty takeout slide of Ruben Tejada is still one of the worst plays we’ve had to witness. Not only did Tejada suffer a broken leg as a result of that play, but Utley actually got second base awarded to him after even though he never touched the bag. The Dodgers rallied and won game 2. All the years he spent destroying the Mets as a Phillie were manifested in a physical form when he took out Tejada’s leg.
It still gets me angry just thinking about it.
There were some fans that suggest that since Curtis Granderson got traded to LA, we should pull for him to get a ring. I could understand that point of view, but today the Dodgers announced Granderson was being left off the World Series roster. To be fair, he would still get a ring if they win, but the fact that won’t be playing in it must have really stung. It would have been his third World Series appearance, and barring an injury to an outfielder, it may not happen.
The Dodgers also have another ex-Met on their team, MVP-candidate Justin Turner. I’m not going to get into the fact that like Daniel Murphy, Turner went from being an okay player to the second-coming of Babe Ruth the minute he took off the blue and orange, but it’s obviously still something that haunts most Mets fans.
I’m happy for him, and the fact that he was able to discover a new side of his game, but I just can’t root for someone that got so much better after leaving the Mets. It’s nothing personal.
It’s not all about hating Los Angeles though, as the Astros are also pretty likable. They beat our city rival, the Yankees in the ALCS. And although they took seven games to do so, it was pretty sweet. Houston also has likely-AL MVP Jose Altuve who is 5’6″ and plain and simply hits the snot out of the ball. He’s so much fun to watch.
Don’t forget about another former Met that’s back in the World Series with Houston: Carlos Beltran. While a lot of fans will never get over the final out of the 2006 NLCS, Beltran was a fantastic Met. He’s never been able to win a ring, and I really want him to finally get one this time around. It may be his final chance to do so.
As far as we’re concerned, most of the Rising Apple staff is rooting for the Houston Astros with one big exception. Our newest editor Christina lives in Los Angeles and is from the original home of the Dodgers, Brooklyn, so naturally she’s rooting for the blue and white. I’ve tried to convince her, but have failed miserably.
Earlier on Tuesday, we asked our Twitter followers to tell us who they were rooting for. At time of writing, that poll has Mets favoring the Astors 69% to 31%, so for the most part we’re on the same page.
The World Series is always an entertaining few games. The Mets organization could learn a lot from both of these teams as they prepare for 2018. We’ll see who gets crowned the team in baseball in a few days, but for now, I’m hoping it’s the team from Texas.