Where does the time go? We are already at the end of the 2010s, and what a decade it has been for the Mets. Two playoff appearances (that’s a whopping 20% of the team’s seasons!), including one World Series. The captain’s career ending not with a bang but with a sad whimper. Lots and lots of nonsense controversy. Tons of lies from the former general manager. And just when we were ready to close the book on the overall disappointing era, the Wilpons stun us all by announcing plans to sell the team — truly the top story of the decade (so big, I had to expand the list to 11 to include it and include an asterisk in the headline!). Here are the others:
Jose Reyes Wins 2011 Batting Title
This was a really big deal — the first time a Mets player had won a batting title. Jose Reyes capped it off with a first-inning bunt in the final game of the season to make his lead virtually insurmountable, then jogging off the field. It would be our final image of Reyes in a Mets uniform (until his unlikely return in 2016) — Sandy Alderson did not deem him worthy of even a free agent offer.
Johan Santana No-Hitter
This was an even bigger deal. The Mets franchise famously did not have a no-hitter until this Friday night in June in 2012. Sure, it might have ended Johan Santana’s career, but it was a glorious evening to be a Mets fan.
R.A. Dickey Cy Young
R.A. Dickey was just some knuckleballer with no ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow when the Mets took a chance on him in 2010. They never dreamed he would win a Cy Young two years later. He would never pitch for the Mets again, dealt to Toronto (for Noah Syndergaard and a failed catcher) when he could not reach a contract extension.
Matt Harvey Rise and Fall
Matt Harvey was supposed to be the next Tom Seaver. And he certainly looked the part until Tommy John surgery ended a Cy Young-caliber 2013 season — just his second year in the majors. He would come back and contribute to the 2015 World Series run (until he talked Terry Collins into letting him stay in Game 5). Then it all unraveled amid injuries and scandal until it was simply time for him to go.
Wilmer Flores Cries, Yoenis Cespedes Arrives
We all know the story — Wilmer Flores was apparently the last person in Citi Field to know he was going to be traded (along with an injured Zack Wheeler) to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez. He somehow was left in the game, crying when he got on the field. In the end, the trade never happened, the Mets instead got Yoenis Cespedes, and he carried them to the 2015 World Series.
2015 World Series Run
Speaking of which, what an unexpected, delightful October that was. The highlight was Daniel Murphy suddenly becoming Reggie Jackson, slugging homers in six-straight postseason games. That would be the last time we would see Murphy in a Mets uniform, leaving as a free agent after the season (seeing a trend here?!).
Goodbye David Wright
David Wright was supposed to be the Mets Derek Jeter, leading them to multiple championships and then ending it all in Cooperstown. Sadly, it never happened. Back injuries led to a premature retirement, but not before a two-game cameo at the end of 2018 so we could give perhaps the most loyal Met in history a fitting farewell.
Jacob deGrom Cy Youngs
So it turns out it is Jacob deGrom who is the next Tom Seaver, taking back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019 despite winning just 21 game in the two years. Of course, his ERA over the span was 2.05. Could he be the one who is Hall of Fame bound?
Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz Trade
This trade could reverberate for the Mets for a decade or more. Robinson Cano and his budget-busting salary were terrible in his first season in Flushing (and he has four more left) and Edwin Diaz was somehow worse than Cano. And if Jared Kelenic becomes the superstar everyone thinks he will become, then Brodie Van Wagenen’s first big deal as GM will be right up there with the Nolan Ryan and Amos Otis trades as ones to haunt the franchise forever.
Pete Alonso Rookie of the Year
Pete Alonso set a rookie record with 53 home runs in 2019, easily winning Rookie of the Year. He also was an All-Star, winning the Home Run Derby. He gives the Mets hope that the 2020s will be far better than this decade.
As does the late 2019 news that the Wilpons will sell 80% of the team to Richie Rich, aka multi-billionaire Steve Cohen. Sure, it will be mid-decade until the Wilpons truly abdicate, but taking them out of the equation and inserting Cohen’s money in their place instantly makes them a better, more competitive team. Right?