Milwaukee – About a year ago, the Mets watched from their lair as the Brewers snatched a watering hole at American Family Field. It’s been a disappointing season for the Mets, whose promise didn’t seem to turn into enough success. As the brewers celebrated at their expense, Francis Lindor looked inward.
“It hurt me a little,” Lindor recalls. “I’d say things like, ‘I wish I had what they had.'”
Lindor told that story late Monday night, standing in front of his locker while several of his Mets teammates walked around him wearing royal blue T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “October Rise.” The table that once held a dozen glasses of non-alcoholic sparkling wine was almost empty. Some guys switched to beer. Others drank directly from a golden champagne bottle, which was given to them by their colleagues Max Scherzer In recognition of his 200th career victory. The Mets had just won 7-2 match on beer To snatch their first berth in the playoffs since 2016. Lindor no longer needs to wish.
“It’s been some tough years either from losing outright or thinking we’re going to get it and then we’re disappointed in the end,” said the defensive player. Brandon Nemo, a Met since 2016 that watched the franchise play exactly one playoff. “It’s been some tough years there, especially in this market. They expect you to win.”
There are still bigger targets for the Mets, who didn’t spray champagne in the usual way when securing a berth at least in the National League Wild Card Game. They did not get tired of the archer hill. Instead, when Adam Ottavino punched Hunter Renfroe to make things official, their attackers and outside players separately gathered for a group hug and a thank you. As these players made their way to the lair, Director Buck Showalter waited for each one to embrace.
Then they returned to their club to give a series of short speeches, including one in which owner Steve Cohen, who flew from New York earlier today, to the Mets said he was “excited about them and what’s possible.”
For many around the franchise, those possibilities began when Cohen bought the team in November 2020. In the nearly two years since then, Cohen has reshaped the Mets front office and expanded their payroll. Spent 341 million dollars for Lindor’s imprisonment And another 130 million dollars to bring Scherzer. He appointed General Manager Billy Ebbler and Director Buck Showalter. Ask those around the club, and they will trace most of the cultural differences back to Cohen.
Jacob Degrom It is he who can see such transformations from a broader perspective. Degrom, the longest-serving Met player, is the only player who was also here on the team’s last long post-season run in 2015. He called these games “one of the most fun I’ve ever played baseball” and ” One of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.” At the time, DeGrum felt the Mets would be a post-season contender every year. When disappointment ensued, DeGrom began to gain a deeper understanding of what it meant to make the playoffs.
“You’re celebrating this,” Degrom said. “To go that long without me coming back, that makes this special.”
As for the guy, DeGrom’s co-workers agreed, saying that while the Mets intends to continue NL East address With all the enthusiasm they can muster, their decisiveness in the playoff is also worth appreciating. So they’d walk around the club, drink beer and take selfies and spit jokes at each other. Alonso’s house, who in the fourth inning proved to be the most influential of the playoff, shouted for his teammates to wash him down with “ketchup and mustard”. They were forced, dyeing his neck and shirt red.
Later, in a quieter corner of the club, Cohen stopped Alonso, Nemo and Eduardo Escobar to tell them how proud he was of their accomplishments. He met up with these three for a few moments, and praised them for “the way you guys get along with each other.”
Cohen called the Mets playoff “the first step” on a longer journey, saying, “As we go forward, there will be even bigger celebrations.” The Mets certainly hope that’s true. As the third MLB team to win a playoff game, the Mets will have their eyes on bigger goals as soon as Tuesday, when they return to American Family Field for another game against the Brewers. The Braves game looms in the NL East.
There is little time for rest, but for one night, at least, there was enough time for celebration, enough time for reflection, and enough time to let go of past disappointments.
“It means something to our organization, and it means something to our fans to be in the playoffs,” Scherzer said. “These are the moments you play for. We also realize there are bigger moments ahead. So it’s smiling today, but grinding tomorrow.”