Trevor Bauer’s decision to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers over the New York Mets has very little to do with the rivalry between the two teams. Bauer got the better contract from the Dodgers, leading him to return home to Hollywood.
Bauer is now public enemy number one in Flushing. Fans eagerly await his first start at Citi Field in Dodger Blue. Surely, when the Mets visit Dodger Stadium, we’ll see a few fans in blue and orange letting out their jeers.
Long before Bauer was toeing big league mounds, there was already a rivalry between the Mets and Dodgers. It’s a natural one between two of the biggest cities in the country.
Mets and Dodgers rivalry is as natural as it gets
When the Dodgers left Brooklyn, there was a void in New York for National League Baseball. Only a few years later, the Mets entered the league to help fill the gap. While they were also helping to replace the absence of the Giants who left for San Francisco, it has always seemed that the Mets and Dodgers are far more linked.
Citi Field is partly modeled after Ebbets Field. They pay tribute to the great Jackie Robinson as much as any team despite the fact that he never played for the organization.
The Mets and Dodgers are cousins. Not all relatives get along.
The two organizations have faced off in the playoffs, fought over free agents, and caused controversy on the field. Darryl Strawberry famously left the Mets for the Dodgers only a few years after Los Angeles defeated New York in the 1988 NLCS. The two teams battled again in the 2015 NLDS where an aggressive slide by Chase Utley broke the leg of Mets infielder Ruben Tejada.
Usually only able to face each other six times per year because of the MLB schedule, we haven’t had an abundance of Mets-Dodgers face-offs in the history of these two teams. With nothing in line to change, we’ll have to see this feud grow only a handful of times each year—when the Mets make their one visit to Los Angeles and the Dodgers do the same when they go to Queens.
The future of the rivalry
Two powerhouse cities should be enough to make for an interesting matchup on paper. Add in how aggressive both organizations should be in the coming years as far as trades and free agents go, we may see this rivalry grow even more in the future.
It’s not just about Bauer, as much as he wishes it was. This is a battle between New York and Los Angeles. It’s a rivalry that has, unfortunately, not been so great in the sports world in recent years.
This should soon change.
There has been a thought that the Mets will do what they can to model their organization after the Dodgers. One of the few model franchises in the game, they have a knack for developing young talent and acquiring major league stars. It does come at a high price. Take one look at their payroll for confirmation of this.
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Soon, the Mets may be recognized as “Dodgers East” as some have put it. With some wise decisions, we may get to kick off that moniker and instead just view it as the way the Mets do business.