Everything is bigger in New York

Max Petrunya

Max Petrunya

Staff columnist

The saying has always been, “Everything is bigger in New York.” Big city, big buildings and big talent. And while the best team money can buy, the New York Yankees, are on their way to winning another American League East title this year, they can’t hold a candle to the New York Mets, and the BIG fashion in which they are winning their National League East division.

Currently, the Mets’ sit atop the NL East with a 14.5 game lead over Philadelphia’s red hot Phillies, and 18.5 up over last year’s (the last 14 years’ to be exact) winner, the Atlanta Braves. These numbers are staggering when you consider the fact that Philadelphia, who has been playing exceptionally well since the All-Star Break, is now only 1.5 games out of NL Wild Card, and the Braves have been winning division titles consistently for about as long as we all have been alive.

First and foremost, credit must be given to the Atlanta Braves. Although they ruined my Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series dreams in both 1991 and 1992, winning the NL East 14 years straight is one of the greatest accomplishments in sports, solidifying their place in history as the most dominating team in professional sports.

But with the closing of one door comes the opening of another, and the NY Mets have emphatically slammed the door on the Atlanta Braves. Already this season, the Mets are 8-4 against the former division champs, with two three-game series still left to play in September. Compared to their numbers last year against Atlanta, when the Mets went 6-13 on the season against the Braves, it is easy to see that there has been a changing of the guard, so to speak, in the NL East.

The Mets, however, are not only changing the face of their division this season, but altering the scope of Major League Baseball as we know it.

With the integrity of the league compromised by more scandals and performance-enhancing drug charges, the Mets have created an organization that celebrates the beauty and majesty of America’s pastime. Combining veteran experience with incredible young talent, the New York Mets have crafted the Wright formula to win baseball games while Delgetting an incredible amount of fan support.

David Wright, the Mets’ charming third basemen, whose smile could stop traffic and whose swing could make Nolan Ryan look like a minor leaguer, anchors the new generation of baseball talent: young, humble, drug-free and very fan-friendly. At the ripe young age of 23, this second-year player is already hitting .294 with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs, and doing it all with a smile on his face. Coupled with fellow 23-year-old Jose Reyes at shortstop, this young pair has played their way to gaining the reputation as the best left side of the infield in the Majors.

To complement their young talent, the Mets have also added just the right number of experienced veterans like Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Hernandez and Carlos Delgado to their roster.

Glavine and Martinez pass on winnable games to a bullpen that has made a name for itself by keeping inherited leads, while Delgado leads the Mets’ new offense charge, hitting 33 home runs and 91 RBIs as we approach the last month of the season.

But statistics aren’t what make the Mets a great team to watch. The reason why fans should take notice of New York’s “other team” is because they provide viewers with the opportunity to witness games using different styles and strategies that exemplify the simplicity and complexity, while highlighting the beauty of Major League Baseball.

The Mets have the ability to shift gears in a baseball games faster than a Ferrari. If you are someone who likes small ball, then you can appreciate the Mets for winning those close games over division rivals after grinding out runs in the seventh and eight. And if you like defense, you can turn on a Mets game and are almost guaranteed to see one or two plays that will make “Baseball Tonight’s” web gems. For homerun fans, the Mets also have the ability to turn a game into an absolute bomb fest. Plus, watching the Mets provides viewers with the chance to watch young player’s blossom from young talent into top professionals, while watching old pros reignite their careers as they reach the end of their professional road.

The stories of Tom Glavine and David Wright transfixed alongside one another show two players at opposite ends of the spectrum in their careers. Glavine, a former Brave, was once considered one of the best pitchers in the game of baseball. After leaving the Braves organization in 2002, many critics questioned whether or not he could still compete in the Majors. Despite going through some rough times, Glavine has persevered and showed, especially this season, that he can still dominate.

With that story alongside the tale of David Wright, whose situation is the complete opposite of Glavin’s, getting off to a phenomenal start in what should be a legendary career, fans young and old can find new players to follow as they write the first chapters in their baseball careers, or old players to pull for as they put the finishing touches on the prologue of theirs.

As the post-season quickly approaches, the Mets have the chance to win their division by double digits over Philadelphia, thus solidifying their place as one of the best in the Majors. And while the Mets do have the talent to win the World Series this year (and I believe they will win this year), this will not be the last shot they have at a title in the near future.

Regardless of how deep they go in the playoffs, it is guaranteed that they will provide fans, and the administration of Major League Baseball with a team that highlights baseball’s beauty and reaffirms the integrity of the game in the minds of fans, both old and new.

So take some advice from their theme song: “Meet the Mets! Meet the Mets! Step right up and greet the Mets! Bring your kiddies, bring your wife; guaranteed to have the time of your life!” I promise you won’t be disappointed.