Fans of the New York Mets have been made to suffer throughout the years like no other fan base in sports. Sure they’ve won two memorable world championships in their brief 47 year history. Fans of the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians would kill for that. However, over the years, Met fans have been forced to deal with more heart wrenching, bizarre, and embarrassing moments than any other professional sports franchise in history. To prove my point, here are 20 reasons why Mets fans have suffered more than anyone else.
It was a sign of things to come for the Mets. In their inaugural season they went 40-120, losing more games than any team in modern baseball history (The 1899 Cleveland Spiders went 20-134). The 2003 Detroit Tigers threatened that record but fell a game short, going 43-119.
2. NOLAN RYAN
One of the best pitchers in the history of baseball makes his debut with the Mets in 1966. Five years later, the Metropolitans deal Nolan Ryan for a washed up Jim Fregosi. Ryan would go on to win 324 games, toss seven no-hitters and strike out 5,724 batters in his Hall of Fame career.
3. GIL HODGES
One of the most beloved Mets of all-time, the man who hit the first home run in Mets history and led the Amazins to their first world title in 1969, died suddenly of a heart attack, while still manager of the Mets just prior to the 1972 season.
4. SHEA STADIUM
Quite possibly one of the ugliest baseball stadiums ever designed. I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to design a purple circle with neon depictions of baseball players on the outside and then paint the seats a bright orange color on the inside.
5. CITI FIELD
In 2009, the Mets finally had a home they could be proud of: Citi Field. However, the stadium was modeled after Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The stadium includes the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, who played a grand total of zero games for the New York Mets.
In addition, no one can hit home runs in the massive ballpark. On the rare occasion the Mets do hit a home run, none of the fans can see it because of all the obstructed views.
6. THE NEW YORK YANKEES
Throughout their entire existence, the Mets and their fans have been forced to live in the shadow of their 26-time-champion neighbors in the Bronx. In 2000, the Mets took a team of overachieving veterans, led by a fiery Bobby Valentine to the World Series. It was quite a remarkable run for the Metropolitans. However when they got there, they played the Yankees of all teams, and quickly got their asses kicked in five games.
In addition, When the Mets finally announced they would be building a new ball park, the Yankees followed suit and announced they were building an even better ballpark just a few days later.
7. TIMO PEREZ
In game 1 of the 2000 World Series, Timo Perez failed to run hard from first base on a long double off the bat of Todd Zeile. Perez was thrown out at home on the play and the Mets lost the game 4-3 in 12 innings. It was a blunder that may have changed the entire course of the series.
8. NO NO-HITTERS
In 47 years, the Mets have never thrown a no-hitter. NOT ONE. Here’s a few interesting tidbits about the “feat”:
-The Mets have thrown 31 one-hitters in their history.
-Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters in his career. None of them were with the Mets. Mike Scott, Dwight Gooden, Hideo Nomo, David Cone and Tom Seaver all threw no-hitters after leaving the Mets.
-Since 1962, the Yankees have thrown five no-hitters, two of which were perfect games and one which was thrown by a guy with one hand.
-The Florida Marlins, who were established in 1993, have thrown four.
9. GET METSMERIZED!
In 1986, the New York Mets came out with, quite possibly, the worst song ever recorded. A number of Mets flaunted their rapping “skills” on the track. The best of the worst lines came from Doc Gooden. “Dwight’s my name, what can I say? You know they call me Dr. K”
10. MERCURY METS
On July 27, 1999, the Mets took part in a Turn the Clock Ahead Night to 2021, a promotion pitched to the Mets by Century 21. The Mets and Pirates wore “futuristic uniforms.” The video screen that day showed pictures of Mets players with green faces or space helmets and the PA announcer said things like this: ”Join us as we play baseball in the year 2021. Your favorite team, the Mercury Mets, will do intergalactic battle with the Pirates of planet Pittsburgh.”
This is what New York Mets starting pitcher Orel Hershiser had to say about the game afterwards: ”We should have had a big top,” Hershiser said. ”If we can’t sell the product the way it is, maybe we should give it a rest.”
11. MR. MET
Has there ever been a team with a less creative mascot than the Mets? It’s a man with a giant baseball as a head and his name is Mr. Met. It must have taken the Mets marketing people all of five seconds to come up with the idea.
12. ANTHONY YOUNG
In 1993, the Mets were having one of their worst seasons in team history and Anthony Young symbolized all that went wrong that season. Over the course of two seasons, Young went on to lose 27 consecutive decisions, a major league record that will likely never be broken.
13. GENERATION K
In the mid-90’s, Mets prospects Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, and Jason Isringhausen were touted as can’t miss pitching prospects giving distraught Mets fans hope for future seasons. All three suffered season ending arm injuries in 1996 and they never amounted to much of anything.
Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, two of the most talented players to ever play for the Mets, battle cocaine addiction and never fully realize their potential.
15. MO VAUGHN
In 2001, the Mets traded for slugger Mo Vaughn and his big contract in hopes of adding a major power bat to their lineup. Vaughn suffered through injuries during his entire stint with the Mets. The Mets were forced to pay his entire $17 million dollar salary in 2004 despite the fact he never appeared in a game.
16. VICTOR ZAMBRANO
In 2004, The New York Mets traded can’t-miss prospect Scott Kazmir to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Victor Zambrano after pitching coach Rick Peterson allegedly said he could fix Zambrano’s delivery in ten minutes. Zambrano went on to have arm trouble and is now out of baseball. In 2008, Kazmir led the Rays to their first American League Championship.
17. ADAM WAINWRIGHT AND YADIER MOLINA
In 2006, the Mets were poised to win their first title in 20 years. They had arguably the best team in baseball and all that stood in their way were the 83-win St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals fought hard and took the Mets to a deciding seventh game at Shea Stadium. In the bottom of the sixth, Mets left fielder Endy Chavez made a remarkable catch, robbing Cardinals third basemen Scott Rolen of a two-run home run. Shea was electric and it looked like the Mets were destined to win. However, in the top of the ninth, light-hitting catcher Yadier Molina smashed a go-ahead two-run home run. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets loaded the bases with two outs for Carlos Beltran. Cardinals relief pitcher Adam Wainwright then unleashed a knee-buckling curve ball that froze Beltran and gave the Cardinals the Pennant.
18. BACK-TO-BACK CHOKES
The 2007 New York Mets blew a seven game lead with 17 games to play to complete the worst collapse in baseball history. The Mets went 5-12 to close out the season, while the Philadelphia Phillies went 13-4 and took the division on the final day of the season.
In 2008, the collapse wasn’t quite as historical. The Mets blew a 3 ½ game lead with 17 to play. However, it was the circumstances surrounding the game that made it just as bad. In the final game at Shea Stadium, the Mets fell to the Marlins 4-2, while the Brewers beat the Cubs to edge out the Mets for the wild card. Inexplicably the Mets decided to have their farewell to Shea ceremony after the game, rather than before. This led to a bizarre scene, as many former Met greats took the field for the “celebration” after the Mets failed to make the playoffs once again.
19. OMAR MINAYA
As the GM of the Expos, Minaya once traded Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips for Bartolo Colon. Somehow, shortly after that, he landed the Mets GM job. Since then, he signed countless overpaid veterans, decimated the farm system, led the Mets to two straight collapses and constructed the worst team money can buy.
20. 2009: THE WORST TEAM MONEY CAN BUY
As they play in the inaugural season of their new stadium, the Mets are not exactly giving their fans a season to remember. Ravaged by a remarkable string of injuries, the Amazins’ are on pace to become the worst team money can buy. The 2008 Seattle Mariners, with a $117 million payroll, won 61 games ($1.91 million per win). According to the New York Post, the Mets have a 2009 payroll of $141 million and would need to win at least 79 games to avoid having the title of worst team money can buy. They’re not winning 79 games.
So there you have it. 20 reasons why Mets fans have suffered more than any other fan base.
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