The Atlanta Braves, NL East Division Winners and National League Champions, are headed to the World Series. And that news has to sting for New York Mets fans everywhere.
Over the last two years, two of the Mets’ divisional rivals will have appeared in the Fall Classic, with the Washington Nationals winning rings in 2019. That Nationals win came against the Houston Astros, who the Braves will face in their first appearance since 1999.
This should sting Mets fans, whose 2015 World Series appearance feels like decades ago.
The Mets have gone through massive organizational changes, as well as huge roster changes since their loss to the Royals. The Four Horsemen of Queens rotation was reduced to a two-pony show. The powerful offense that stunned the Dodgers and Cubs, both teams that would go on to win their own World Series rings, has left. Once Daniel Murphy left, things got dicey and quick. Long story short, the Mets have rapidly declined since their peak, and they appear to be unable to break their fall.
And that’s why this Mets fan is choosing to root for the Atlanta Braves in the 2021 World Series.
Call me a traitor, call me a flip-flopper, tell me I’m not a true fan. I can take it. I’ve been hearing it from Red Sox fans for years, it’s nothing new. But what you cannot call me is unfaithful to the dream of the Mets winning a World Series in my lifetime. To me, the Braves winning it all is a wake-up call to Queens.
The Mets were in a perfect place to continue their NL East domination after 2015 but failed to win the division, and instead faced off against the Giants in the Wild Card Game. Since then the Mets have dazzled with stretches of magic that were either short-lived or too little too late.
That’s actually a very good way to sum up the Mets 2021 season: a short-lived success that was too little too late.
When the Royals stormed the diamond at Citi Field, I watched as the camera panned towards the Mets dugout. I wanted to see the Mets watching another team celebrate on their field, knowing they had failed to protect their house. And when the Mets and Royals opened the 2016 season at Kaufman Stadium, I relished in the fact that the Mets had to sit there and watch. I wanted them to feel motivated to win. I wanted the Mets to need revenge.
But the wheels fell off, and the Mets haven’t moved since.
There are few things in the world that motivate better than watching someone get the thing you want. Perhaps Atlanta winning a World Series will push the Mets to win one of their own. Or at the very least, it’ll get them to stop waiting on magic, and put in the work to get this team to the top.
Plus, there’s no better Cinderella story than coming back to defeat the reigning champions in 2022.
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