In three short years since their World Series battle, the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals have seen plenty of dark days.
A lot can change in three years. Since 2015, I’ve gotten married, traveled to the other side of the world twice, and ate expired yogurt a number of times. Plenty has changed for the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals in this time, too.
Back in 2015, the Mets and Royals faced off in a World Series few saw coming. On the backs of their starting rotation and Yoenis Cespedes, the team climbed to the championship series. A terrific postseason by Daniel Murphy propelled them to the final round where they would face off against a team that came up just shy of winning it all one year earlier.
The Royals took the series, but it seemed like both franchises could return in 2016. Neither has been back to the World Series or come close to it. In fact, both franchises suffered mightily in 2018.
What has happened in the last three seasons to push these two ball clubs down?
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It’s easy with the Royals. They made several bad decisions like signing Alex Gordon long-term and letting other free agents, such as 2018 MVP candidate Lorenzo Cain, walk away. Their core is gone, leaving them way behind the rest of the American League. Put all of these things together and you get a 58-104 team.
Things aren’t as simple with the Mets. Many of their 2015 stars have remained with the organization. Murphy is the biggest free agent they lost during this time. So, why are they limping only a few miles ahead of the Royals?
We can come up with a couple of theories. Injuries are a big one. Bad transactions are yet another major factor. It’s justifiable to say the 2015 Mets got a little lucky. The Washington Nationals collapsed in the regular season, allowing them to go on their magical run.
Everything clicked right for the 2015 team. Every circumstance they needed to go their way, did. I don’t think this is the lone reason why we saw a team go from the top of the world to slums of MLB. However, it’s fair to say this team got hot at the right moment and took advantage.
The starting rotation was stellar for the Mets in 2015 and made up of affordable guys on league-minimum or generally low salaries. The veteran offensive weapons they had in the arsenal were also able to perform well.
Above all else, it was the team’s chemistry which helped make them a winner.
It’s not uncommon to see a team go from the top to the bottom in such a short period of time. It’s just hard to believe that neither team from the 2015 championship series has been close to returning.
Thankfully for the Mets, they’re still much closer to a return than the Royals. They haven’t torn it down. At the very least, this keeps fans excited for the following year.
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Meanwhile, in Kansas City, it’s baseball purgatory for the foreseeable future.