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Ladies and Gentlemen: Your First Place New York Mets

Apr 28, 2010, 9:36 AM EDT

Mets high five.jpgThere aren’t many people who have ragged on the Mets more than I have over the past few years. But if you’re going to be negative, you have to be fair, and fairness demands that the Mets be given their due. Correction: fairness demands that the first place New York Mets be given their due. Because there they sit, at least for now, alone atop the National League East. How did they get there?  A bunch of reasons really.

  • The starting pitching has been excellent, with Mike Pelfrey and Jon Neise stepping up behind Johan Santana admirably. Doubters may cite the less-than-impressive offenses of the Cubs, Braves and Dodgers on which the Mets have recently feasted, but are they bad because they’re bad, or are they bad because they faced the Mets’ pitching?
  • Ike Davis has been a godsend. No, I don’t expect him to post a .980 OPS this season, but first base has suddenly gone from a sucking black vortex to not a problem.
  • Little stuff:  The defense is better than last year. The rains have come at the right time. The bullpen has been getting them out of jams that, statistically speaking, a team shouldn’t always get out of. They’ve also had the good fortune of playing 15 of their 21 games at home thus far. You can call all that luck if you want to, but last I checked wins due to good luck still count in the standings.

It’s still early so it’s not worth either (a) making sweeping pronouncements or (b) analyzing it to death, but the fact is that everything is coming up blue and orange lately, and it should have Mets fans feeling pretty happy right now.

And it should have them showing up in greater numbers.  Early season attendance has been pretty pitiful so far this year. I’ll grant yesterday’s day game was a lost cause because of the previous night’s rainout, but after averaging over 38,000 per game last year, the Mets have only cracked that total twice in 15 home games this season, one of which was Opening Day.  In that time the team has set the record for the lowest attendance in Citi Field’s brief history — 25,684 a week ago against the Cubs — and have had more games in the 20,000s than the 30,000s.

Time to step up Mets fans. Your team is winning. If an avowed hater like me can give them their props, the least you fans can do is to start showing up.

  1. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaahhhhh baby!!!!!!!!
    Well I had to get ONE of those in this season. I’ll celebrate while I can, before Pelfrey crashes and burns, Reyes blows his hamstring and Ike Davis goes into a 4-47 slump.

  2. Simon DelMonte - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Any chance you can send my boss a doctor’s note telling her that I need to call in sick today? A rare case of Mets-are-playing-well disorder?

  3. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Question on attendance figures. The NL counts PAID attendance, right? Not count at the turnstiles?
    I went to Game 160 last year (a 7-1 win over Houston – yay) and had to look up the attendance (because I’m a geek and I had to do that). Says 37,576. I SWEAR there could not have been 10,000 people in the stadium.
    PS. is a great site. I think it has pretty much every geek stat you could want.

  4. willmose - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Craig, I don’t think so.

  5. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    You’ve developed some bad emotional habits that your tranquilizers have kept you from facing directly, BC. Something that I call reflux negativity, for one. That shouldn’t require graphic explanation. You can’t handle good news – probably because you fear that anything like a winning streak will perpetuate Omar Minaya’s employment. That’s irrational. Look, I predicted way back in February or so that the Feesh would wind up skwished between the Mutts and the Gnats and they called me mad because of it. I felt like Thomas Crapper when he flushed his invention the first time and they all laughed at him, but I’m not as touchy as he was and have no intention of moving to Seattle in a snit even if it does get me 2800 miles closer to the Namaste Yoga girls. As for you, get clean and sober for one long losing streak and give yourself some time to come to terms with it.

  6. YankeesfanLen - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    This is actually a blessing in that I do not have to go skulking around town avoiding the plaintive, puppy like look in the eyes of my Metropolitan acquaintances.
    Besides that, I am awaiting a revival of our late inning heroics that sustained us through last year. In other words, when we get home (finally) on Friday night, AJ better being getting some pies ready. Looks like it might be Swisher first, ARod’s busy ordering mirrors for the Lincoln bedroom.

  7. YANKEES1996 - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    My brother is above cloud nine and is already proclaiming post-season success. O.K. I will give him his 15 minutes, Congrats Mets fans!

  8. BeeJay - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    I would love to go to more games. I live in Northern Ct. and no problems driving down to Flushing. The prices are so outrageous it makes more sense to watch them at home with Sandwiches, soda, and chips. Last year was the first time in ten years I missed a game.

  9. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Aw shucks there were a lot of things that landed me on meds other than my Mets. Won’t go down that path it is a rocky road. But for now… celebrate and stay moderately sober (no meds = Jack Daniels is back in town!). Then when they’re up 7 with 17 to play and crash again, I’ll have the little blue pills ready to go.

  10. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    I don’t blame you – I wouldn’t pay those usurious bridge tolls either. Eleven bucks round trip over the Throgs Neck or Whitestone Bridges. Screw that, I’ll wait till the water temperature gets above hypothermia levels and swim. And that’s even before the parking, hot dog vendors and beer sellers rip you a new one. (This week I can’t justifiably add the closing line: And all that to see the Mutts???)

  11. enough already - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    Funny, as I was heading out the door to get soaked and ridiculed last weekend in the only loss on the home stand, I got a phone call from the Mets asking me if I was planning to come back. I explained that I had already been and, if they would kindly get off the phone, I would be at another. I mentioned to them that I found the tickets to be somewhat expensive but they pointed out that there were some packages that were affordable, for what that’s worth. How many people can actually fit in Citi Field?

  12. Jonny5 - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    The biggest reason. Where is the biggest reason? Such as their competition has hit losing streaks all at the same time? Dude seriously though, how could you leave that out? And you claim to be a Mets hater??? You’re a half azz one at that!!!

  13. Jonny5 - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    What kinda Mets hater are you? You failed to mention their toughest competition all hit losing streaks at the same time!!!(the biggest reason for being in first place) halfazz Mets hater!

  14. enough already - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Hey, don’t forget the nifty new ferry service. You only have to swim one way but by that time you’ll be all warmed up by the exorbitantly priced burgers and beer.

  15. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    If you have enough people, you could solve the tolls problem this way:
    Either that, or get one of those hovercraft deals that the guy in the Progressive commercials drives.

  16. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    The guy in the Orbitz commercials drives the hovercraft. And if you want hovercrafts, you can buy them cheaper from Iran, since we sold the Shah a fleet of them and then stopped selling the Ayatollahs any spare parts. Plus, they’re big enough to carry all the Mutts fans from north of the Narrows at once. Both ways.
    The Progressive commercial is the one with Linda Tripp in the nurse’s uniform, a facelift and the Tammy Faye Baker lipstick.

  17. Benny Blanco - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    BC, your one of the worst Met fans I have ever encountered.
    Just enjoy it while it lasts.

  18. Mike from NY - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Craig you are living in la la land.
    Have any clue on the cost of tickets, parking, time of going to a game, when you can watch it in the comfort of your home flat panel tv in your cozy den, which you are already paying a fortune to your local cable tv company?
    Cheering for the Mets versus going to a game is day and night. People are living in reality because the economy sucks and you are clueless about that.
    Try sending kids to private school too, paying utilities and real estate taxes and god forbid having some $$$ to go away for a weekend.
    Waste it on overpaid athletes? See Kemp hustle last night?
    I should pay my hard earned money to watch that, when I can see it from home, and just click the game off, because that sets a crappy example for how to work when you are overpaid millions, is MORE LIKE IT.

  19. (Not That) Tom - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Thank you, Mike from NY. Next caller, Bob from Jersey. Bobby, you’re on…

  20. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Oh yeah, that’s right. Progressive has that scary spawn-of-Satan lady with the demonic eyes.

  21. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Hey, I’m a realist. In 1986, they had the best team in the last 25 years not named the 1998 Yankees and they almost blew it that year, too. I’m in a “I’ll take whatever I can get” mode. 82 wins would be a miracle, but given last year’s manure, I’d take it.

  22. Dave - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Tickets are still expensive. The food is fairly pricey. Even the beers are more expensive than Manhattan prices. Gary Cohen and Ron Darling are a good announcing team. Alot of people dont even get off work till 7. Luis Castillo is our number 2 hitter and second baseman. Ollie and Maine are attrocious. Mejia is a mop up man. Oh yeah, and the Mets still employ Omar and Jerry. Seems like plenty of reasons to not go to a game.

  23. Ace - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    I live in a small apartment in Queens, and I bring home an extremely modest salary. But I have no problem hopping on the 7 every once in a while and dropping 15 bucks to see a Mets game. It’s live baseball! There’s nothing like it! And in a beautiful new stadium no less. Hell, I’m not even a Mets fan, and I still go, just because I love baseball. (Plus, they even let you bring your own food, if you’re reasonably discreet about it. Not like those fascists up in the Bronx.)

  24. Simon DelMonte - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Shockingly, the last time I was at a Yankees game, my friend managed to bring in a sandwich. Maybe, being a ticket plan buyer, he knows the secret wink to security.

  25. Benny Blanco - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    I understand where your coming from. I’ve been suffering right along side you.
    I’ve been saying since the pre-season that this tema is not as bad as Craig and everyone else wants them to be. Playoffs may be a stretch, but its not impossible. Braves, Marlins and Phillies have their problems too.

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