As the Pittsburgh Pirates bats finally decided to wake up in the city that never sleeps in their come from behind 5-3 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night, I looked at the facial expressions among the few remaining fans at City Field and felt something that I haven’t had toward many other baseball fan bases in a long time; sympathy.
There aren’t many franchises in any sport that have put their fans through more nonsense than the Pittsburgh Pirates have, however, I dare say that the fans of the New York Mets might have it worse than anyone else in baseball.
With their loss to the Bucs last night, the Mets now are 32-5 when leading in the ninth inning or later, which is by far the worst winning percentage (.865) in Major League Baseball.
Their record is 15-37 since the opening month of the season came to a close. To top things off, there are now rumors that the team is considering trading stars like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to start rebuilding.
Things were not always this much of a mess in Queens. While Pittsburghers like to look back to 2013-2015 and wonder how things got so bad, let me tell you that our fall from grace has not been nearly as dreadful as the one suffered by the Mets.
Just three years ago the they had won the National League pennant and had a roster full of potential to compete both in the present and the future. After landing big bat Yoenis Cespedes in a trade to compliment what many believed to soon be their “dream rotation” the Mets seemed to have many great days ahead of them.
Yet since their appearance in the 2015 fall classic they have played in just one more playoff game than the Pirates.
Making big trades at the deadline, signing high end talent in the off season and being able to develop young talent are three things Bucco fans have desperately wished to see from their front office during these past two and a half seasons of losing.
Though not seeing any of them come to fruition has certainly been frustrating, you know what would be worse? Seeing all three happen and still having the team you love fail miserably.
The Mets currently have the 10th highest payroll in all of major league baseball ($167,999,074). They have made big offseason acquisitions like resigning Cespedes and while Matt Harvey and Steven Matz certainly didn’t end up having the careers many dreamed they would, their staff still has two aces in deGrom and Syndergaard that are far more talented than most clubs best pitcher.
Yet like the Pirates, this team currently sits at fourth place in their own division and are almost certain to be sellers at the trade deadline.
If you think things are bad for the Mets now, their future is looking even worse. With just two prospects on the MLB top 100 list and a rookie manager that seems to be in over his head, it could certainly be awhile before we see the Mets play meaningful baseball again.
It is easy to be frustrated with the current state of Pirates baseball. The poor performances on the field and in the front office in the past three years have but this club in baseball limbo.
Their current roster is filled with young players who have struggled to find consistency at the major league level which makes it unclear as to what the future of this club has in store.
However, at the end of the day, limbo is a much easier place to climb out of than the place beneath it.
Though things might look really bad at times, they could be worse; we could be the New York Mets.