New York Mets Current Villains: The “All-Chipper Jones” Team
By Allen Settle
Hall of Famer Chipper Jones hasn’t punished the New York Mets on the field for several years. However, there are still active MLB players who take delight in torturing the team and fans with their terrific play.
Former Atlanta Braves third basemen Chipper Jones absolutely loved tormenting the New York Mets. In fact, the Hall of Famer even named his son Shea as a way of trolling his former rival. He seemed to take a great deal of satisfaction in antagonizing the Mets teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
While his career has been over since 2012, there are several current players who have thrived in their opportunities to battle the orange and blue. Let’s take a look at the current leaders of the “All-Chipper Jones Team:”
#5: Salvador Perez
At first glance, Salvador Perez’s inclusion on this list may seem odd. Perez has appeared in only six regular season games against the Mets and has never hit a home run against them. In fact, he only has one career RBI against New York.
However, Perez cracks the top five Mets villains based solely off his performance in the 2015 World Series. The Mets entered the series with their first chance to win their third championship in franchise history. What could have been the most exciting time in Mets history quickly turned sour thanks to Perez and his fellow Kansas City Royals. The All-Star catcher batted .364 with two RBI in the series, while playing elite defense on his way to the 2015 World Series MVP award.
#4: Freddie Freeman
Since Jones’ retirement, Freddie Freeman has taken the mantle of key Braves antagonist against the Mets. He has a blistering .311 average against the team since his debut with Atlanta. His 96 career RBI against the Mets are also the most he has hit against any opponent. He seems poised to continue to frustrate Mets fans for the next several years of his prime.
#3: Giancarlo Stanton
It’s safe to assume that the Mets have been Giancarlo Stanton’s favorite team to face throughout his career. The longtime member of the Miami Marlins feasted in his opportunities against New York. His career 36 homers, 84 RBI, and 68 runs scored against the team from Flushing are the most he has posted against any individual team. His 22 home runs at Citi Field are also the most he has hit in any park (other than his home stadiums with the Marlins).
The only silver lining for Mets fans is the fact that he no longer plays in the team’s division. However, his new home with the New York Yankees ensures the Subway Series will remain interesting!
#2: Justin Turner
Justin Turner’s career path has haunted Mets fans for the past several years. After making his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles during a brief stint in 2009, Turner was claimed off waivers by New York. Despite playing well in limited action with the team, Turner was cut by the team at the end of the 2013 season.
Turner elected to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where his career would reach new heights. After hitting just eight total home runs in his four seasons in New York, the infielder would mash 16 in 2015, 27 in 2016, and 21 in 2017. He would earn an All-Star selection in 2017 and would be named the MVP of the NLCS the same season.
Turner has also played at his very best when facing his former team. His eight homers against the Mets are the most he has hit against any non-division opponent. He also hit a blistering .526 with four RBI against New York when the Dodgers and Mets faced off in the 2015 postseason.
#1: Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper has taken over the role of primary Mets villain in MLB for two reasons. First, his recent 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies ensures he will spend the overwhelming majority of as a division rival. After spending the first seven seasons with the Washington Nationals, Harper is poised to be a thorn in the NL East’s side for the remainder of his career. To make matter worse, many fans who represent the orange and blue were hopeful the team would sign the superstar during his free agency.
Second, Harper had played exceptionally well in his games against the Mets. His 12 home runs at Citi Field are the most he has hit in any opposing ballpark (excluding the Nationals and Phillies). His 23 homers and 69 RBI against the Mets are also the third most he has recorded against any opponent.
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