You’re telling me that Buck Showalter couldn’t get back into a major league dugout for three years because teams’ owners and new-age front office personnel thought the old school manager would demand too much authority?
Oh, my goodness gracious.
The culture shift in Queens has been as dramatic as the turnaround in the Mets’ record from 77-85 in 2021 to 69-39 (and counting) this year, following their 8-5, 6-2 doubleheader sweep of the Braves on Saturday that extended their division lead to 5 ½ games … and with Jacob deGrom on tap Sunday for the finale of this five-game set, in which the home team has taken three of the first four.
Last year, fans and players were making thumbs-down gestures at one another. This year, there is mutual love flowing from the stands to the field and back again, with the Mets 30 games over .500 for the first time since 2006.
“This is what you play the game for,” Max Scherzer said after seven shutout innings of bravura work in Game 2 through which he struck out 11 while throwing a season-high 108 pitches. “We’re just playing great baseball right now.”
The Mets are playing an old-school style in which they attack the game while mixing in enough new era swagger and styling to appeal to all generations, the ones who have been here since Hobie Landrith hit a 257-foot pop fly two-run homer down the right-field line in the Polo Grounds with one man on and two men out in the ninth inning to beat Warren Spahn in April of 1962 and the ones who signed on when Scherzer signed last December.
Pete Alonso celebrates with teammates after scoring a run on a play at the plate during the Mets’ 6-2 Game 2 win of their doubleheader sweep.