Posted by Reese Kaplan at 10:00 AM
At work just recently I was asked a series of seemingly simple but interesting questions, “Why are you a Mets fan?” After all, the inquisitor, continued, “Didn’t you grow up in the New York City area where the Yankees play?” And his finishing salvo was, “The Mets haven’t won in so long. Why would anyone root for them?” Without getting overly defensive, I got somewhat introspective and tried to give these inquiries some serious thought. Let’s take them one at a time.
"Why Are You a Mets Fan?"
All my life I’ve never been a front runner. When the world went iPhone, I went Android. When the easy choice was a Harley, I chose a Moto Guzzi. When the conventional wisdom out of college was to go to work for someone else, I opened a retail store. I think that mentality is common among Mets fans. It’s a matter of picking the road less traveled and seeing where it leads you.
"Why Aren’t You a Yankees Fan?"
What I’m fond of saying is that Yankee fans expect to win. Mets fans appreciate when they win. That’s the difference between the two groups. Furthermore, it’s probably harder on Yankees fans when they lose than it is on Mets fans. We understand there are peaks and valleys to being a fan. You can’t always buy your way into a pennant. In fact, despite courting and signing many significant free agents the Yankees have missed the playoffs each of the past two years, a dozen games back each time.
"Why Would Anyone Root For the Mets?"
If you took a poll of baseball fans, executives and writers from around the country right now removing the locals from the mix the conclusion would still be the same. In the Bronx you have a franchise in a downwards spiral whereas in Queens you have a team ascending towards respectability. Now the phrase “Despite their manager” or something of that ilk will pepper most of the pro-Mets articles (and not without good reason given the incumbent’s career losing record and his ponderous decision making, but it’s good to hear all of the accolades for the young pitchers’ staff as well as up-and-comers like Travis d’Arnaud and Juan Lagares as well as wildcards like Wilmer Flores and Rafael Montero who have the potential to contribute significantly towards a wildcard run in 2015.
Why are you all Mets fans? It’s surely a lot harder than being a Yankees fan, but it appears the corner has been turned and they may be now heading into their fourth era of respectability.