The New York Mets and the San Diego Padres. Two franchises that have both been around since the 1960s. Now for the first time ever, they are all set to meet up in a playoff series. The two teams reside on opposite sides of the country, but surprisingly enough, they have a lot of things in common.
Mets and Padres show a lot of similarities as they get set to meet
As we all remember in 2021, the Mets were in first place for over 100 days and had their sights on a postseason berth. Things did not go their way as manager Luis Rojas, who was in his second season at the helm, failed to keep things together, leading to another collapse and missed opportunity to reach the playoffs. Over in San Diego, the same thing happened. On August 10th, the Padres were 67-49, holding onto a five game lead in the Wild Card standings. That cushion quickly disappeared as the team finished the year under .500 and failed to reach the postseason for the 14th time in 15 years.
So after really bad second halves, what did each team do? They each fired their respective managers. With Luis Rojas and Jayce Tingler gone, each team needed a new voice at the helm. This time, instead of hiring someone young, the squads searched for veteran leaders with lots of playoff experience. In stepped Buck Showalter and Bob Melvin.
Coming over from the Oakland Athletics, where he took the A’s to six playoff appearances in 11 seasons, Melvin was able to get the Padres over the hump in 2022, leading them back into the postseason. As for Buck Showalter, he really took the Mets to a place they have not been very often. New York won 101 games this season, the second most in franchise history. It’s going to be quite the fascinating story watching these two manage against each other with their seasons on the line.
A team’s success is not all due to the manager. The players on the field have to execute. For the Mets and Padres, they made sure to do whatever it took to get the players who are capable of succeeding. Since Steve Cohen took over ownership of the Mets, they have done nothing but spend. Additions like Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, and even Chris Bassitt have all played big roles in getting New York to where they are as we enter the playoffs. The Padres did their own spending this summer at the trade deadline. Giving up a lot of prospects in return, the team acquired Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals to bolster their lineup. It goes without saying, but both teams will certainly be bringing their firepower to Citi Field this weekend.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the Atlanta Braves have owned the Mets, and the rest of the NL East, for the last five years. The San Diego Padres fall right into that same category of teams being owned by division rivals. The Dodgers, this season, won over 100 games once again putting them at the top of the NL West.
Both New York and San Diego would love to get some revenge this postseason. The problem is, only one of them will have that opportunity.