Being a New York Mets fan is no easy task. We've been through ups and lots of downs and yet, to me, there isn't a more passionate fan base in the game. As we head into another season of Mets baseball, here are the 10 commandments of Mets fandom that all of us should know:
1. You shall have no other team
The Mets haven’t seen the playoffs since 2016 and so we, as a fanbase, have grown accustomed to picking a team that we root for in the playoffs or to make the playoffs. But at the end of the day, we eat with the Mets and we starve with the Mets. We don’t jump ship when things get hard because if we did, we would’ve been out long, long ago. Also, a very important disclaimer: there is no such thing as being a “New York fan”. It’s one or the other.
2. You shall not tear down heroes
I think the only time I’ve ever been compelled to “boo” a player was when Tom Glavine ripped my heart out in the first inning against the Marlins in 2007, but even so, I think I yelled rhetorical questions more than I did anything else. Regardless, we cheer for our guys and support them above all else. It doesn’t mean we don’t get frustrated and it doesn’t mean we don’t get mad, but it means we don’t call the best pitcher in baseball “soft” when he’s dealing with injuries and we don’t start booing our team when they’re in a rough stretch
3. You shall not hope too much in April or May…actually until after the All Star Break
Call it cautious optimism, wisdom or PTSD, but whatever you call it, make sure you don’t assume that because the Mets are in first place at the All-Star Break that they’re going to the World Series. I say this not to be negative, but to help protect all of our hearts. We believe, but we do so very carefully…and while peeking through the hands over our eyes.
4. Honor good players despite bad moment
It’s always been odd to me when fans have tried to tear down players on their team for moments that have been regrettable. But also notice how I said honor good players despite their bad moments. Carlos Beltran was good (actually he was incredible). Daniel Murphy was good. Jeurys Familia was good. Don’t let bad moments sour the big picture.
5. You shall not presume anyone will be healthy all season
Injuries happen across every sport, but we in Queens have a knack for cultivating lots of tweaks, soreness and broken-bones-as-a-result-of-wild-boars. Injuries are a part of the game and in Queens, it’s part of our culture. People are gonna get hurt, that’s just what we do. If you want a healthy and productive season, don’t play in Queens cause you’ll end up on the IL for two years; play in Oakland instead.
6. You shall not be concerned about the other team in NYC
I’ve been a Mets fan all my life. I get it. I understand the tension of having played the role of “little brother” for the last 20 years. And to be honest, the in-city rivalry is both fun and good for baseball, but it's not where all our attention both in and out of season should be directed. We’ve got enough to worry about here in Queens to be caught up on every move that’s made or not made in the Bronx. Until there’s a realignment of divisions, our main focus should be on teams in the National League, especially in the East.
7. Honor the Sabbath - so take regular breaks from #MetsTwitter
The Mets fan base is a top 5 fan base in all of sports in my opinion. But Mets Twitter? #1 most toxic place in the galaxy. I’ve met and engaged with some really great people on Twitter and it makes watching games that much more fun, but there is an existential dread that is so pervasive amongst some fans that I’m not convinced they ever want to be happy. Give your mind a rest and take breaks from #MetsTwitter often.
8. You shall believe
On the heels of commandment number seven, it’s important to remember Tug McGraw’s words that have now become a lynchpin in Mets history. Realism is important. Skepticism is understandable. But living to root for a team you ONLY complain about is odd, disturbing and incredibly unhealthy. Have faith (after the All-Star Break, of course) and remember that for as dark as days have been, it could be a lot worse
9. You shall visit Spring Training at least once
Due to the lockout and altered schedule earlier this offseason, my mom and I missed our first spring training for the first time in 14 years. Seriously, it’s the best experience as a fan and even if it isn’t an annual trip, you need to make it happen at least once in your lifetime. Get to Port St. Lucie!
10. Bless the next generation
I’m a Mets fan because of my mother and she’s a Met fan because of hers and when my daughter is born next month, she’ll be a Met fan because of me. It’s not easy, but Mets fans are the greatest fans in the world. In a sport that is rooted in tradition and generation, the best gift we can give to those who come after us are memories shared around a common love. I mean, come on, how could you not be romantic about baseball?