The Oakland A’s and New York Mets: A Similar Story
By Jason Burke
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
A couple years back, I contemplated a move to New York. I have been an A’s fan my whole life, but more than that, I love baseball. I knew I would need a local team to root for, and the Yankees were certainly out. That left me with the New York Mets. I didn’t know much about the team, so I learned a little. As it turns out, they are very similar to our Oakland Athletics.
The largest comparisons can be made in the fact that both teams won their last World Series Title in the late 80s. For the Mets, it was in 1986 when they beat the Red Sox. This was also the series when the ball went through Bill Bucker’s legs to seal the Mets’ Game 6 victory, forcing a Game 7. The A’s last won in 1989, when they swept the San Francisco Giants. This was also the year of the earthquake, which actually postponed the World Series for twelve days.
The second comparison is that they are arguably second-tier teams in large markets. In New York, it’s all about the Yankees. They have been there longer, have a richer history and win consistently. In the Bay Area, the Giants have recently gained a lot of fans due to their recent World Series victories, slotting the A’s in the two-spot for the time being.
If we go back, we can find another similarity in John Franco and Dennis Eckersley. Both are among the all-time greats in the closer role. Eck saved 390 career games, and was one of the best closers of all time. Franco saved 424 games, and was a very consistent man at the back end of the Mets’ bullpen for 14 seasons.
Recently the Mets have been signing former A’s players as well. This offseason, the Mets signed Bartolo Colon for 2 years/$20 million and Chris Young (thank you NY!). They have also have Anthony Recker as their backup catcher, and Collin Cowgill was their Opening Day center fielder in 2013. He was later traded to the Angels.
I will admit, that when the A’s have an off-day, I will wear a Mets cap on occasion (I can’t do this on days they play, because obviously it would jinx the A’s).
The A’s and Mets are similar teams. Although the Mets have more money, they are still the underdog in their own city. Both teams had memorable events the last time they captured a Championship. Plus, rooting for the Mets gives me more opportunities to root AGAINST the Giants every season. What’s not to like about that?
Do you root for any teams besides the A’s? Why? Please comment below and I will be happy to discuss!