With Christmas and Hanukah come and past, lets take a look at the five best gifts the Mets gave their fan base in 2012. Including the meaning behind them.
5. Catching Travis d'Arnaud in the R.A. Dickey Trade – Though it came at the expense of Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, the Mets were able to acquire exactly what they were looking for. In the exchange with the Blue Jays the Mets received their top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, top pitching prospect Noah Snydergaard, and 19-year-old outfield prospect Wuilmer Becerra. For time being before they are respectively "major league ready," veteran catch John Buck was also included in the trade to the Mets.
Looking to the future however, Snydergaard compliments the arsenal of young arms the Mets have in their organization, and by all accounts d'Arnaud has been looked widely as the highly regarded soon-to-be major league ready catching/hitting prospect the Mets have been looking for. Not since Mike Piazza, has the organization or the Mets faithful been as pumped about the catching position and farm system moving forward.
4. Matt Harvey – With Johan Santana and Dillon Gee shut down for the season, Miguel Batista and co. unable effectively fill in, the Mets needed someone to step up big. Sure enough that call was answered by Matt Harvey. The rookie in his first major league appearance was able to not only silence his critics, but also put up an amazing 11-strikeout total while also recording two hits. Becoming the first player since the early 1900's or the beginning of modern baseball history to record 10 or more strike outs and two hits in their major league debut.
Harvey's success also symbolized a changing in the view that the Mets didn't have a farm system. Prior to this past season many analysts, writers, and commentators referred to the Mets' minor league affiliates as depleted and in disarray. With the arrival of Harvey to the major league club, Zach Wheeler who MAY make a major league appearance this season, Colin McHugh who faired decently, the acquisitions of Noah Snydergaard and Travis d'Arnaud, and a good number of prospects waiting for the opportunity to show they're major league ready, it's pointing to the Mets fairing decently in the developmental stage.
3. Re-signing David Wright and His Record 2012 Season – This time last season much attention regarding David Wright was about Fred Wilpon's comments, referring to him being a "good kid" but not a "super star." This time around it would be Jeff Wilpon on behalf of his father [Fred] that he'd be thanking Wright's parents for raising him to be the player and more importantly man he is today.
"if they didn't raise him to be the man he is, we wouldn't have committed to him." ~ Jeff Wilpon, Newsday's Marc Carig
Who would have ever thought that of all the players that have come and gone, that David Wright would be…well, the right guy at the most needed right time. In a time where the team has not seen stability or certainty, he's slowly become that. Along in developing into the leader of the team, with the departure of Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, Wright has effectively become the face of the New York Mets. Ranking first in nearly all categories for a position player on the team including runs, RBI's, and hits (which were all achieved in 2012) Wrights stats back up his rank in the hearts of the Mets faithful. Not to mention the organization, as they showed proof by signing the long time third baseman to an eight-year contract worth $138 million. All but essentially locking him up for the remainder of his playing career.
2. Johan Santana's No Hitter - They say that you never forget your first. For Mets' fans it took 51-seasons, 50 years (this year being their 50th anniversary as a franchise), 8,019 games, and 33-year-old Johan Santana's 134 pitches to finally get their FIRST ever no-hitter. While it ultimately cost Mets' fans their ace for the rest of the season, it was well worth finally getting there. As any fan will tell you, it won't be one easily forgotten. Santana's no-no was truly a historic first!
1. R.A. Dickey – While he won't be dawning the Orange and Blue colors any longer, the Mets faithful have all the reason to be thankful in at least having been a part of another historic moment in baseball. Not in the history of baseball had any pitcher from the fraternity of knuckleballer's won the Cy Young award. The last time a Mets pitcher won the award was back in 1985, when Dwight Gooden was just taking off. It would be however, in the most unexpected and spectacular fashion R.A. Dickey who tie the two events together and put together the best season ever had for a kuckleballer.
Like most fans, I was upset to see R.A. Dickey go. Here's someone who to me, embodied what it meant to be the perrenial underdog. What Dickey accomplished however, was nothing short of amazing. He was able to bring a victory to a lost season. As fans not only tuned in to otherwise meaningless games, but also showed up to lend their support to the 38-year-old journeyman chase immortality. And achieve it. Dickey's season wasn't just an award winning one, but a historic one by putting up numbers never seen by a knuckle baller.
So when it comes to R.A. Dickey, Mets' fans have two things to be greatful for from the Mets. Not only the young and higly regarded talent acquired for quite the late bloomed talent, but also the experience and memory that will live forever in the hearts and memories of the franchise's fans everywhere.
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