Why the 2022 Mets should be appreciated for who they are despite unfinished business

New York Mets v Milwaukee Brewers
New York Mets v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

There are more critical things to aspire for, but the New York Mets are officially in the postseason once again in 2022. The Mets clinched a playoff spot last night when they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7 to 2 in Milwaukee in the first step towards what fans hope to be something special.

Such critical things to go for are still on tap, such as winning the NL East and holding off the Atlanta Braves to get the rotation aligned properly for the playoffs, and then hopefully winning the World Series, to fulfill Steve Cohen’s promise upon becoming the owner.

Regardless of the standings, fans must appreciate the 2022 Mets for who they are.

This is the best team the Mets have fielded since at least 1988, the last time they won 100 games (they are likely to reach that plateau again 34 years later). But given the history of the franchise, the Mets in the playoffs has come as a premium, as the Mets have made the playoffs just 10 times in their 61-year history. Mets fans and baseball fans always associate the Mets with losing and being the little brother to the Yankees.

The Mets have exceeded fans’ preseason expectations, although those fans are right not to be satisfied until the division is decided.

The elite 1-2 punch of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom were the pillars of the team’s promise. Yet, Max Scherzer missed nine weeks to two injuries and Jacob deGrom missed the first four months of the season due to injury. However, Scherzer coming in changed the attitude of the entire pitching staff, with everyone contributing in different ways, with David Peterson, Trevor Williams, and Tylor Megill being unlikely contributors to what they had, which was an elite rotation.

And this staff is backed up by the sport’s best relief pitcher, who has become one of the most popular players in all of baseball this season, three years after fans tried to run him out of town. Edwin Diaz’s personality is now full with his entrance to the trumpets, the most electrifying, crowd-inducing component of the 2022 MLB season. Diaz has backed it up brilliantly.

And then think about how fundamentally sound this team has been. They’re a bunch of professionals, playing the game the right way, they are so well coached and well-conditioned for a playoff run in October.

The Mets have had memorable comebacks (five wins when trailing after eight innings) They are hustling no matter what the situation is. They’ve played great defense headlined by Francisco Lindor, the perfect fit to what the Mets have missed. Situational hitting exists with this team now, something non-existent in recent history.

New York City and MLB need the Mets to be relevant, and the Mets are making both proud alongside their long-suffering sports fans.

In addition to being a die-hard Mets fan, I root for the Giants in football, the Islanders in hockey, and the Knicks in basketball, franchises with similar recent histories to that of the Mets.

The Giants made the playoffs each of the first four years I rooted for them when I was a pre-teen, and I assumed this would be an annual thing. Since then, they’ve only made the playoffs twice, and have made bad coaching hires and one reign of terror by former GM Dave Gettleman. I do believe it'll be better going forward with new GM Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll leading the charge now.

The Islanders haven’t hoisted the Stanley Cup in nearly 40 years, and have mostly been a franchise of dysfunction since the Al Arbour era. The Islanders went to the final four in the Stanley Cup playoffs two of the last three years, but I still haven’t recovered from the Islanders losing their heartbreaking Game 7 vs. Tampa in 2021. And they recently fired legendary coach Barry Trotz!

And don’t get me started on my Knicks, a hopeless franchise with dysfunction under owner Jim Dolan for over two decades.

Yet, that’s been the case with all New York sports over the past decade. Between the city’s MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL franchises, they have not won a championship since the 2011 Giants beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012. This is quite disappointing for the biggest sports market in the country.

These moments have not come often over the last six decades, although I’d expect this to be the norm and expectation going forward under new ownership. But given the success of the Yankees throughout their history and the Yankees not having a losing season in three decades, the Mets and their fans haven’t had much to celebrate.

Salivate this, Mets fans. You deserve this as much as the team does.

Next. Most clutch Mets pitching performances in team history. dark