Ten years ago, the David Wright and Jose Reyes Era was in its prime. In 2019, New York Mets fans are treated to the Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil Era of baseball.
We all remember the David Wright–Jose Reyes Era with the New York Mets as some of the best times in franchise history. With Wright’s career coming to an end in 2018, Mets fans were finding hope in the Syndergaard-Gsellman friendship, but Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil are giving Mets fans a glimpse back to the Wright-Reyes bromance and success.
While Wright and Reyes debuted in 2003 and 2004 respectively, Alonso and McNeil came up together through the minors. Similarly, they have a strong friendship that goes on and off the field. As Wright and Reyes were doing commercials together, photoshoots, promos, and featuring themselves on the cover of Sports Illustrated, Mets fans are loving the Alonso and McNeil dugout celebrations and the SNY commercial during Spring Training.
The commercial showed Alonso drawing McNeil as a squirrel for his famous “Flying Squirrel” nickname, and McNeil drawing Alonso as this big beast guy to probably correlate to his “Polar Bear” or “King Kong” nickname.
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Wright and Reyes were two young stars who developed into cornerstones of the team. In 2006, they led the Mets to a deep playoff run in October and also made the All-Star team together. They are two of the best to ever put a Mets uniform on and according to Baseball Reference, their combined WAR of 77.1 when wearing a Mets uniform is the most from any same-era duo in team history. At one point, they were the best shortstop and third base duo in the league, but injuries and contract disputes led to the downfall.
No matter what, Wright and Reyes were brothers through and through until their last game together, but the Mets have another duo on their hands in Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. They can’t take away from the years of Wright and Reyes, but as a fan, it has been fun to watch and it feels like we are re-watching the old days.
When Alonso and McNeil were teammates last year in Double-A and Triple-A, a comment about McNeil was made by Keith Law, a senior baseball writer for ESPN, and Alonso was the first one to have his teammates back.
Law was asked about how high McNeil’s ceiling could be, and he responded that he is 26 in an extreme hitters park. Alonso shot back, saying that all the kid does is rake and you cannot discredit a .400 average in Triple-A. From early on, Alonso and McNeil have been tight, which has carried over to the Major League level.
Alonso and McNeil are two key pieces in this Mets lineup, and they have both shown that they can hit the ball. Alonso has shown his power, and McNeil is an above .300 hitter. This same duo power is what Wright and Reyes brought to the Mets. Wright had plenty of power and Reyes would hit the gaps racing for a triple.
They are bringing a special feeling to this season that resonates with memories of Wright and Reyes. Not only are they key players to make this team good, but also they bring swag to the team and know how to have fun on and off the field. With the more they play or are featured in an off-the-field promo, fans see a glimpse of a Wright and Reyes relationship, which I think is a good thing. Their relationship boasts team and fan morale as well as shows that it is more than just baseball for these guys.
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The future is bright for Alonso and McNeil, and I am hopeful in their ability to lead the Mets to a deep playoff run and even make some All-Star teams together.