Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud had only one answer to give. At Braves Fest, a fan asked him a question about which team makes him the most angry to face. Needless to say, the choice was limited to only the one who gave up on him, the New York Mets.
It’s not exactly a shock to hear. The Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals aren’t exactly a threat. The Philadelphia Phillies have eliminated the Braves from the postseason for two straight years. Naming them would be like admitting you’re afraid to face your bully.
The Mets, a team d’Arnaud spent parts of seven seasons with versus four with the Braves, is a far more fitting answer.
Travis d’Arnaud isn’t really all that bitter about the Mets, is he?
After all, d’Arnaud was 2 for 23 when the Mets DFA’d him in 2019. A single plate appearance with the Los Angeles Dodgers then led to a purchase away from them by the Tampa Bay Rays. It was while with the Rays when d’Arnaud first began to resurrect his career.
After just one year with the Rays, d’Arnaud signed up with the Braves for the 2020 season. A year which featured Mets first baseman Dominic Smith receiving MVP votes also included d’Arnaud earning a Silver Slugger. The season was a huge albeit abbreviated one for him. It has made him a fan favorite in Atlanta despite not having some of the best seasons since.
d’Arnaud’s numbers with the Braves are actually not all that much better than they were with the Mets. It’s a .242/.303/.401 slash line versus .256/.315/.446. The OPS+ is 94 versus 103 which, while better in Atlanta, doesn’t exactly have the Mets regretting much.
His place in Mets lore is a bit strange. Because he did help the Atlanta Braves win the 2021 World Series, he can be viewed as a villain. This Braves Fest answer, more comical than ruthless, shouldn’t have any Mets fan wanting to drop the gloves. He isn’t a Daniel Murphy who should’ve remained in New York but ended up immediately signing with a rival only to become an MVP candidate. Several years removed from d’Arnaud’s time with the Mets, the bitterness just isn’t there, at least from this side of the battle for NL East supremacy.
What about the one over in Cobb County? d’Arnaud is far more concerned about the future than the past.
And so are we. We’d expect the same response from any of our guys.